Writer Priyanka Rao OPENS UP on quitting her stable job to pursue writing, family reactions, audio series The Return, learnings and more 

By Bollyy
New Update

Meet Priyanka Rao, a 25-year-old student hailing from Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Her journey from dedicating over three years to the education sector to quitting her stable job and taking up writing is both inspiring and daring. In 2022, she took a leap of faith, resigning from her job to become a full-time writer for Pocket FM. With a penchant for romance, Priyanka has successfully crafted two popular audio series, 'The Return' and 'Andhadhund Ishq.' Today, she shares her remarkable story with us.


Q.1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself, including your background and journey before becoming a writer for Pocket FM? 


Priyanka Rao:  I'm originally from Allahabad, now known as Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. I completed my MSC in chemistry from Allahabad University, and I received a job offer in 2018 from Azim Premji Social Organization, which aimed to improve the educational sector in government schools, particularly for teachers and students in Sirohi, Rajasthan. I worked there from 2018 to 2022.


Q.2) What motivated you to transition from your stable job in the education sector to pursue a career as a writer for Pocket FM?


Priyanka Rao: The transition was driven by a desire to continue my education and pursue a Ph.D., which wasn't possible while working. A friend who had worked as a professional writer at Pocket FM introduced me to the platform. It seemed creative and fun, so I gave it a try. After receiving validation from the team and the audience, I decided to quit my job and become a full-time writer in April 2022.


Q.3) How was your experience as a new writer? Were there any significant challenges you faced along the way?


Priyanka Rao: Initially, the transition was risky because my previous job provided stability and benefits, and I was about to receive a promotion. However, I felt the need for something new and wanted to continue my education. Becoming a freelance writer gave me the flexibility to do that. Challenges were minimal as my friend reviewed my initial draft, and I had a mentor, Shruti along with the entire team of Pocket FM who guided me through the process.


Q.4) How did your family, particularly your parents, react when you decided to leave your previous job and pursue a career as a writer for Pocket FM?


Priyanka Rao: My father was initially annoyed and upset when they found out I was leaving my previous job. He wanted me to continue in my old job. However, I explained my future goals and perspective, which helped him understand my decision better. On the other hand, my mother was the one person who was aware of my decision to pursue a career as a writer. She was supportive from the beginning and understood my aspirations. Her support played a crucial role in my journey, and I'm grateful for it.


Q.5) Can you share some insights into what you've learned about writing, specifically concerning creating engaging audio series content?


Priyanka Rao:  I've learned to craft better scenes, manage conversations, limit overboard dialogue, and keep listeners hooked. Understanding audience preferences has been a tricky but an important aspect to grasp as a new writer. I used to write character traits differently, Pocket FM team helped me refine my approach.


Q.6) How did the concept of "The Return" come about, and what was the inspiration behind the story?


Priyanka Rao: The Return captivated me from the start. It revolves around an independent single mother with a six-year-old daughter, and the unfolding drama fueled my passion for writing this story. I wanted to explore something different and unique. After discussing it with team Pocket FM, we worked together to develop this engaging audio series.


Q.7) Are the characters in the audio series "The Return" inspired by real-life individuals or experiences?


Priyanka Rao: The characters in "The Return" are indirectly inspired by real-life people who exist in society. As I continued writing, I realized that what I initially thought to be fictitious characters had elements drawn from real-life individuals.


Q. 8) Who has been your role model or someone you look up to as a writer?


Priyanka Rao: I didn't initially see myself as a writer, but looking back, my dear friend and mentor in Pocket FM, Swapil Jain, has been a source of inspiration.


Q. 9) How has Pocket FM as a platform impacted your personal and professional life?


Priyanka Rao: Pocket FM has had a significant positive impact on my life. It has provided a better work-life balance compared to my previous job, and the team has been incredibly supportive. It's one of the best decisions I've made in my career.


Q. 10) In your journey as a writer, what do you believe is the most valuable lesson or skill you've gained?


Priyanka Rao: The most valuable lesson I've learned is the ability to understand and meet the audience's expectations. I've honed my skills in creating engaging content, managing dialogues, and keeping listeners hooked. It's been a rewarding journey of personal and professional growth.

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