a woman wearing glasses and shoulder-length hair smiles at the camera
Dr Malini Davidas. Image supplied

Dr Malini Devadas is presenting the pre-conference workshop on Money Matters.

Malini completed a PhD in neuroscience and worked in medical research before realising she enjoyed the writing more than the laboratory work. She began her editing career in 2004, working in-house at a small consultancy firm; in addition to learning her editing craft, she also learned a lot about running a business.

In 2013, Malini set up her own editing and writing coaching business. Since then, she has spent much of her time studying marketing and realising that mindset is the biggest thing holding back most sole traders. She is currently completing a coaching certification so that she can help other editors increase their income by valuing their own skills and taking marketing action.

What will participants gain from attending your workshop?

I think that participants will gain insight into why they are not taking the action they need to grow their business. Let’s face it, it’s not rocket science to work out that if you want to increase your income then you either need to do some marketing to find more clients or increase your rates – or both. Yet, despite having this knowledge, many editors don’t do these things. Rather than simply giving workshop participants a list of marketing tips, which they may or may not implement, I want each participant to work out what is stopping them, so that they can make the changes necessary. If you are someone who likes to go to professional development courses and knows, in theory, what you need to do to grow your business but are not doing it, this could be just the workshop you need.

What are the pressing issues relating to your workshop topic?

It really upsets me to hear from editors who are working long hours every day yet not earning enough money to make a decent living. I became an editor in 2004 and have heard this refrain from freelance editors ever since then. Last year I decided to train as a coach so that I could help editors increase their income and boost our profession as well. We are highly skilled professionals and need to be recognised and paid as such. But it’s up to us to lead the way – we need to communicate about our craft with confidence so that other will follow.

What part of your course are you most excited about sharing with participants.

I’m excited about all of it! However, I think the best part will be when people are honest with themselves about what they really want from their editing business, particularly in relation to their income. When people do this, then they suddenly find it much easier to articulate a clear marketing strategy.

When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

I have played music for almost my entire life. Currently I play the piano for the choir (which I started, a few years ago) at my children’s school, play the French horn in a local amateur orchestra and learn the viola – hoping to do an exam later this year.

What are you reading at the moment?

I usually have a few books on the go. Currently, I’m reading When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro and listening to London Transports by Maeve Binchy. I have finally joined the 21st century and got into audiobooks! I want to walk more this year and also consume more books, so this is the perfect way to enjoy both activities at the same time.