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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aim in Life: Dream vs Reality

I think that it was the year 1983 and I was a student of 3rd grade (grade 3). Our English teacher asked us to write a short essay on “Aim in Life”. Most other students wrote that they wanted to be doctors, engineers and teachers and this way, they wanted to help the society and country. I just wrote that I wanted to be a journalist because I liked it. I wrote nothing about helping the society or developing the country. My essay was poorly written but the teacher liked it and she even praised me.
From that age, I knew that I wanted to be a journalist. When the time of getting admitted to university came, I wanted to study Journalism but my parents convinced me to study English literature because earning money was very easy from English background. You don’t need to be a top student. They also told me that I could become journalist even studying English and many of the top journalists and newspaper columnists in my city were from English background. So, I happily went to English Department and I enjoyed studying English Literature.
Then when the time of Masters came, I did a shift and studied Applied Linguistics and ELT instead of continuing literature. This time, my parents did not try to convince me but I took the decision myself as money is always an important factor for the only son of a lower middle class family in South Asia. I started writing in newspapers and I saw that because of my skill in English I could easily translate for newspapers and magazine. In fact, while I was a Masters Student, I translated Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One's Own’ in my language and it was published serially in 1998 in one of the most popular dailies of our country. I received a lot of praise from some of my teachers but I discovered a very tragic thing- it did not bring good money.
Then after finishing University, I decided to become a teacher and I worked as a teaching assistant and Lecturer in several universities. I did not stop writing in newspapers but a change happened. I noticed that it was easier to earn money by writing about computer and Internet or IT.
I realized the potential of Internet 8 years ago and I left university job and I started teaching myself about Internet and computer. For 4 years, I suffered a lot of money worry but I became sharp in my field. I became one of the top ICT journalists in my country. I still remember that in 2004, I wrote 6 cover stories at a stretch in 6 months for a computer magazine. However, I again discovered that in a third world country, unless you come from a well off background, you cannot survive as a writer. Yes, there are some exceptions but exceptions are exceptions.
I got married in 2006 and realized that if I wanted to earn money by writing then I had to try my luck at Internet. Fortunately, Blogging was flourishing that time and I got the opportunity to write in one of the good blog networks and they paid enough money. I could pay my bills and even save some. I started with writing about business but soon discovered that entertainment and sports brought a lot of traffic and there was some decent amount of money to be made in these fields. So, I devoted myself to write about movies and sports and saw impressive success. After all, traffic comes from the things that people search. Advertisers run after people and we bloggers run after advertising money.
In January 2009, the great recession came in global economy and I saw that if I wanted to survive I must go back to the topic of business and technology. Then, in July 2009, first my wife and then I became seriously sick.
I have been sick for the last 7 months and from 1 February 2010, I am again going back to full time work as I feel better now. Today, I was thinking that what should I write about? Business, Technology, Sports and Entertainment- I have four options. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, good sides and bad sides.
Most probability, I will go back to writing about South Asian Business in my South Asia Blog. This is the thing I know very well and enjoy. This time, I am going to try totally to stick to it.
Thus, in the end, you can see that I could more or less implement my aim in life but life was full of ups and downs. Well, my dream has changed a bit too. In the past, I dreamt that I would become very famous and successful as a journalist and would someday work for BBC or CNN and get prestigious awards.
Now, I really don’t have these dreams. May be, I have realized my limitations as a writer and I know that I do not belong to that league. More than that, I dream to have satisfaction from my works and life. Fortunately, I am very lucky and happy in my couple life and now my dream is that I have the same kind of happiness after 50 years. I don’t mind for having a mediocre career as long as I have satisfaction from my work and marriage life. I got this kind of change in dream after seeing so many people unhappy in life and work.
What about you? Could you fulfill your aim in life? Has your dream changed? 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Don’t Expect a lot from Yourself in Tough Times

