Maya Angelou said,
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
In our today’s #MondayMotivation blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we bring to you a woman who left behind a corporate job to pursue a career in something she loved doing more in comparison to a desk job. Meet, published author, as well as a Fiction and Travel writer, Salini Vineeth. She has three published books under her name already, and she writes tech columns for startups. So, what made her quit her engineering job and turn to full-time writing? And, from where does she draw the motivation to continue her writing passion? Let’s find out in her own words.
“I’m a fiction and travel writer. I also write tech columns for startups. I used to be an engineer by profession, however, I quit my job in 2018, after 10 years of being in the electronics industry. I am a keen traveler. From 2014, I have covered most of the archaeological destinations in India. I love ancient art and archaeology.
There was no sudden transition that got me into this field as I used to write from childhood. However, I didn’t think of making it into a full-time career. I rekindled my passion for writing through my travel blog pickpackgo.in where I write about archaeological destinations in India. Once this gained popularity and I began posting here regularly, then I started writing fiction as well.
There were no struggles as such, it was just the fact that I lost touch with my writing passion. Writing was with me as early as I could remember. As a child I used to read a lot. Somewhere on the way of my engineering career, I had lost my passion.
Even though I had a good job and cheerful office, I felt like something was missing. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I couldn’t muster the courage to let go off a highly paying job. I was in a great dilemma for many years.
It was a struggle to overcome those insecurities about money and take the biggest decision of my life. Another hurdle was my language. I had studied in Malayalam medium till my 12th grade and my language skills weren’t up to the mark. From 2014, I wrote every single day until I published my first book in 2018. Those four years of practicing and correcting myself was a difficult phase.
The turning point was when I published my first book in 2017 – a travel guide for Hampi. Post this, I got the confidence that I could become a writer. This happened was after the birth of my daughter Tara.
During my pregnancy, I had gone through a tough time which made me realize that life’s too short to do things that didn’t matter to me. So a year after the birth of Tara, I quit my job in the electronics industry and turned a full-time writer.
As to my motivation, I have ample people around me who push me to give my best. I have a very supportive family to start with. My mother is my biggest motivator. She is incredibly interested in my journey as a writer and she is my biggest fan. My sister is also into creative field – a painter. Even though not a great fan of fiction, my husband stands firm by my side. I am an alumni of BITS Pilani, we have a strong alumni network. Most of my content writing gigs have come from the start-ups founded by my alumni.
Being a part of such a supportive ecosystem motivates me to pursue this career. I am a big fan of the ‘connecting the dots’ speech by Steve Jobs. I always remember his words “Don’t Settle, Keep Looking”
The journey so far has been of learning and growing. I have published three books through Amazon Kindle Direct Publish. Hampi – History and Architecture, Magic Square – A novella, and Everyday People – A short story collection. My first vote of confidence came from the eShe magazine, where I won an all-India competition for flash fiction.
Later, my book Everyday People became one of the five finalists in Amazon PentoPublish 2019 contest and that was a huge milestone. Many of my stories have been published in anthologies.
I am in the last round of editing my full-length debut novel. It’s a novel about the urban dilemmas of my generation and the challenges we face – like depression, peer pressure, and toxic lifestyle. I am hoping to finish it this year. I am looking forward to finding a publisher for my new work. I also plan to write a series of archaeology-travel books to honor the ancient sculptors of India.
My biggest learning has been to let go of my inhibitions. I was really scared when I quit my job in 2018 December. I was worried that when the money would stop flowing into my account, I will feel vulnerable. To be honest, I was too proud to rely on my family, financially.
However, after being a writer I have learned that money is only a small part of our life. After becoming a writer, I learned that
“Work is the most important aspect of life. One needs to enjoy the work to have a wholesome life. I learned how much joy work can bring.”
To drop in a message to Salini, have a look at her many features and go through the raving reviews on her books, or to buy one or all of her books follow the links below:
Social media links:
Book buying links:
Awards and Accomplishments:
- Link to eShe competition result where Salini won an all-India competition for flash fiction.
- Link to PentoPublish competition result where Salini’s book Everyday People became one of the five finalists in Amazon PentoPublish 2019 contest
- Link to Salini’s author interview on Querty Thoughts.
- Mompresso review feature on Salini’s book Everyday People