This week we’re honored to have Deanna Pai on the BLND blog! A freelance writer, editor, and copywriter currently based in New York, Deanna has written about beauty and wellness for magazines such as Vogue, Women’s Health, Self, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Better Homes & Gardens, and regularly contributes to sites like NYMag’s The Cut and Glamour.com.
With over a decade of experience, she’s sharpened her copywriting skills over the years with health and beauty brands, including Lancôme, Tampax, and True Botanicals, and has also served as a consultant for Covergirl and Nexxus.
Please welcome Deanna!
I’m Deanna, a writer and editor in New York City.
How did you get into journalism? Was this always where you saw yourself?
I’ve always been a voracious reader; I didn’t have many friends growing up, so I read books during recess, lunch, etc. In college, I was majoring in English Literature while fulfilling dental school prerequisites—my parents are dentists—but eventually dropped the latter. I just loved reading and writing. Also, I got a C on my biology midterm.
From your experience, what makes a great story?
My idea of a great story is something that dispels my preconceptions about something or makes me see it in a new light. A lot of that, for me, comes down to the angle.
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
My essay series in Cosmo about having cancer in my 20s. I’m so proud of it.
What is one thing you wish the public knew about your job?
Being a freelance writer can be rewarding in so many ways, and is far more than a synonym for “unemployed.”
Wake up at 6, run, eat breakfast, and, in non-pandemic times, find a good window seat at a coffee shop for working (and talk to my dad on my walk there; he’s called me every morning ever since I was sick).
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to cold-email people. I cold-emailed the beauty director who, a year later, connected me to my first post-graduation job at More. I cold-emailed a beauty editor who now assigns me freelance work. It really can get you places!
When you’re not writing, what can we find you doing?
I’ll be running, hiking, reading, watching literally whatever Netflix wants to put in front of my face and, these days, playing an online version of Settlers of Catan with my siblings.
Three words that describe you? Tough, loyal, thoughtful
#1 place on your travel bucket list? New Zealand—okay FINE, the Hobbiton set specifically
Go to drink order? The second least-expensive wine
Favorite restaurant? Rubirosa, for the white pizza
Where can people follow you? On Instagram @deannapai, though I’m minimally active; on Twitter @deannapai, but at your own risk