The last two days have been nothing short of disaster. I had to run a lot and could not write that much. I felt very bad naturally but then, I realized that the next 3 days, I am free and now, I can write from tomorrow. When things are not good then don’t expect a lot from yourself. This can put a lot of mental pressure and then your productivity will get hurt. For the next 3 days, I am totally free and this time, I must work.
For this, I need good mental condition. I need freshness and energy and confidence. However, if my mind is full of stress for the lack of any writing for the last two days then I surely cannot do well in the next 3 days.
So, today, I a trying to keep my mind fresh and tomorrow, write something in my blogs. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back to Normal Writing for a Day

If you read my entries these days then you must have become tired of my whining all the time that things are very tough for me. On the one hand, my health has been consistently bad for the last 6 months and in our small network, we have been missing two of our regular bloggers for quite some time now and it has put me in the most challenging condition in my blogging career of 4 years.
Today, one of the bloggers has come back from long sickness and it helped me in every way. So, I feel relaxed and because he did his part of the job, I can now work on my part in a calm mood.
I learnt a valuable lesson today. It is difficult to work under pressure. I was good at working under the pressure and meet strong challenges and deadlines. However, bad health and continuous mental stress have their toll on me and I cannot do that anymore.
My health has been improving lately and it is helping my mind. So, perhaps, from today, I can focus on my writing more and do works regularly.
I need to focus on dealing with mental pressure better. I don’t know if meditation would work for me. However, I really need to now deal with pressure.
Well, at least, today, I don’t have any pressure and I do not need to think of the work of others in my network. I just can focus on my own work. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just Try to move and go pass the Block

I was at a loss about what to write in this. I try to update it more regularly. It does not matter if my entries are no upto the mark. I know that I can write well now it is not the time for that. Instead, it is the time for just continue updating the blog and some other blogs. So, this is the thing I am doing now- just updating the blog with this entry.
If you are reading it then I apologize to you because it has nothing- no substance. However, if you fall into similar problem someday then just remember the lesson. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Never Give Up: Never, Never and Never

It was a bad day today. I could not work and to be honest with you, I have been fighting against excessive weight. I have been fighting against obesity and for the last 6 months, I could hardly work. Now, my health is some better and my mind is some more fresh but still I don’t have physical or mental strength. I have lost nearly 10 KG and I have to lose another 15 at least. I have to again start a very tough diet regime from 1 February 2010 (just after 10 days). Sometimes, life gets very frustrating as I cannot concentrate on my writing. It gives me a lot of pain. Then, I have seen much worse in life.
Life is a very complicated and tough thing. However, you have to survive and move forward. You have to deal with the challenges of each day.
That is why, never give up your dream and hopes. My income took a serious beating in the last 6 months. My blogs lost traffic immensely and I am back again to the same level of 2009 January or even worse. The irony is that I feel happier than the past. I feel happier because I have a dream now to be a good writer or blogger. I am more hopeful. I now know that to reach to the dream there will be some obstacles and perhaps, I could pass one big obstacle in life- health.  

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mental Calm is very Important in Writing

We dream of having happy and peaceful life but the reality is that life is not idea. It is full of stress. Modern life is not good anyway either. I have noticed that if you want to be a writer then having mental calm is a must. It is not easy and your life is full of problems. However, try to evaluate the problems. How many of them really that bad? For example, are you upset now that your favorite lost a football match last night? Is it really that big of a problem to destroy your peace?
I am sure that if you try to look hard then you will find that there are many problems that should not destroy your calm.
So, if possible try to make a list of these problems and try to get rid of the problems that are somewhat artificial. Second thing is that try to have a closer and more emotional relationship with your spouse. This can really helpful in bringing calm in your mind. A good marriage is the best blessing from God but we often do not understand this matter.
Then you can really write in a good way. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back to Writing Again Happily

