Hailing from the beautiful state of Goa, Flexcia D’souza is an avid blogger who manages two blogs of her own, one amongst which is a niche Fashion blog while one is a general blog where you get to read features, book reviews, poems and articles written by her. The 19 year old is pursuing her final year Bachelors in Arts, majoring in Journalism at St. Xavier’s college, Goa. Besides being a voracious reader and writer she is a freelance model having worked with several photographers and designers. Below are excerpts from a freewheeling conversation with her:
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself your aspirations and your hobbies!!
I am unlike many people my age. I love reading…anything! For that matter, I like anything creative. Right from composing poetry to designing clothes, and anything in between. I love cats, books, bullets (bike) and chocolates.
2. How you first got involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?
I have always loved writing. For that matter that is the only thing I am very good at. Right from my school days, I am involved in a lot of writing. I participated in a lot of essay writing competitions. But that was it. I never took it up seriously. I nurtured a dream of being a fashion designer. And writing was nowhere close to it. It is during my class 12 that I realized I was gifted. My English teachers in school mentioned it quite often, but I never paid it any heed. But in class 12 I spent a lot of time writing. That’s when I realized my inclination. That was the time I decided to quit the science stream and instead pursue my future studies in english literature.
3. Were you always interested in fashion genre?
As I said I wanted to be a fashion designer. So I read a lot of fashion related articles on the local newspapers and fashion magazines like Femina. That always kept me abreast of happenings in the industry- trends, upcoming fashion designers, supermodels, etc. I did a lot of sketching designs during school and SS days. But when I joined college (Bachelors in Arts) my majors were english literature, psychology and journalism. This was very interesting. And I focused on journalism. Started my internship, got a part time job writing for a magazine, contributed articles to local newspapers and worked on my blog (http://www.flexciadsouza.blogspot.com). This helped me a lot. But it was during my final year at college that I had to create a niche blog. My idea was to create food blog, but many of my classmates chose the subject. I wanted to create something different. So I chose fashion. And enjoyed writing.
4. How did Goenkar magazine happen?
Well yeah that is one very good thing that has happened to me on the career front besides times of India. The company ‘Hello Pulications’ produces a number of magazines. They had this particular magazine which had two editions- one for the north and one for the south. They thought of expanding it and make it one common edition. That is when the senior correspondent Basil roped me in. I was given two columns to handle and I was instructed how to go about with it. This was when I was nearing the end of second year of college. Since it is a monthly, I got ample time to manage filing my stories.
5 .Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
umm… I am clueless. I keep changing minds!
I am a dreamer. I get some stupid crazy things in mind and I do just that. That makes me look insane at times. But more often than not, I get the desired appreciation for my work.
7. Were you good in studies, what was the most interesting part?
Yes! I was good in studies. I believe education alone can help you succeed in any field you chose. I participate in a lot of activities, do a lot of things.. My mind is all over the place. But I concentrate in class, and that is what helps me score well in exams.
8. What’s your fashion statement, your thoughts on that especially In Indian scenario?
Fashion in the country is growing. India is making a mark in the international fashion scene. There is still a long way to go.
9. Any specific tips you have for newbie writers who want to make it in the Industry?
You don’t need to struggle hard to be a writer. If you have an idea you want to work up on, put it on paper, and publish it if you feel it is good enough. It is not difficult to get published in today’s world. But the difficult part is to get readers read your work. You just need to be really good…coz you have to compete with many others out there who are already established. Why would anyone want to read anything written by a newbie when they already have something written by someone well known? Yeah to reach there it is not only dedication, but patience. You can’t be the most sought after writer overnight. The readers have their own favorites. They don’t accept change easily. Unless your writing has something striking that captivates them. At the initial stage your only worry is- getting published. That can be easily taken care of with the number of newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs we have at the moment. Just pick up some really good articles of yours and start mailing it to local newspapers. I am sure at least a few will get selected. Once you realize that they are getting accepted, move towards a bigger platform. Once you get noticed, you’ll get offers to write for them. So just have patience and be passionate about what you are writing. Why not write about topics that are close to your heart?
