{ If long, navel-gazing, self-indulgent blog posts are not your thing, now would be the time to scoot… To everyone else, read on for explanations, apologies and promises of exciting things to come! }

I started Durban Diva in 2008 as an outlet for my burning desire to write, and be read. Something not many people think about is that although it is one thing to sit down at your desk and write, a writer without a reader is like a computer without a modem – relatively useful but with very little real impact. Durban Diva was a way to connect with a few people who may enjoy reading some of my musings  and mitherings; to become a writer who had a reader (or four at least- thanks, Mom, Brett, Aunty P and Kel x)

In September last year, a moment of revelation (some may say madness) caused me to quit my job as a Head of Department at an excellent Durban girls’ high school and become a full-time freelance writer. I decided to give it a year and then go back to teaching if it didn’t work out. When I was in matric, my choice in careers was law or journalism. I recently read somewhere that if you can’t make a decision, flip a coin and you will discover what it is you are secretly hoping for while it’s in the air. If I’d flipped a coin all those years ago, I would have followed a career as a writer from the start, I think.

October last year brought many challenges (How will I eat? Can I still afford Nutella or should I be buying the cheap knock-off stuff so many restaurants use as a replacement? Can I live without that dress at The Space?) but a huge sense of fufillment to finally be doing exactly what I had dreamed of. Things were really slow at first and Durban Diva became my classroom and playground. The aim of my blogging had shifted and now I was looking for readers in a big way! I have used Durban Diva as a discipline over the last year, trying to write ‘properly’ about things which were interesting and informative and keeping the tone relatively journalistic… and all the time while I was blogging happily away my intention was to get paid for doing something similar.  If I were to come into millions and never have to work again (looks out of window for shooting star…) I have always said I would write and this year has proved it to me. I think I have put together stories on this blog which have revealed the beauty of our ugly-duckling city and I am very proud of them.

A year after leaving my job, I sit writing a post for Durban Diva for the first time in almost a month. It has been a busy time: I am now earning a living as a freelance writer – it’s not as glamorous as it sounds and involves lots of running around and other busyness but I am loving every minute. I am proud (and apologetic to you, dear reader)  to finally be able to say that I have been too busy writing for other people to write for Durban Diva. I contribute to several publications but I have been writing regularly for the House and Leisure website and it is really wonderful to be one of the people involved in introducing the HL readers to all that Durban has to offer through this medium. I am also working for the Sunday Times on a new supplement called ‘Home Weekly’ which will be part of the newspaper from this Sunday. It is very exciting to be involved with something on this scale and much of my work for the Times will focus on Durban, which makes me very proud! Look out for my feature on Umdloti in this week’s edition. I am also incredibly proud of my friend, the Home Weekly editor, Sarah-Jane Buitendach, who has created the supplement and will hopefully be at its helm for hundreds of fabulous editions to come!

We have also been doing some minor renovations to our new home as well as trying to decorate and furnish this bigger space which has kept be busy and excited  and away from the blog. From Monday, I will be writing from my new study!

So, here I sit after a year of wishing and positive thinking, much of which has been channelled into this blog, contemplating the fact that it’s time for a change on Durban Diva. Much of what I would normally have written about here is going to other publications (who enable me to keep Nutella in my pantry) so I am going to have to become a bit more creative about what I post here… Watch this space over the next few weeks for some newness and in the meantime, don’t miss the i heart market at the DLI Hall from 9am – 1pm 🙂