Writers of Wittypen –  Merril Diniz

Merril Diniz

Last updated on August 2nd, 2023

Writer, musician, and interview host – meet Merril Diniz, our multi talented Witty writer who epitomizes the free and maverick spirit of her beloved Goa.

Scroll down to hear her talk about her motivations, challenges, and experience as a freelance content writer as she answers our questions for this week’s ‘Writers of Wittypen’ story.

“Tell us about yourself – your personal and professional journey.”

I’m Merril Diniz, a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and digital interview host, based out of my hometown Goa. In the past, I have played editorial and communications roles in diverse media, education, and consumer tech platforms, and digital agencies in Mumbai and Delhi. As remote work became an accepted culture around the world, I decided to pursue my first love, writing, full-time.

“What prompted you to become a freelance writer?”

I began writing a diary at age 12. With the encouragement of my parents, I began writing as a way to express myself. Writing also played an important role in my full-time editorial and communications work. But I was never able to dedicate enough time to it. So, there were several drivers attracting me to the freelance writing life.  

One, I had a deep desire to grow my identity as a writer. This requires time for introspection, reflection, and honing my craft. Freelance writing gives me the flexibility to experiment without barriers. This journey has just begun, and I am excited to see where it takes me.

Two, I also wanted the freedom to design my own daily schedule 365 days a year!

Three, this shift enables me to actively pursue other passions, prioritize time for family, and friends, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.   

“What are the primary domain topics you work on?”

I’m a writer specialized in creating long-form marketing and PR content for enterprise and consumer tech products/ platforms, which thrive at the cusp of innovation. The spectrum of businesses I have served includes fintech, HR tech, edutech, agro tech, logistics, and digital publishing. My strength lies in deconstructing seemingly complex topics, and making them consumable for a non-tech audience.

“Your tips for upcoming writers looking to work on the same.”

It’s important to build your domain knowledge so you can write in an informed manner. For me personally, my exposure to personal finance concepts, sustainability, consumer tech, entrepreneurship, the education sector, and digital marketing, helps bring context to narratives.

My second piece of advice is to bring empathy into your writing. Understand the mindset, challenges, and lived experiences of the audience that will be reading your content. Then write. 

Last but not the least, if you aim to be a full-time freelance writer, it’s important to build a basic financial framework, to make it a sustainable path. Track how much you earn, follow up on payments where necessary and create a budget for yourself. And yes, don’t forget to save and invest, so that your money keeps working for you (even as you sleep!).

“What are the challenges you face as a freelance writer on a daily basis? How do you overcome them?”

The core challenge is when a client or editor is unable to provide actionable feedback. With Wittypen I do not face this issue as editors like Priyadarshini, understand how to break down feedback to make it very focused and specific.

Actionable feedback is important as it brings efficiency and speed to the content delivery process. I believe that actionable feedback is a skill that needs to be cultivated to harness the strengths of a writer.

“Tell us about your experience working as a writer with Wittypen.”

I have been working with Wittypen for almost two years, and it has been an extremely pleasurable, smooth ride. I am grateful to my friend Niki Singh, a marketing professional, who recommended I connect with them. 

A key advantage is that the entire content management and delivery process is tech-enabled, which optimizes the experience for all stakeholders. And yet, the process has not lost its human touch.

I find that Wittypen editors also have great respect for writers. Writing is a task that takes up a lot of emotional labor. So, there’s a certain comfort and safe space created, when feedback is constructive, without the risks of things getting personal. 

Last but not the least, Wittypen functions in an organized manner. As a writer, this is extremely valuable, as it helps you organize your time.

“Apart from writing, what are your hobbies and interests?”

I moved back to my hometown Goa last year after spending many years away. So, I’m using my time to reconnect with family and friends, and rediscover the beauty and culture of my home state. I do hang out at the beach a lot with my sister. 

I now also have the bandwidth to pursue my other love, which is music. I can dedicate time to music practices and performances because I can redesign my day as required.

Other than that, I enjoy learning Portuguese via Duolingo, which leverages AI and machine learning to make learning customized and addictive. The good kind.  

I’m also looking forward to ramping up my blogging adventures in the coming year on two of my favorite topics – Women and their relationship with money, and spotlighting sustainable personal care brands.  

“Lastly, please share your favorite book and current reading list.”

I am part of the Women On Wealth Book Club, which meets once a week to discuss books connected to women and finances. Two books in particular deeply influenced my thinking. The Psychology of Money helped me rethink my temperament and mindset around investing in the stock market, while The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness, propelled me to take the plunge towards the BYOB (be your own boss) lifestyle.

I recently also completed The Tenth Story by Manisha Singh, a compilation of stories of women who powered through tough times with a mindset of gratitude, and decisive action.

I am now reading Goa: A Daughter’s Story, which unpacks 450 years of Goan history. 

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