Insights

  1. The key to becoming a writer is to observe and feel your surroundings. Write it on paper. Your words may seem to lack feeling initially, but you will get better with practice. One can develop writing with practice, research, and an open mind.
  2. Don’t leave your day job for writing unless you have some serious and genuine success under your belt.
  3. To improve the quality of your content, read books and try reading people too.
  4. There are no entry barriers. You can choose to write at any point in life and no matter which background you come from. Success can knock at any point of time and you can continue writing well after regular retirement age. viz. Gulzar, Ruskin Bond, Stephen King.
  5. Make good use of social media to market yourself, because marketing your writing is as important as writing itself.

Personal Details

Name – Ameya Agrawal

Profession – Author | Motivational Speaker | Entrepreneur

Age – 24 years

Gender – Male

City – Pune

Industry – Writing, Life Coaching

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ameyaagrawal/

Website – www.ameyaagrawal.com

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in a very humble and loving Agrawal Family at Bhusawal, Maharashtra. I completed my school from Biyani School and junior college from Nahata College from Bhusawal.

I also have a very supporting elder brother; loving sister-in-law and a cute nephew. I belong to a respectable middle-class family, which lays a high emphasis on education. My father is a Director at Kaveri College, Pune. My mom is a retired Principal. Both my mom and dad are Ph.D. holders and are always ready to help students and people.

My dad also provides Ph.D. guidance and mom often write articles for the radio and newspapers.

I currently live with my mom and dad in Pune, Maharashtra. My brother and sister-in-law both are CA and are practicing in Nashik, Maharashtra.

Who all had the most influence on you and how?

My parents and my environment had the most influence on me. Their support and belief in me that I am destined for something big and significant lit up a spark in me. No journey is easy and no destination is impossible but we all do tend to break down in the middle. During such times, it was my family who believed in me when I refused to and do so till date.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I took admission in MIT College, Pune in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering in the year 2013 and started writing my first book in the second year of engineering, 2014 and completed it in my 3rd year.

I successfully published my first self-help book titled ‘A Leap Within’ in the year 2015 at the 6th Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad at the hands of the Hon’ble speaker of Chhattisgarh.

I received the National Award for the “Youngest Engineering Student to write a book on self-motivation’ from Incredible Book of Records.

In the year 2015, I started working on my startup ZOVY STUDIOS – A corporate supply company. I got a job offer from Accenture in 2015 and joined them in 2016.

Started the Lyrics of Success campaign with the participation of more than 3 thousand people over Whatsapp and 36k+ on social media sites where I daily share one practical experience from my life in the form of a quote or small article which people can directly apply in their daily lives to get the best returns.

I joined the Rotaract Club of Aundh, Pune, Maharashtra as a director of leadership development in 2017.

I also conduct motivational seminars and workshops for students and corporates under the name “The Winning Way of Life” where I facilitate them to take whatever around them, consume it with a different approach to unlock their hidden potential.

Currently, I am working on my next self-help book.

I have been blessed to get the following awards:

  • Youth Leadership Development Award — Indo Global Chambers of Commerce, Pune (2017)
  • Leadership Award for Excellence — Confederation of Education Excellence, New Delhi (2018)
  • Young Motivational Speaker Award — MTC Global, Bengaluru. (2018)

Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession?

I never had formal education in writing. However, I recommend the British Council and Liberal Arts School of Symbiosis to learn writing. Many universities also provide a minor course in writing. JNU is also a good option for people considering their education in New Delhi.

There are several private institutes around the states and veteran actors like Anupam Kher who runs an academy to teach different forms of writing like script writing. Apart from that, there are many online platforms nowadays that conduct workshops for creative writing and its other forms that are popular among the youth. Terribly Tiny Tales is one of them.

Online teaching channels like Masterclass features the world’s best writers who share their knowledge about writing and design courses with step by step information to follow.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of this profession?

As is mentioned that I didn’t have a formal education in this field and I write completely based on my experiences, I am honestly not aware of the costs involved.

But if you consider becoming an Author, then you can start work from home. A decent laptop of about INR 35k, internet connection 500 INR a month is enough to get you started. The publishing part is tricky. Nowadays even traditional publishing house demands money anywhere between 50k to 1 Lakh Rupees + marketing cost (depends on how much you want to spend).

If you opt for the online courses, then there are tons of online courses and the fees depends on the provider and the course you are having. Internet companies also conduct workshops and the fee is around 3k INR inclusive of food.

Lodging and boarding charges in the city like Pune can be considered around 15k INR per month inclusive of rent, food, and other needs.

Courses like Liberal arts from reputed university cost around 8 Lakh Rupees a year.

How does one enter in this profession?

It is easy for good content to get discovered and even get lost nowadays due to the vast spread of the internet. One must have patience and be active throughout the career especially in the initial days.

Make sure you are giving your content the visibility it deserves. Make good use of social media. Mark your presence offline as much as online. Meet people and make it easy for them to discover you.

You can get micro degrees from online courses.

There are various kinds of writing professions out there. Few of them are:

  • Content writers for the online e-commerce, where you write the product description, blogs, compare products etc.
  • Writing for content creation companies like Buzzfeed, Wittyfeed or ScoopWhoop
  • Writing for short movies, plays, movies etc
  • Ghost Writing
  • Caption writing for celebrities (Must be a thing I assume)
  • Creative writing for television and online streaming companies like Netflix
  • Writing government rules and regulations, norms.
  • Translation Services
  • Script Writing
  • Editor in Newspaper

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?