If you have read this blog for the last few weeks then you might have noticed that I expressed my frustration for the last few weeks on a regular basis as I have been suffering from sickness. Fortunately, for the last 2-3 days, I could write some more and I feel very happy. It is like that I am back in business again and it gives me a lot of happiness. Well, the main mistake I made until now was that I was trying to put a lot of pressure in my mind for writing in the normal way. However, my health was very weak and my mind got fatigued. What I should have done at that time was that I should have only written the things I liked.
The other day, I understood this matter and as a result, I decided to write mainly in Asianbiz blog. I started Blogging in July 2005 with this blog. Thus, I went back to my roots. These days, I am writing more in this blog. I wish that very soon, I start writing a short story and publish in this blog. I enjoyed doing it a lot. I also like translating from Bangla to English and it gives me a lot of mental pleasure.
So, next time, I fall into this kind of problem that I lose the energy to write about business, technology or sports or in other word write for earning money, I must try writing about literature. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Writing is the Only Thing I can do: What about You?

Today, I was thinking about my skills. I felt that I really have no other skill in life. I cannot ride a bicycle, climb a tree or climb mountains. I do not know how to drive a car or a motorcycle. In fact, I really have no skill except just one- writing. Yes, I can write and I love to write. It does not matter if others don’t like my writing but I like it, enjoy it and dream about it. For the last 6 months, I have been suffering from bad health and could not write enough. So, today, I felt very bad and then I realized that I must start again seriously doing this work.
I have to get back the fun I used to have. I don’t need to think of money or getting traffic. I don’t need to think whether my writing is good or not bad. I just need to do it and do it for my personal enjoyment. There was a time when whatever I wrote, with it, I could not earn any money but I liked it a lot. I wrote and then read and then burn or tear the pages. I was foolish to do so but I enjoyed them a lot. This is the thing I have to get back. Unfortunately, these days, my head is more filled with revenue and page views than writing itself. When I write something and it does not catch Google or other search engines then I lose interest and this way, my motivation goes down. In fact, I know how to write for search engines and get traffic and even sometimes my entries get nearly 100 comments but this should not be.
I have discovered that this kind of writing may bring money and it is very much necessary for income (as blogging is my only income source) but getting totally obsessed with it is a very bad thing. It takes away the life spirit, energy and encouragement in life. In fact, more than sickness, this is my main problem at this moment and only today, I discovered it. This blog itself is the best example of what I mean. I studied English literature and I love it but in this blog, I hardly wrote in the last 4 years.
I should have written much more here. I should have regularly written short stories or translated short stories from Bangla Literature to English. However, I did not feel any strong motivation because this kind of writing does not bring revenue. I need to earn money, no doubt about that. Everyone needs to do that and this is the right thing to do in life. On the other hand, there should be fun in writing. The best kind of fun in writing comes through writing a short story or a novel (as I cannot write poems).
I am passing very tough days both physically and emotionally. My productivity is all time low in the last one decade. Unfortunately, two other members of my team are also suffering same problem and they are even less productive than I am. So, it is often frustrating but then, today, I felt that perhaps, this is a good opportunity for me to get back to doing something that I really enjoyed most.
Writing is the only thing I can do and I want to get back to it. I was always good at motivating others and now, I have to motivate myself. I never needed any motivation to write. I enjoyed it and it came to me spontaneously. Now, I have to do it again- write spontaneously. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Write from your Heart: The Only way to Ensure Success

