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Chillibreeze Interview With
Oishee Mukhopadhyay Talwar
Meet Oishee, an aspiring novelist and a meditation instructor. Oishee is a freelance writer who enjoys working with anything that has to do with words.
1. Please tell us about yourself.
I have been writing since the age of seven. I graduated in English Literature from Mumbai University and opted for the subject only because it was the best way to turn my favourite pastime into a great report card.
I also have a Master’s Degree in Creative Advertising from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. My first job was as a Junior Copywriter in a reputed ad agency in Chennai. Thereafter I worked with a popular women’s lifestyle magazine in South India. As of now, I am a freelancer and enjoy working on anything that requires crunching words.
2. You are a freelance writer for some niche magazines – any tips on how exactly does one go about bagging these assignments?
I’ve got most of my assignments through friends in the industry who needed someone who could write well and wouldn’t charge much. Networking, whether in person or online, is important to get work. At some point, you might find one client or employer who is willing to include you in all their projects. At the same time, don’t sell yourself short. As a freelance writer, you are providing a service and deserve to be paid for it. Honestly, there is a lot of work out there.
3. Could you share some insights into your career as a copywriter – some words of advice for aspiring copywriters?
- Know that in a creative industry, there are ten different ways to do the same thing, so if you’re ideas are ever shot down, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not good enough. At the same time, learn to take criticism constructively. The other person could be right.
- Every word counts. Don’t try and take a shortcut, it always shows up in your work.
- Just because you have a great vocabulary, doesn’t mean you’ve got to flaunt it. Great ideas sound the best in simple words.
4. Do you see the internet helping you as you hone your writing skills?
Yes of course. There are a lot of reading materials, guides, workshops and exercises available online that help hone your writing skills. You can also stay in touch with the latest developments in grammar, words and usage across the world.
5. What kind of resources do you think are lacking for young writers in India today? What are young writers looking for?
Young writers need more avenues to showcase their work. Publishers need to be more daring and open to feature new authors. The creative field needs to be recognized as a growing, flourishing industry and the education system needs to give it due importance through a structured format. Full-fledged writing courses with industry exposure would go a long way in helping young writers find a platform for their work.
6. Would you recommend any books, resources or freelancing platforms for newbie freelance writers who are waiting to make a break through?
I am not aware of any such books. I think it would be great if we could have city tours with freelance writers. It would allow everyone to interact with others from the industry and share ideas, success stories, opinions and hurdles. There ought to be a collaborative book by such writers. It would be of great help.
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?
If I tell you here, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Let’s just leave it at that.