Meet the Writer: "I hope to help people with my writing," says Contributor Amy Shah, Physician by@turbulence

Meet the Writer: "I hope to help people with my writing," says Contributor Amy Shah, Physician

Amy Shah is a physician who crochets winter hats and scarves to donate to charity. She also teaches classes about how to make simple perfumes from essential oils at the local library. Her latest Hacker Noon Top story was an interview with a blind software developer who is also blind.
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Amy Pravin Shah HackerNoon profile picture

@turbulence
Amy Pravin Shah

Multipotentialite reader and writer. Visit my website at: https://amyshah.live/

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This story is a part of Hacker Noon's Meet the Writer series of interviews. The series is intended for tech professionals contributing the most insightful Hacker Noon stories to share more about their writing habits, ideas, and professional background (and maybe a hobby or two).


If you too would like to start contributing to Hacker Noon, you can do so here.

So let’s start! Tell us a bit about yourself. For example, name, profession, and personal interests.


Hi! My name is Amy Shah. My days are spent working as a physician, and my specialty is psychiatry. I like to crochet simple winter hats and scarves. I donate them to charity as part of an initiative I set up called the #100Hats Project. Every year, I do my best to make at least 100 handmade winter items to donate to people in need of warm clothing. I have done this every winter since 2017. Sometimes, people from the community donate yarn for the project or help make hats as well. In 2019, the project, in partnership with LVL1 Hackerspace, was awarded a small grant to help it continue. Also, I made my red beret in the picture on this page.

Interesting! What was your latest Hackernoon Top story about?

It was an interview with a talented software developer who is also blind. It brought the reader into his world and helped us all see why accessibility matters. I had told people in my digital community I was interested in featuring projects or stories for articles, and this developer showed interest in being interviewed. It was clear that he had a voice that needed to be heard.


Check out Amy’s story: Accessibility in the Workplace: "Companies Don't Give Me a Fair Shot," says a Blind Developer on HackerNoon: https://hackernoon.com/accessibility-in-the-workplace-companies-dont-give-me-a-fair-shot-says-a-blind-developer

Do you usually write on similar topics? If not, what do you usually write about?

This was the first time I had written about this topic, but I have done interviews for articles before. Usually, I write for myself: I write a daily journal. Since I have been writing in a journal more consistently I find that it’s easier to come up with creative ideas. Another source of inspiration was the book: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Now I have more than one copy of that book!

Great! What is your usual writing routine like (if you have one?)

My usual writing routine varies, but I love getting up early to write in my journal. I have also tried other journal formats like The Five Minute Journal and The Productivity Planner. Both are found at intelligentchange.com. Those 2 journal types are built-in with writing prompts. I found those to be more friendly for a busy person than a long-form journal. Staring at a blank sheet of paper is scary! Making it through a journal entry is worth it despite whatever time crunch I am facing.

Being a writer in tech can be a challenge. It’s not often our main role, but an addition to another one. What is the biggest challenge you have when it comes to writing?

I think the inner critic is hard to ignore. Julia Cameron calls this critic “your censor” in her book. Her book has been transformative for many people. I also found it enlightening. Ignoring your inner critic and just writing it down can be so hard. Like many writers, I focus on volume - on writing more. I try not to worry about quality or how the piece is going to be perceived.

What is the next thing you hope to achieve in your career?

I just want to keep writing! I find myself in a state of flow when writing. It feels so good to write that I would be happy just writing for myself. At the same time, I hope to help people with my writing as well.

Wow, that’s admirable. Now, something more casual: What is your guilty pleasure of choice?

My guilty pleasure is shopping Amazon for new books :)

Do you have a non-tech-related hobby? If yes, what is it?

I like to learn about perfume and natural cosmetics. I have taught classes about how to make simple perfumes from essential oils at the local library. Other classes I have taught or helped teach included how to make soap, lip balm, and bath bombs. I have gotten so excited about this topic that I read a few textbooks on the chemistry of perfumes.

What can the Hacker Noon community expect to read from you next?

I have several ideas! Also, I plan to do more interviews with interesting people.

Thanks for taking time to join our “Meet the writer” series. It was a pleasure. Do you have any closing words?

Thanks to Hacker Noon for this wonderful opportunity to write! I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience.

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