It was 4 years ago this time- third week of January 2006. I was in another country and I went there to get married (I met my wife through Internet). Before that, I left my job in my own city and in the country, there was no way of earning money as I did not know the language. So, the only thing to be done was to apply for writing jobs or works in Internet. Nothing good happened for one month and on 19 February 2006, I started writing in my Asianbiz blog again. On 20 February, I started this blog: Literature Blog.
At that time, I had no idea about earning money through blogging. Yes, I already opened Adsense and put Adsense Code on my blog nearly 6 months ago but I had no idea about getting traffic or earning money. I needed to earn money desperately but I was at a loss and I blindly gave all my heart to writing quality entries. When I look back to those days, I realize that I tried with all my heart. My blogs did not bring any success immediately but I got a blogging job at Know More Media Network. I got selected to write in South Asia Biz. I again gave all my heart and tried to develop the blog.
At first, it was very difficult to get traffic. However, after one year of trying, the blog became strong and I learnt the secrets of getting traffic through search engines. Then in December of 2007, a very bad disaster happened. Know More Media was penalized by Google for selling text link advertisements and although Know More Media continued paying us (the bloggers) until July 2008, things started to fall apart from December 2007. Know More Media was closed and the rest is history. I really miss the network as they were very good in every possible way to their bloggers.
2008 was a difficult year for me and I could just hang on. Then at the beginning of 2009, I along with 2 of my students tried for two blogs- South Asia Blog and Sports37 and both of them achieved tremendous success with in just 4-5 months. Of course, it was not easy to achieve good success. I had to again try with all my heart. Fortunately, my two students helped me a lot.
Then again, I suffered a bad disaster. I did not have idea about shared hosting and when these two blogs reached page views of more than 100,000 in a month, the hosting fell apart. I used WordPress.org blogging platform in the two blogs and I had to dismantle them and transfer them to Blogger hosting of Google in June 2009.
Well, then a new disaster happened. On July 2009, my wife and I both became very sick and we are still not fully fit. I cannot work even 25% of past now. Thanks God that my health is gradually coming back and I feel some better in the last few days.
I wrote this background story about myself because I have noticed that my blogs have become weak for 2-3 reasons. First of all, for the last 6 months, we could not work well and as a result, they have become some weak. We lost some back links as two popular blogs dropped the links of our blogs from their blog rolls. Thus, our traffic has decreased or at least not increased and that is why, income has not increased either.
Thus, again, I find myself back to the pavilion and I know that I have to again try from my heart. I have not gone back to the condition of 4 years ago as I have decent income now from my blogs. However, I really like to again write from my heart just like 4 years ago. It was a very tough time but I enjoyed writing. It is the only thing on earth that I can do. I think that I can do it quite well and it is something I really enjoy.
I lost this enjoyment last two years because I had to deal with many problems- personal and professional both. Now, my mind is calm and I think that I am ready for another round of fighting for my career. Sometimes, I feel like the movie ‘Rocky’ because I see success and then I fall flat and then I try again with all my heart.
Living in a third world country has one good side- you don’t need to earn a lot of money to survive. However, there are some nasty limitations like you cannot have a PayPal account. It takes many weeks to encash your Adense Check. Fast Internet is still a dream. Fortunately, at last, I have got Wimax and I now get a speed of 20-30 KBPS.
So, I have to again make a new effort and try from my heart. If you are struggling as a writer, I would give you the same advice- write from your heart. This is indeed the only to become successful. Writing is not an easy profession and it is too much full of uncertainties. The global recession only made things much worse. 
One good thing is that if you really try from your heart and give your best effort then there is a good chance that you will earn enough money to make a living. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If Shakespeare Were Alive Now!

William Shakespeare is perhaps the most popular poet and dramatist in history. He is still very popular in our time. If he were born in our age then perhaps he would become a movie writer who would write mainly for TV. He would become a billionaire. He would also sign many deals with many sponsors.
I wonder if this is the problem of writers of our time. They can earn a lot of money easily compared to the past. People like Shakespeare or Dickens had to struggle a lot to earn through writing. Now, if you have some skill in this field then money is no problem. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why You Must not Despair as a Writer?

Despair is similar to gloom or depression. If you are a writer then you know that you have to face several problems. First of all, earning money is always a big challenge for most writers. You have to deal with rejections and sometimes, you may feel that you are not getting good recognition despite writing well. These problems are natural parts of being a writer. Still, you should not despair simply because then it will be very difficult for you to move ahead in your field.
Always, remember that writing is a mental process and you must be cheerful and optimistic. Try to have positive energy. For example, earlier today, I was sad and depressed. Then writing became very difficult or impossible for me. Then, I could cheer up myself that things are not that bad for me and I have great potential. This positive thinking helped me a lot to overcome the despair and I could find some hope again.
Now, I am back to my computer and writing this entry. Before that, I wrote another entry. In fact, the best way to fight against despair is to sit on your writing table or PC and then do some actual writing.

