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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Dilemma of Writing vs Paying Bills

If you are a writer then you have to struggle with money. Of course, if you come from a rich background like Tagore then it is not a problem. Otherwise, it is a big problem. After doing Masters from English Department of Dhaka University, my goal was to write for newspapers and magazines only. There were basically three problems. First of all, the amount of money the newspapers and magazines would give me was no way enough to pay my bills. For example, for Translating Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’, I got just $50 in 3 months. You can easily do the math that it would not pay any bill for me even if I lived in a village.
The second problem was that I could not sell enough articles in the magazines. For example, once, I wrote nearly 20,000 words in a single issue of a magazine. The cover story was written by me. 4 Interviews (in English Language) were done by me. There were some 3-4 short articles and reports. In the end, I guess, I wrote 22 pages of that issue of that monthly magazine. In most of the articles, my name was omitted (as the wrier) as they thought (and I agree) that it was not decent to show that more than half of the issue of the magazine was written by just one person.
The third problem is that in my country, most newspapers and magazines do not have any standard policy on paying the writers. For example, sometimes, I get the money within one month while sometimes, I get money after 4-5 months of publication. Naturally, my landlady won’t understand that and you can easily conclude yourself the trouble I would suffer. Anyway, this is life and I cannot change it. 

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