10. How do you manage your time for the places you work at and your blog- blogger and wordpress and other ventures, let’s talk about all of them.
Well initially I started with my internship with times of India during my first year in college. That was the time I learnt a lot and gained recognition. Soon after I got placed there as a student stringer and was asked to cover campus stories, Press conferences and stories at the panchayat level. That became like my part time job during vacations. Then I had a stint with local English magazine. I started working there in November 2012. I had a lot of freedom in choosing the type of stories. That being a small establishment, the learning experience nor the pay was as good as ToI, but it was fun and there was less pressure. Then in March 2013 Hello Publications were staring with Goenkar magazine, and I was asked to write an article. And soon after I was appointed as the special correspondent and was allotted two pages. I have been there since then. It has been an amazing experience. Meanwhile I also did an internship with a Public relations firm ‘Perfect Relations’. That was a memorable time. It was like a much needed break from writing. Since February 2014 I contribute to a fashion magazine ‘Fashion’, which has its head office in Pune. Besides I manage my blogs which gets decent traffic.
11. What’s the biggest mistake you have committed?
Trusting the wrong people!
12. what about your childhood, were you always fashionable?
Never! I was one of those you could easily categorize as a geek. For that matter, I still am. I still wear those black rimmed glasses everywhere I go. There are times when I like to dress up during certain occasions or events, but usually I am very simple.
13. What is your fashion statement, what does it mean to you?
I like wearing bright colours. It helps elevate my mood. I like wearing chaotic prints, which describe my state of mind.
14. A lot of people are interested in for the money earning potential of a writer. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from it? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I go by the adage, “Never do anything you are good at for free.” If you are good at your work, it is natural to expect money from it. There is nothing wrong in expecting money. But that should be your secondary concern. Write passionately, and the satisfaction of getting your byline is much more than getting a paycheck. In the beginning work towards proving yourself. Try to improve yourself. If you look at the money, you will never be able to grow.
15. What motivates you most in life?
Dreams and Love!
16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your work?
Let your work speak for itself. I work towards becoming a better person. I experiment in different kinds of writing, and see what works best for me. Switching genres also helps me rejuvenate. When I write for some established media houses, the byline alone helps. I don’t need to do anything to gain visibility. I write a bit of poetry. I make it a point to mail a copy to the local newspapers hoping they publish it. And most of the times it gets published. Secondly I never stopped writing since the day I started off in the media field. I continued writing- how ever big or small it may be. I believe that is one way you can create a mark for yourself. Besides I self-publish my matter on my blog on promote the links on social networking sites. Thus I make it a point to reach my writings to people.
17 What was the most challenging moment in your content development process and why?
Getting interview appointments. That is the most tedious process.
18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite writer. Name yours and why?
They keep changing. Right now I admire Ethel Da costa.
19. What is the story behind your social media journey was it by chance?
The social media helps you develop contacts and is the easiest way to promote your work.
20. Your connection with any others writers or collaborations and what your efforts on that?
21. Do you think you get the raw deal when you were starting off, was it difficult?
Staring off wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. When they know you are new, with no god-father in the industry, you get tricked. But I have learnt my lessons and that is definitely going to help me.
22. Five adjectives that describe you.
Talkative, dreamer, compassionate, focused, determined
23. What is that thing that you would say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
My past experiences, both good and bad.
24. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Yes! Very easily. The negatives always inspire me to do better, while the positives just make me blush.
25. Do you plan to do more in collaboration?
Nah! I have a difficulty in team work. Ideas clash, it gets difficult. I like to work at my own pace, in my own way.
26. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
I read a lot of Romance fiction and crime thrillers. In newspapers/ magazines, I avoid politics, while I love the page3 and features section.
27. Words for me and my blogs www.MyMagicJobs.com and Blogger Interviews.
It is a great initiative. I wish you all the best.
28. Tell us the Next thing we will hear from you.
I am acting in a Konkani music video, shoot of the same is scheduled in the first week of April. And there is a fashion show I am walking the ramp for during approx the same time. Besides, I am focusing on my final exams.
Rahul Miglani : The Interviewer : This Interview has been amazing , wishing you best of luck.