I won’t Give up on Writing: I Simply Won’t

Today was a very frustrating day for me. It has been very difficult 6 months for me because I have been suffering from bad health and overweight. Secondly, the team I a managing, all the members have also suffered from one or another kind of problem. For the last few days, because mental pressure and frustration, I am finding it difficult to write. Today, I could hardly write anything and it was really a very day. Now, I am trying to write something. I must not despair in this kind of dark time. I know that things would become better soon and I should not become so much frustrated.
In fact, things are very well for our blogs. That is perhaps why, I felt so frustrated today. Now, if we can work we can jump to the next level. In fact, everything looks to be bright now but we cannot work every day. All of us have improved a lot and I really feel that it is the moment for us to snatch success and glory in Blogosphere. Even the worst of economic recession is over.
Well, perhaps the best way to recover from the mental pressure and frustration is to write about the things that I can write very well. Until others can come back, I can write whatever comes to my mind in some of the blogs. 

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Are you afraid of Rejections?

To be honest, yes, I was afraid of rejections in freelance writing and journalism. However, after 15 years of writing in newspapers and magazines, I have learnt that rejections are a normal part of freelance writing. So, now, I am not afraid of it anymore and I can accept is very easily compared to the past. Now, I know that if I have to focus on my writings and I cannot ensue that all of my writings will be published. Well, now a days, I am mostly in blogging and here, this problem does not exist. So, if you are not very comfortable with rejections then you can focus on blogging. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Don’t Give Up Your Habit of Reading Books

I spend many hours with my PC and read a lot in Internet. However, I noticed that most of the time, I am reading news or blog entries and I don’t read books more. As a result, when I see anything long, it becomes some difficult for me to read. I was very fond of reading novels and I like Dickens and Orwell. In Internet, many books are free and Project Gutenberg is the best place to download books. You don’t even need to go to a library.
I was always an avid reader but now, I don’t read books anymore. My habit got changed so unknowingly that even I did not notice about shi change for many months. Yes, sometimes, I read a book or two but it is an exceptional thing. Most of the time, I don’t do it. In the past, it was just the opposite. 

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Will 2010 Be a better Year for Freelance Writing?

In 2009, we saw the growth of web based writing. The growth came mainly thanks to two websites: Examiner and Demand Studios. Both of them flourished and saw huge growth in terms of Internet traffic. In fact, there has been a lot of criticism against content mills like Demand Studios but I think that they are here to stay and in 2010, we may see more successful replicas of the same model. I am not a fan of content mill system simply because often, quality is totally sacrificed. All that matter is number of visitors and page views. However, during the time of economic recession, many persons cannot afford to choose. In fact, if I get the opportunity, I will happily join places like Demand Studios or Examiner.com simply because they pay regularly.
Well, I live in a third world country and the payment systems of both Demand Studios and Examiner.com are attractive for me. However, even in USA, newspaper is a dying industry and that is why, if you want to write, perhaps content mills are the future places for many writers. Thus, it is something that no body is happy about but there is hardly any other alternatives. 

Friday, January 01, 2010

What are your writing Resolutions for 2010?

Happy new year to all our readers. 2010 has not started in America yet but in Asia, it is already New Year. I live in Bangladesh and it is almost 6 AM here. The first sun of the New Year will rise within 1 hour. New Year is always a time for new resolutions. We think that we will try to change and improve in the coming year. My writing resolutions for 2010 are:
1. I will try to update my blogs on a regular basis.
2. I will try to give more time, thought and efforts for my entries.
3. Once a week, I will try to post a quality article.

I will try to avoid wasting time and procrastination.