"Passion is Key When You Choose a Career in Writing" - Nikhil Kamath

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I am an author and food & travel writer from New Delhi. Apart from writing, I am involved in spreading awareness about climate change, sustainable development and how one can adopt a sustainable lifestyle. I also mentor school and college students on topics like blogging, content writing, novel writing and entrepreneurship.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing in 2011 with my blog The Salt and Pepper Food Guide. I enjoyed writing about food and travel and the various cuisines I came across, but I was curious about what else can be done in writing and so I started writing fiction and poetry. That is when I wrote my novel ‘It Was You...Always’ which got published in January 2018. Since I was still discovering the world of writing, I took a jump into writing on topics like Entertainment, Students’ Issues, Environment, Education, Climate Change etc. This was when I discovered the topics that I was interested in and loved to write about. I started writing on a freelance basis in 2016 when I knew that I had a fair knowledge about content creation, SEO, etc.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

It is completely financially stable. The income varies from a writer who does a full time job with an agency or a media house to a freelance writer. But with a boom in the consumption of digital content in the past 3-4 years, the demand for writers has gone up. One of the most interesting and highly paid jobs you can get is in Copywriting, which is writing for advertisements and products. Copywriting is tough as it requires you to convey a bigger message with less words and that is what makes it more rewarding too.

With an increasing number of media websites coming up, the requirement for bloggers has also increased for the purpose of generating daily content. So as I said in the beginning, it is financially stable and highly rewarding.

4. Who is your favourite writer and why?

There is no one favourite writer but there are multiple. Writers like Savi Sharma, Gyanesh Sahu, Anamika Mishra and Rochak Bhatnagar are some of the writers whose works I admire. Their style of writing and storytelling is very much relatable and you connect to it instantly. If we talk about non-fiction writers then ‘The Free Voice’ by Ravish Kumar was a book I read a couple of months ago and loved it. I don’t read non-fiction much but Ravish Kumar really made an impact with ‘The Free Voice’.

5. Where does your inspiration lie?

My inspiration majorly lies in the day-to-day activities and incidents that happen around me. In the pre-covid times I absolutely loved travelling in public transports like Buses and the Metro because you get to observe people, their behaviour and sometimes you end up finding characters for your stories like that. As a writer I always tell my friends and family that anything they say or any conversation we have might find its way in any of the stories I might write.

Finding inspiration in the daily activities also helps me to keep the content fresh and relatable for the people.

6. What does your typical day look like?

If we talk about the pre-covid era, then my typical day would start around 10 a.m. because I would have slept late the previous night and then I would have work engagements lined up from 1 p.m. onwards with meetings and shoots and everything.

Now all that has simplified to a certain extent, the day now sometimes starts as early as 5 or 6 a.m. My mom and I brainstorm ideas and recipes to shoot for my Instagram IGTV series Nikhil’s Kitchen Tales. Then I spent time writing blogs and working on the story for my next book. I have also started vlogging on Youtube so there is a lot of time spent in brainstorming content ideas and structures for that. And after all of this I sometimes attend webinars to keep myself updated with the latest trends around me.

In all of this, if in a particular month I have a batch of Content Writing and Blogging, then in the evenings I have sessions scheduled with my mentees.

7. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?

This is something that my mentor told me and it actually makes a lot of sense. Writing is a thankless job and sometimes it gets very boring, so what’s important is that you learn to embrace that boredom instead of letting go off it when it starts getting boring.

Choosing a career in writing will work out only if you’re really passionate about it and once you do end up choosing this as your career then writing everyday as a practice is very important. Write everyday for at least 30 minutes, this will help you enhance your skills and create your own style as a writer.

8. Which is your favourite book and why?

There are many books that are on my favourites list and the most recent addition to this list would be ‘Stories We Never Tell” by Savi Sharma. This story revolves around the life of an influencer and a normal guy and being an influencer myself there were so many things in the story that I connected with. I would highly recommend every influencer to read this book.

Apart from that ‘Start a Start-up from the Start’ is a really good story that revolves around the life of an entrepreneur who is building his first start-up and takes you through the various incidents that happen in his life. This book is a must read for the budding entrepreneurs and start-up enthusiasts.

- Nikhil Kamath (Wordpress)

Interview by - Abhirup Dey

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