The remuneration depends very much on the type of content one deals with. Writing industry, though many may think as one entity, has a rainbow of requirements.

As part-time Content writers, starting out, for freelancers one can expect around 20PPW (Paisa per word) for writing an article. Yet it also depends on the organization you are dealing with.

A full-time Content writer can expect to start at INR 2L per annum, which can go up to 10 Lakhs with 20+ years of experience.

As Authors, this totally depends on the number of books you sell and the number of people who read your blog.

Generally, this is a very hard road and the chances of success and becoming a famous writer to sell a million copies are shrinking with the increase in competition and saturation in the market. Royalty generally varies anywhere between 5% to 40% for each book sold. Totally depends on your deal with the publisher.

As Technical Writers, you can expect to earn around 5 Lakhs per annum. Technical Writers are people who write product manuals, guides, FAQs etc. An example of such a work is the manual that you get with a new TV. 6 lakhs per year.

Please describe your work.

I work as a software engineer, so most of my day is spent in the office. Still, I make sure that I note down whatever crosses my mind. I write while commuting to the office and returning home. I always keep notepad open on my computer to make sure that I don’t miss anything. I write daily. I make sure I do. Because you need to stay connected, practice to create content every day.

I make sure that I share at least one motivational message with my community of Lyrics of Success with 36k+ members There are odd hours when I had to get up from sleep to write down things I was thinking and felt worth writing because otherwise, it becomes difficult to recall them later.

Most of the times, I write down points whenever thoughts occur. Later, I elaborate and edit those points.

It is a wonderful feeling when people share how they were benefited with your writing and how it gives them strength to grow. I am grateful to be able to bring smile and hope in the lives of so many people

It is not always possible to reply to all queries and messages so I try one day of the weekend to make sure that I catch up with everyone via my Facebook, Instagram profile or other platforms.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?

  1. If you pursue writing as a social work, it does give immense satisfaction and peace of mind.
  2. It helps you to learn how to observe things around you better.
  3. If you do well, it helps you get famous on social media/blogger/author and thus leading to a good income.
  4. Non-Fiction writers turn to public speaking which is highly rewarding if done well.
  5. You are able to create your own identity and good writers are respected in the society.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering writing as a career?

As glorious this career might look when one considers Gulzar, J.K Rowling, Chetan Bhagat, Ruskin Bond; but not everyone gets to taste that kind of success.

It is tough to convince your family if you want to pursue this full time. People might think that you earn very well but often the truth is far from that.

  1. Justifying why you work from home can be tough and funny at the same time
  2. Writer’s block creates a lot of problems and sometimes lasts for months where you cannot write a single good sentence which increases the work pressure and makes it tough to meet the deadlines
  3. With the growing reach of the internet and content creation companies, you always have to be on your toes to create new and likable content regularly.
  4. Not always what you want is what you get to write. Sometimes you need to write what sells and remaining times what the organization demands.
  5. Not all who write get famous or get to reach the front page. Many lyricists, scriptwriters, dialogue writers, technical writers are unknown to common people
  6. Time flexibility is a half-truth. You can work at 3 am in the morning because you have no other option, the thing about creative thoughts is that if you don’t put them on paper the instant you have them, chances are you will lose them. You cannot overestimate your brain’s ability to preserve that thought until morning.
  7. Books don’t always sell when published, sometimes they start selling as old wine even after you are no longer alive. Assignments don’t always come since all age of people can enter this career, there is a lot of supply and organizations are always looking for fresh talent.
  8. Getting a fixed income is tough.

What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?

Observation and ability to turn thoughts into words will never go out of trend because as far as I know machines don’t write good content, it always requires a human touch. Skills such as Storytelling and spoken word poetry, snippet and micro tale writings, short stories, Motivational Writing, etc. is gaining a lot of popularity.

Vernacular content creation – Due to the reach of the internet, more and more people are getting aware and use the internet to consume content and not everyone understands English.

What kind of person would be happy in writing?

This career adopts many different traits of personality and people from different backgrounds.

Someone who loves to express their feelings can find solace in this profession. When you start writing, you realize that you are penning down even those thoughts which were deep inside you and you didn’t even know if they exist.

People who find their inspiration in inspiring others can become good self-help writers.

Those who are good observers and have a knack of describing even little things with great depth can find a place in the writing profession.

People with a poetic heart who feel words and the moments can become great poets.

And overall a middle-class family background with not very high aspirations for money who is good at giving words to thoughts and find peace in expressing self with the flexibility to work can enter this stream.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I think I would have liked to get an earlier start in writing itself if given the choice.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

Do not quit your day job for writing at the initial stages especially if you are in India. I repeat, DO NOT! It takes a lot of time and patience to excel in writing as a profession. Even the biggies today didn’t quit their job unless they achieved phenomenal success.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you write but it does matters how good you sell. You don’t need to be the best writer; you must be the best-selling writer.

It is good to have dreams of pursuing writing fulltime after college, but don’t haste. Don’t hurry to publish your first book. Doing it wrong can be demotivating and even bad for your career image.

Take time to learn about the industry and understand the in and out first. Keep writing, you will realize you are getting better unknowingly.

Do not get forced into writing a book because someone you know is doing it. Start with a blog. Publish with the best publisher or self-publish. There is no in between.

Build your personal brand. If you are writing non-fiction do it threefold. Be on social media social.


Liked this conversation? Check out our coverage of Mr. Ambar Verman (Senior Script and Creative Writer at Wittyfeed)