Freelance writer Devanshee Dave: “Repeat business is the best compliment!”

Interview with Devanshee Dave

We recently got into a conversation with freelance writer Devanshee Dave. She has completed her Post-Graduation Diploma in Mass Communication and Journalism and loves to write on various subjects; finance and economy are her niches! Apart from writing for her clients, she shares her thoughtful insights on her favourite topics on Medium.

Excerpts of the interview

Tell us something about yourself out of the writing domain, who is Devanshee when she is not writing?

So, apart from the time when I am not writing, I am the kind of person who anyone would find sitting in the corner of my house, listening to music, and watching a lot of videos like TED-Ed. So, yeah that’s what I do apart from writing.

How did you get in writing or got your first client?

I was doing my Post-grad and had some free time, so I thought of utilising it by doing something. So, I applied for an internship on Internshala. It was an accounting outsourcing firm; I was given a task to write on VAT, which was being implemented in Gulf nations back in 2017. I found it very fascinating; they really like what I wrote and that’s how I got my first paid client.

Simultaneously, I got another opportunity at The Indian Economist, now it’s known as Qrius. It was not paid though, but it helped me a lot like it was a turning point for my writing career as I learnt many new things.

That’s interesting, starting from a relatively unknown place to when you have reached a new place, how long have you been writing Devanshee?

I think 3 years.

That’s a good time, so any social media platform like LinkedIn, or anything that has benefited you or you got clients from there?

LinkedIn has been quite helpful, I have started using LinkedIn actively very recently, but it has been helpful, and apart from social media platforms, professional networking has helped me as well.

So, what kind of businesses or organizations have you helped with your writing till now?

I have worked for a start-up, Qrius that is a media start-up, I have worked with accounting outsourcing firms. Apart from that, I have clients indulged in financial markets, making trading better with AI and Machine Learning. The list consists of an advertising and translation agency, too. 

Freelance writer Devanshee Dave

From all these various projects that you have taken up, is there any specific thing that you have learnt in writing?

I don’t remember any particular thing, but I have seen myself evolve as a writer. I have become more consistent as a writer than I was when I started writing as a hobby.

When you become a professional writer, you have to go through a lot of changes, and that’s what I have seen myself in becoming. I have been more consistent, I value things, as I have become more serious about it now as it’s no longer just a hobby.

I think you made a great point here about having writing as a hobby and as a profession and add value to clients. Let’s say a client approaches you and that field of writing is new to you, how would you consider it?

Well, if the area of writing is totally new and alien to me, I wouldn’t accept it as then I would not be able to justify the topic and expectations. But if I know at least something about it, I may pursue it and would ask beforehand about all the expectations that the client has from the article, like what they want to cover, any specific points or sources they want to include, how they want the article to appear, etc.

Is there any specific compliment you have got from any client?

Well, I think, when the client comes back to you, it’s the biggest compliment that you can get.

For example, recently I edited a book, but I was given to edit it partially as it was yet to be completed. So, when the book was finished and it was specifically given to me, I felt really proud as I too wanted it to be my first edited book. So, that’s the kind of passive compliment that I have got and would cherish.

If you have to describe yourself in five words, what would it be?

Creative, adaptive, enthusiastic, highly optimistic, and someone who never gives up.

Is there any incident in your life that has imprinted on your mind or has shaped you as a person?

Yes, there are many. Like, as a school-kid I used to see my father reading a lot, which I followed too. So, when I used to read the name of my favourite columnists under their article in magazines, I used to be like I want this too- to see my name under my own article. And when that happened, when I started writing for Qrius, it was just too special a feeling for me!  I pursued what I always have wanted.

Do you have any writing schedule?

After lockdown, I have realised that I am more creative when I wake up, so I start writing early in the morning within thirty minutes of waking up and the second time is late noon, like 4-5 pm. Otherwise, writing continues throughout the day, but these two are my favourite times in a day to write.

So, what’s the reaction of your friends or relatives when they know you are a professional writer?

It’s funny as they straightway send me requests to write for wedding anniversary wishes or captions for their posts. But apart from that, a lot of people think that because I work from home, I have got a lot of free time, which is not at all true. In fact, it takes more working hours than those that go to the office.

Tell us about your blog or any place where you publish your article.

Yes sure. I do not have a blog, but I write on Medium, which is a global platform. I write on things that I love like financial markets, economy, investments, etc.; I have written on cryptocurrency, productivity as well on music. So, it is where I pour my creativity out!

So, we have some rapid-fire rounds, you have to pick one.

Lassi/ Soft drinks? – Cold coffee actually

Romantic movie/action movie? – Sci-fi ones!

Songs/Podcasts- Songs

Beach/mountain? – A mountain with a large lack to have the feel of both

Wisdom/fame- Wisdom, as fame will follow

Any advice or quotations that you would like to share with us?

There is a saying in my favourite book, “Who moved my cheese?” that “The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.” So, life goes on and you have to move one. You do not have time to feel sad about your past clients, do not worry about what you lost or anyone who chose someone else over you, as if you do not move on from the past, your future would further away.

That’s, great quotation worth remembering. Thank you so much for your time today, we enjoyed talking to you and we hope people watching this would enjoy it, too!

Yeah, same here, thank you so much, I really enjoyed it too.

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