An optician turned full-time writer and entrepreneur, Shuchi Singh Kalraâ€™s life has had its share of ups and downs but the one thing she never let go off is her passion!
Born in Lucknow, she spent her formative years in Libya before her family shifted back when she was 10. She finished her schooling from Seth MR Jaipuria School in Lucknow and went on to study Optometry at the Bausch and Lomb school of Optometry. Then, worked at a leading eye hospital for a year and as she hailed from a family of doctors and professors, it was pretty obvious that her first choice would be becoming a doctor.
It did not take her long to realise that she was not cut out for the profession. She quit her job in 2005 and took up writing full time. Â At that time, she had no idea where she was headed or whether it was possible to make a living as a writer but she knew that she wouldnâ€™t be happy doing anything else. Her dream of publishing a book now seemed real. She started freelancing and her projects grew with time. She spent 16 hours sometimes to meet deadlines but had no qualms of overworking herself as she was thoroughly enjoying it.
It was only when she was pregnant and was advised complete bed rest that she had the time to stop and think about how to expand her writing business. She got the website designed, the content in place, networked with prospective clients and formed a team of talented and zesty writers. Thus, Pixie Dust Writing Studio was born.
PDWS is a writing firm that takes up writing and editing assignments for businesses of all sizes from across the world. They help with website content, company blogs, ebooks, bulk articles and book/content editing. Apart from renowned Indian companies, theyâ€™ve had clients from the US, UK, Dubai, Maldives, Greece, France, Spain, Australia, Canada, Singapore and even Sri Lanka. The idea is to provide bespoke, international standard and affordable writing and editing services to a global clientele. Talking about the challenges she faced while running her venture, she says, â€œThe writing industry in India is a highly unorganized one. There are no industry standards in terms of what a writer can/should charge and hardly any credible platforms where writers can openly discuss issues relevant to them. Finding good writers is not as easy as it seems. An ability to write decently is only one of the skills that are required for success in this field. Most writers I come across lack the commitment and professionalism. Writing is like any other profession and you canâ€™t expect to get anywhere if you keep treating it like a hobby.â€
Slowly, she learned the nuances of the trade and put her learning from her freelance period to use and overcame every challenge with a smile. When she started, she did not know the difference between print and online mediums and did not understand the definition of SEO but she kept learning and teaching herself. It was not easy, but Shuchi was a fighter whose passion for writing was above all.
How does a day in her life look like?
She quips, â€œA day in my life is pretty average. I pack off my child to school and I try to finish as much writing work as possible before she gets home. Afternoons are spent doing homework and other miscellaneous parenting things. Evenings are mostly family time. In between all of this, I squeeze out time to read, watch an occasional movie and work on my books.â€
With a pre-schooler at hand, freelance work, book writing and her home, she has her hands full all the time. She often hits the slump or loses the drive but never stops pushing herself towards the path she has chosen for herself. It is the same determination that has made her win clients who persistently come back to her with more assignments and spread the appreciation through word of mouth. Over the years, she had put in considerable effort in building an online presence and that has paid her well. Now she no longer goes scouting for clients â€“ they come looking for her.
She has authored two books – Done With Men & I am Big. So What!?Â
Through these books, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming an author. She fondly says, â€œAuthoring is a new-ish chapter in my life and Iâ€™m obviously a little anxious about it, but going by the positive response both my books have got, I think Iâ€™m off to a decent start.â€ A simpleton at heart, she draws inspiration from anything to everything â€“ a person, a conversation, nature or even an inanimate object. She loves to have deep meaningful conversations with people and loves to observe them and understand how their mind works. Hence, her dadâ€™s words couldnâ€™t have been truer. He says, â€œA rare combination of beauty, brains with a sense of humour, but not easy to deal withâ€.
On an ending note, she advises, â€œNo matter where you are in life or what you are doing, donâ€™t give up even if things donâ€™t seem to be working out in your favour. Throwing in the towel might seem tempting and easy, but always worthwhile to keep trudging along.â€
We at Storified.Me wish the very best in life and her future endeavours!