Sunday, March 14, 2010

Growing Up: Absolute Write Blog Chain March 2010

It is time for Absolute Write March 2010 Blog Chain and I am writing this entry as a part of it. The topic is Growing Up. I am going to be 35 years old on March 22. So, I should be more than a ‘grown up’ person.
Before me, it was Leah Raeder and you can find her entry here:
I found some similarities with her background: childhood poverty, Robin Hood and so on. I had hardly any toy and even television came much later in my family.
Anyway, I am just lucky that there was a library in my area and I used to go there everyday for 2-4 hours. I was very fond of reading newspapers and the library looked like to me a real goldmine with 6-7 daily newspapers, 10-11 magazines.
I was the only child in the library and the librarian liked me a lot. Whenever there was a new book for children, he used to give me happily. Thus, in the school, I was somewhat an abnormal child who used to talk about fighting between Soviet Union and Afghanistan, Falkland War between England and Argentina, Iliad and Odyssey. Many of my friends still cannot understand what the benefit of knowing about these things is.
I started writing in newspapers and magazines seriously from 1995. At that time, I was studying in university. For next 3 years, writing was fun because I loved to see my name in print and whatever money I earned, I was happy. It was a very enjoyable thing for me. I used to write in some of the most popular newspapers and magazines in my city. So, some of my relatives, classmates and friends saw my writings regularly and it brought a lot of happiness on a weekly basis.
In 1998, I translated Virginia Woolf’s famous book ‘A Room of One's Own’ in my language (Bangla or Bengali) and it was published for 3 months serially (every Tuesday) in a very popular daily newspaper. I think that I was the first person from my country and language to translate this book. At that time, I was doing my MA in English Department of University of Dhaka. Some of my professors liked it and I received generous praise and encouragement from them. I still consider it to be the greatest achievement of my writing career. 
I had the dream that someday I would become a good writer like Orwell or Dickens. I dreamt that I would translate many short stories and novels from my language to English so that people of other languages can know about the literature of my country.
Then, I finished my studies and entered in real life. I had to earn money to pay bills and for many months, it was like that if I could not earn enough then there was a decent chance that I would end up in the street. So, my dream changed and I started to dream that I would earn enough money that someday I would not have to worry for going to the street. It was the growing up part for me. The lesson I learnt is that earning money must always be the first priority.
Fortunately, blogging became popular in 2006 and I was at the right time at the right job. Professional blogging removed this fear of going to the street as I was earning in US dollars, even just $1,000 became a huge amount money in my own currency. I started to enjoy this part of life and went after bringing traffic for my blogs. Then, I realized that this was not my dream as a writer. I was not writing. Instead, I was just blogging about topics that people were searching about in Internet.
Often, I am writing about the persons I never saw in my life, places that I never went. Quality is not that important but the traffic is important. This realization came a few months ago and it was like another stage of growing up.
Now, I am somewhat settled in my life and I don’t have to be afraid going to the street anymore but I have not much satisfaction from my work either. There is no solution to this dilemma. I don’t have online transaction facility in my country. I don’t have PayPal. Google Adsense is the only option of earning money through blogging for me. So, a beggar cannot be a chooser and I run after any topic that can bring good traffic for my blogs.
I guess that I have to wait another few years to grow up again and life will take another turn. I have to save some more money and then I can write about the things I always dreamt. My dream is that I would write a historical novel instead of ‘Tiger Woods Scandal’.
When I look at the street and see so many hungry people around me living under $1 day, I consider myself extremely lucky. In fact, thousands of people live in the streets around me and many thousands more live in the places with no electricity or running water facility. There is no hope for them, no future. After online transaction is legalized in my country, after Paypal comes, things would brighten up a lot for me. For the poor people, life is an endless struggle for getting food everyday.
After me is, RavenCorinnCarluk.


  1. Happy Birthday next week! :) To be able to see your successes and the paths they've gone is so much better than to have not taken any of them and have not hindsight. Hopefully in the future, as more technology comes your way, you'll be blessed with even more ability to go forward. :) All that anyone can offer is the encouragement to keep at it! :)

  2. It seems like you haven't given up on your dream, even if you're not at it yet. I think that's a key point of not growing up. Seems like adults don't dream any more.

  3. Great blog. It must be really sad to see so many people suffer from poverty all around you. Unfortunately, I don't see the same thing as I live in a relatively wealthy area of the country, but it still exists even though I don't see it. And, I'm quite poor myself. I'm living at home, trying to make a living so I can eventually move out on my own and fend for myself. Like you said, earning money must always be the first priority, is true. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to obtain that career you always wanted. I know I am once again. I've made important sacrifices to write my book, now it turns out that I'm putting it on hold to build my bank account.
    Good luck to you in your future and I wish you much success in becoming greatly successful in your writing career. Its great to finally meet another person who loves to write historical fiction:)

  4. Powerful post. It's the rare person who doesn't have to modify and mold those dreams into something that works with reality.

    I hope you can translate those stories of your country. I, for one, would love to read them.

  5. WOW Great blog post Razib! Amazing that you translated Virginia Woolf’s famous book ‘A Room of One's Own’ into Bengali and it was published for 3 months serially (every Tuesday) in a very popular daily newspaper! That is too awesome!

    This goes to show, we should never stop dreaming! I agree with Claire, I would love to read those stories as well.

  6. This is a great post. You seem to have it figured out what you want to do and you can visualize where you want to be. So many people do not have this. Once you have the monetization in place you will be on your way. Great job in overcoming the obstacles.