Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Is writing emerging to be a serious career option for the Indian Mother?

Many an Indian mother today ends up as Stay-At-Home-Mothers (SAHM). For some, this phase is temporary (lasting a few months to years) and for many it is somewhat permanent (extending to a lifetime). For some, it is a personal choice (For e.g.: They don’t want to leave their children with maids / nannies / grandparents) and for many it is out of lack of choice. (For e.g.: A nuclear family with no real social support system or they can’t afford nannies / fancy day-care with one income)

So here’s the first thing | Being a mother and primary care-giver for your child in the initial parenting years can be an intense and lonely experience. It can drain you physically, mentally and emotionally (& even financially), and can take you away from social networks and connections – which are important for any human being. Especially if you are well-educated or / and have been working before, just going through every single day as the primary care-giver for your baby can be a challenge; and takes you through phases of emotional lows. During this period, a lot of mothers are exploring ways to express themselves, share, connect and engage with people from within the confines of their homes.

Here’s the second thing | Social media today is ubiquitous. And most Indian homes do have a laptop and internet connection at home. So, several new mothers attempt to solve part of the issues listed above in the virtual (online) world. One popular route is by writing blogs on topics of personal interest (Could be parenting, cooking, book reviews or just their personal thoughts). Not only does writing a blog provide a mother a channel to express herself, but also gives her some "ME time" for herself; and something to do on a daily basis which is really about "her" & not her baby or the family. In addition when your life revolves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24 X 7) around a “baby”, the interactions with other people through social media platforms provides some social / emotional / intellectual stimulation; and is a welcome break even if its for a few minutes. It does wonders to a mother's overall sense of well-being.

The good thing about blogging is that it is “good writing practice” for anyone. And practice does make one perfect. Hence, many a mother who continues blogging for months / years improves her writing skills over a period of time. As her baby  grows, several mothers are keen to resume active employment. But they are on the look-out for flexible working arrangements, and  freelance writing / content writing (online and offline) / business blogging / ghost-writing are great options – especially if you need to continue to work from home. So many mothers take up work involving writing! And with this comes more “writing practice and experience”; and of course some financial earnings! Not to mention professional connections and networks, which definitely help in the long run. Over a period of time, many mothers gain more confidence in their writing skills & also join communities and groups and start writing in more than one national / global forums.

Here's the third thing | Social Media is here to stay. And "Content is KING on Social Media" (Personally I think Content is the KING, Social Media is the Queen and together they rule the Online World! ). So if you have the skills to continuously generate compelling content, that's definitely a plus as far as your career is concerned.

And then moving ahead. Interestingly, for many Indian mothers - Their blogs are the starting platform to build a personal brand and reader base. At some point in time (when they have a book idea), they make the transition to books and serious writing; and end up as published authors. The good part is that there are many real-life success stories of many an Indian mother who has turned into a published author.. Examples include Shoba De, Kiran Manral, Preeti Shenoy, Rashmi Bansal, Yashodhara Lal, Judy Balan, Madhuri Banerjee, Sonja Chandrachaud. And almost all these Indian mothers are also regular bloggers.

Lastly - if you look at data, it is evident that the Indian publishing industry has been open to new authors / new book genres (Though I still wonder who reads all these published books) over the past few years. Also self-publishing is an alternate medium for writers to publish books (Though it is still new and evolving in India). Add to this the fact that book-writing / publishing is showing positive growth potential in the years to come, writing sure looks to be a serious career option for the Indian Mother.

That's my view.. What do you think? Is writing emerging to be a serious career option for the 
Indian Mother?  Leave a comment to let me know

Originally published on Women's Web

Linking this to the December 2013 NaBloPoMo at BlogHer

 

16 comments:

  1. Nice write up here!! While it's true that many a stay at home or working mother takes to blogging for the reasons you mentioned, and that their writing skills do develop over time, I'm not sure how many of them actually turn out to be successful published authors. A good many of them do author ebooks on various topics, mostly related to their blog's niche. I guess a really fertile imagination is as, if not more, important as good writing skills :-). Thank you again for posting this, Nischala, you've made some very valid points!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading.. Writing opens up many doors and windows. Its then upto the individual on how they leverage based on their context.

      Delete
  2. In my opinion, it builds an identity. Financial Independence does not come easy. That has to be built

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed Ritu. The importance of "personal identity" is so critical once you've become a mom! Somethings one has to do for yourself! - Just to find the "YOU" amongst everything else you do! Financial Independence is not easy, and takes a while.. Thanks for reading

      Delete
  3. Absolutely Nischala! There are so many brilliant mommies with good writing skills that it is not even funny! When I started my content firm The Wordsmith last year, it was with the sole purpose of helping women connect with their skills and collaborate on assignments. I also agree with Ritu in that writing gives an identity. It also helps us communicate. Financial independence is of course not an easy task..explains why I took on a full-time job last year. Now I am back to the grind again. So welcome back WAHM! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ritu - I know what you mean about the financial independence and WAHM ! But if you a SAHM, then it is a great option to start. Where it takes you depends on you..

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely, Nischala! It feels like you wrote my story. I am an MBA but I took a sabbatical both times when I had my kids. I started a blog purely as a diary. Then as it grew bigger, I used it as a showcase to dabble in some writing. Of course, I did a few online courses and built a portfolio of articles both published and unpublished. Luckily, it worked well and now I am a satisfied Content Writer who works from home, flexibly and makes a good income from it. I have been able to monetize my blog too. My writing work is today pleasurable, paying and I get recognition too with it :)! But I have one word of suggestion for those who jump into professional writing. Please undertake some courses and brush up your writing skills. The virtue of being a blogger does not make you a proficient professional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Rachna! Thanks for reading & sharing your success story. I love the fact that you use the words "satisfied" , "flexibility", "good income" - "pleasure" and "recognition" - If one can get all of that, what more do you need? Best wishes for continued success! And we'll stay connected

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Nischala! Nice connecting with you as well!

      Delete
  6. Valid points here.. though I think Bloggers and Writers fall into two spheres, and a few people belong to both. It is like even within writing, these two options demand a specific skill set. Some very talented people are able to manage both. But yes, blogging, or writing, or from blogging to writing are coming up as good options for the Indian mother. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vaisakh - Absolutely. Blogging and Writing have their similarities and differences.. And transition can happen either way. Point is it is a definitely feasible option for those willing to try

      Delete
  7. A thought that keeps occurring to me every time I come across a blog written by a stay at home mum.. nice write up there :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. It definitely keeps one engaged and connected but financial independence is tough. There is hardly any money in writing unless one is able monetize their blog or write a best seller. Good one Nischala.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Alka. I guess for many mothers, it is not really about the money as it is to do "something" constructive with their time.

      Delete