To the Rescue of Busy Professionals
Take your visual communication to the next level
Chillibreeze Interview with Nayantara Mallya
We introduce you to Nayantara Mallya, a mom to two children, a content writer, and an avid people watcher. Young at heart and hopefully wiser in experience, she strongly suspects every life challenge is a learning and growing opportunity.
1. Please tell us about yourself.
I like to look at my life as a series of learning experiences -sort of a school life! I find people and their life stories fascinating. I hesitate to say I’m a writer; so I will just say that the written word is my soul food, whether it’s a book I’m reading, or content that I’m writing. I have lived in Bangalore for over a decade now, married with two kids aged 10 and 6.
I’ve also spent about half my life abroad, in three different countries. I studied Biotechnology and I worked as a college lecturer for a while, something I really thrived on before I took a break to raise my family.
2. What drew you to writing as a career?
I’ve always loved reading, but did not write much for most of my life. Still, I’ve always expressed myself well through written words, especially in letters and emails. It wasn’t until I had put together a magazine for a group I volunteered with, that I actually took the first step towards writing as a career. Shortly after that I started freelancing with Chillibreeze about 4 years ago.
3. You have worked for a long time with Chillibreeze - can you share your experience about the kind of projects you worked on? What were your learnings?
During the 4 years I’ve been associated with Chillibreeze, every project was totally different. Those involving ideation and fine-tuning the requirements with the client were very interesting and creatively challenging. Some were very structured and were daily/weekly-deliverable projects. Others involved multiple writers and editors on board, and had a large volume of deliverables being put together. The hours I worked ranged from part-time to full-time. Some were very short-term projects, and others went on for months. The content varied from newsletters, website content, e-books, medical summaries, mailers, forum content, FAQs, news articles, press releases and so on.
I learned something new with each project, whether it was about the type of content I was putting together or editing, or the tools and technology I got familiar with. Each client was different. It was enjoyable working directly with the clients in some of my projects. All the clients I worked with were polite, professional and very patient. The Chillibreeze Management team is also extremely supportive, friendly and professional to work with.
4. Did you ever take any assessments/evaluations or any specific training to become a writer or an editor?
No, I never had the time! I would use breaks in between projects to catch up with family and personal commitments. I was lucky that I was constantly learning on the job.
5. How do you juggle your time between family and writing?
It is really a juggling act! Working from home means you have several things going on at the same time, with each taking priority at different times. So when the kids had school or hobby classes, I would give full attention to my work. But I’d only be able to work intermittently when the family and house-help were in the house.
My family is also very independent; something that I’ve expected of them. My husband pitches in significantly with house-chores and child-care, and I’ve trained my children to become more progressively self-reliant with regard to being responsible for themselves, and pitching in around the house.
6. What would you recommend for newbie writers who are waiting to make a break through? Any tip or piece of advice for them?
Every writer brings a unique style with them. Write as you; don’t try to imitate someone else, or feel you’re not good enough. When you’re writing for a project, try to strike a balance between your personal ‘voice’ and the project’s requirements.
Ask a lot of questions! Clients are always pleased when you take interest in the project and come up with your own suggestions to improve quality and content. Be open to feedback and constructive criticism, both from the client, as well as your team members.
7. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself? Perhaps something interesting about you, that people are always surprised to hear?
I’m a returned NRI a few times over. But twice I returned to India - thanks to the war, and one of those times, when I was a refugee! In fact, I’ve written about my experience of fleeing from Saddam Hussein, in my Chillibreeze sample article.
>> Read more articles written by Chillibreeze writers:
Urgent 24 Hour Editing