This week, we bring you a story of someone who is multi-talented, bubbly, and full of life, and plays with words for a living. If you have ever felt like shying away from your dreams, Surabhi Kedia story will change your perspective. She took her time to find out what she wanted to and she is conquering her dream. She, in fact, is one of the top 100 writers of India. So, even if you are unable to figure out now, have faith, you will get there and this story will provide the much-needed inspiration.
How was your childhood?
My Childhood was just like the childhood of any average middle-class Indian girl. But since I was blessed to have parents like mine, I felt extremely privileged. My parents NEVER stopped me from learning anything, never questioned my decisions, never asked me to chase marks and never forced their decisions on me. That’s why, I am a post-graduate in commerce, diploma in event management, diploma in graphic designing who WRITES for a living!
Yes, you can say, that’s a lot of twists. 😛
What did you aspire to be when you were little?
Honestly, my aspirations changed overnight until my higher secondary. Someday, I wanted to be a Pilot, the others a doctor. However, when I reached higher secondary, I was determined I wanted to do C.A. (credits to the traditional Marwari family). Later knowing the number of unwanted applicants pursuing CA, I completely dried out.
After that, when I started to reflect on myself, I discovered that celebrations and the happy faces in them make me eternally happy and so this time I knew what I wanted to be: Event Manager (well, sadly it was still not a “writer”).
Could you take us through your work, please give us a brief about it?
To put it in one line, I write brand stories to earn a living. Yes, you guessed it right, I am just “another” content writer – at least that’s what the world believes. But here’s what they don’t know: just like a human feels lost without its voice, a business is as good as nothing without good storytelling.
So, let me now explain to you again, as for what I do…
I craft words to an individual’s or startup’s thoughts and weave them in a beautiful story that can help bring results in the form of engagement, sales and traffic.
What made you choose this line of work? Was there an incident that inspired it?
Well, the story here is a bit different. I didn’t “choose” this line of work per se, it just happened to me. Fortunately, the BEST thing that happened to me.
To keep it short, I found my passion for writing while writing long birthday notes for my best friends. I know it’s a bit absurd but it is what it is.
Later during my Event Management Course, my teacher (can’t ever thank him enough!) recognized my ability in one of my assignments.
I owe a major part of my journey to him as he was also my first client. Until then I was just one of those who believed only CA & MBAs, Engineers and Doctors can earn money and respect!
What does your daily routine look like?
Ah, a bit boring that way on weekdays – I wake up, do some reading, probably some industrial blogs, identify the tasks for the day, get to work, gossip with my Mom & sister in between breaks, read a few pages of a good book during bedtime and hop to sleep.
But on weekends, I am one of those who never stops talking and jumping around (well, I don’t even stop on weekdays! :P)
What do you think are your biggest achievements?
I have been asked this question so many times, but I believe my biggest achievement is the trust that I have earned from my clients. Most of my clients who were there from the start of my career are still there today, 3 years later and for the very few who departed are still on a very healthy ground.
Even though I have been listed as one of the “Top 100 content writers in India” and have also won some awards for my think-pieces, the trust of my clients are still the best thing I have earned so far.
Was it difficult in the beginning to follow your dreams?
Oh, YES. Of course. It is always difficult to follow your dreams, whether it is me or you but I think the joy of following your “dreams” makes it all part of the process.
I began only with some pocket money and an undying love to write. But never passed any opportunity on the way and today, three years later, I can proudly say that I can earn myself a good living (and some vacations! :P)
What was your hustle journey like?
Oh, my hustle journey was one hell of a ride!
Somedays, I was so high on my passion that I thought this was the best that could happen to me and some days I was so low on motivation that I thought, what worse can happen to me.
After learning Event Management, I topped my batch, secured the highest-paying job but left it because my parents didn’t want me to pursue a 9-5. At that time, I didn’t know God had some other plans for me and so grieved the loss for a long time. Next, I also earned a diploma in Graphic designing in lieu of helping my dad with designing needs in his business but here I am, writing every day and loving every word of it!
What are some of the challenges you deal with even today? And, how do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I still deal with about my profession is to make people believe freelancing is real work. Most people (at least in India) think that since I am at home, I am always free. To overcome that, I try to define my work hours and be very strict about it.
Another challenge that I always face while dealing with some new leads (fortunately, not my clients) is dealing with the attitude “I can write better than you, I just don’t don’t have the time for it”.
Well, here’s my message to all of them: if you can, take the time and do it yourself. Don’t despise the writer’s work.
With success also comes failure. So, tell us, how do you deal with failures? What keeps you going?
I have always believed, success and failures are the two sides of the same coin – and so if one comes, the next is bound to come.
But yes, like every other human, failures do put me off. On those grey days, I take a day off with my mom, remind myself of all the good things that I have done and restart the next day.
Do you have a mantra or motto for life?
My motto is a bit absurd as it’s self-made but it’s been the centre of my life. So here it goes: Believe in miracles and when life gives you the opportunity, be a miracle.
Has the pandemic hindered your future plans? How are you dealing with it?
Fortunately, I was one of those for whom Pandemic was instead a blessing. As my work model was always remote, there were no changes. Instead, I had some quality time with family alongside doing some consolidated planning for the future.
What do you have in store for the future?
Well, apart from writing, I am also an art enthusiast, so in the future, I want to continue what I do, alongside learning some new art every day.
I also wish to start blogging about art but not unless I am expert enough to talk about it to the world.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
Just one line “Do what your heart says, and don’t stop, no matter what. God Plans for you are far larger than your own!”
If someone wishes to choose your line of work, what is the advice for them? How do they go about it?
For anyone who wants to be a writer, I would say start with writing. Yep, basic but somethings just don’t change.
Write anything that comes in your mind – emotions, daily incidents or even rant. It can be anything – just write and don’t take any assignment lightly. Give your heart to it and it will come back to you in various ways.
To give you a tiny dose of motivation: I bagged my first client on my dissertation project! I am sure you now get the idea of what I meant by “Don’t take any assignment lightly” – not, even your journal page!
For detailed questions, newbies, you can drop in at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s follow Surabhi Kedia mantra and start doing what our heart says. Don’t stop, no matter what. God Plans for you are far larger than your own!”