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Spreading Joy Through Words

It took a long while for me to find the job I love to do, as a content creator and assistant editor for a global non-profit organisation whose motto is to “inform, inspire, and connect.” I work from home and can write good news that encourages people in their faith. But I got to my dream job in a roundabout way.

As a journalist by trade, I started off writing about sports for a newspaper. If you’re a fan or participant, then you’ll understand the emotional highs and lows you go through supporting your favourite team. Then I spent a short time as a general news reporter, covering the highs and lows of life in a big city, Johannesburg. A lot of my writing was about bad news.

After a four-year absence, living in the Ivory Coast (West Africa) and the island of Mauritius, I returned to South Africa and worked on a famous magazine, Drum, for thirteen years, covering lifestyle-related articles. And during the last two years of my time working for the biggest media company in the country, I enjoyed learning about fashion and beauty as I worked in a women’s magazine. Throughout my entire career as a journalist, I had this nagging thought: who cares about what I write? Who is it affecting? What difference does it make in people’s lives?

Well, the 2020 global Covid-19  pandemic changed my career path in an instant. I went from having a safe job to having to find a new one. God opened the right doors for me—doors that I would never have looked for. Up until then, I conditioned myself to cling to the safety of a regular paycheck at the end of each month, at the expense of my mental health, as I worked under extreme deadline-driven conditions for two decades.

Now, I’m no longer battling angry drivers in peak-hour traffic and am in charge of my working hours. Best of all, I write and edit “good news people would like to hear” for our global family of churches. I write headlines that are not geared to shock and intrigue or drive sales, but to encourage, make people smile, and stir them to action. Many of the stories tug at your heart. After all, we exist in a world consumed by chaos, aggression, and anguish. But they are heartwarming when you know it inspired someone to reach out and meet a need, whether for food, clothing, or shelter.

A big bonus of being a mistress of my time is that I get to work on my fiction and non-fiction writing at my own pace.

I grew up reading books, which was one of my best forms of entertainment. Writing stories of my own sprung from my enjoyment of writing essays at school. I never thought I could write stories that other people would enjoy. Plus, for many years I wrote about factual stuff as my job demanded.

Writers are encouraged to “write what you know.” For me, that meant writing a sweet sports romance, Bowled Over, about a female cricket reporter (surprise!), which I published in 2017. It is a fictional story, not an autobiography. I promise. I followed that up with a book of devotions for women, which currently is the only book I have available as a print book.

As part of our church’s social outreach, I visited a women’s prison over a period of five year. I chatted to a number of family members during those visits, and it inspired my women’s fiction story, Aching Heart, about a mother trying to reconcile with her daughter who is in prison.

As a reader, I enjoy shorter stories like novellas, so I naturally moved towards writing some myself. That led to my first series of novellas set in and around Johannesburg, the city where I live.

Years of stress finally caught up with me and the last two years were marked by debilitating anxiety that affected my ability to write. I’m finally emerging from the dark cloud of anxiety, and my aim is to focus on publishing more devotions, and my first small-town romance series.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell, loving what I do. I do hope that you get to enjoy doing what you love. Tell me about it in the comments.

Thank you, Anna, for this opportunity to share why I #lovewhatido.

About the author

Vida Li Sik is a wife, mother, award-winning journalist, and multi-genre author. She grew up in a small town, Nigel, in sunny South Africa, and now lives with her family in Johannesburg, the City of Gold. She has no pets and has yet to find a weird and wonderful hobby. In the meantime, she loves to write about people, real ones and imagined.

Where to find Vida Li Sik:



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