Q 1. Your introduction? (Family, education and professional journey)
I come from middle class village based family while my father had served two of government departments namely Pakistan Army and then Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan. Originally, I am from a small village of Kohat district, but since my father was working in Islamabad, we moved to Islamabad back in 80s. I received my early schooling till college education from there. So, technically, it makes me the citizen of Islamabad.
I concluded my graduation in commerce from Punjab University affiliated college in Islamabad. I remained among the genius and intelligent students in my entire academic career and enjoyed this ‘repute’ among my fellow students and was well regarded by my teachers. I won Best Debater Awards at intermediate and graduation levels of my college life.
I set off to a flying start in a professional journey where, based on my excellent communication skills, I always put myself on the bench of ‘high rated’ candidates during job interviews, which turned out to be great ‘opportunity taker’ in different time frames of my professional career. Starting from my early professional career as ‘marketing and sales executive’ in a reputable company, this proved to be a lucrative source which expanded my professional acumen and knowledge. Oh yeah! I have worked in US and British based call centers as well, namely Touchstone Communication in Islamabad and TRG in Lahore, which is a great plus.
Back in 2005, I was lucky enough to be selected as an ‘interpreter, communication specialist’ for European Union Delegates working for earthquake effected parts in Azad Kashmir and Northern areas. This was a lucrative and significant opportunity. I had to work and learn with foreign nationals under the disaster management capacity. Learning from their professional practices and on job activities further solidified my professional insight. Luckiest part was when I travelled with them in all of the northern areas in Black Hawks, Choppers and Army helicopters. Wow! That was awesome!
In 2008, I went to Dubai, UAE, and luckily, within first week of my stay, I had been selected in ‘Hotel Crown Plaza’, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. This produced thriving gains to my professional exposure and caliber, and, enhanced my practical knowledge about international management. I kept on learning which would stay written on my resume throughout my professional life.
Q 2. When did you find a writer inside you and decided to take ‘Writing as a career?
I was a born writer, but over the years I kept this talent in cage and I didn’t know why I was doing it. I believe every one of us is born with an additional extraordinary God gifted talent and that’s what Writing is for me. I believe, ‘Writing’ is a beautiful treasure and deliverance from self-restraint. It is the ultimate source of beautifying your vision, self-esteem and realization of human love and care.
It was in 2010 when I released off this ‘beautiful talent of writing’ as I couldn’t hold it off anymore. My first writing project began when I started to write my first novel, ‘My first Endeavor’, where I compiled the biography of a friend from London.
I, then, moved to teach ‘Creative Writing’ where I developed several writers from scratch. It was an amazing experience of its own kind. Later, I experimented with blog writing, while setting up my personal site. This decision was another success. I have received tremendous response from readers around the globe, which enhanced the confidence in me that we didn’t have to murder our talents; rather, we need to utilize them because they help someone somewhere. The massive response from readers around the globe was beyond my expectations. Then, I realized that honesty and pure intentions always pay you off.
I wrote several articles on politics, social issues, economics, health care and information technology, and, conducted interviews of successful people who achieved milestones through their lucrative talents. I wrote the autobiographies of my friends from different countries and cultures and was able to instantiate the voice in order to create awareness on international human issues .
In a span of 07 months, my blog not only accumulated tremendous applause from readers around the globe but also provided me with an opportunity to pile up a huge number of friends from writers to politicians, businessmen, doctors, social media experts, educators, economists, lecturers and professors, engineers all over the world which significantly expanded my social fiber. Now, my readers have become my friends and are like family members. I eagerly interact with them and often discuss several matters pertaining to their personal family lives. I believe that we together can make this world a beautiful place to live which is full of peace, mutual understanding and harmony. We win the hearts this way.
Going along the ways of writing, I met so many precious people who earnestly kept encouraging and appreciating me. I realize it now that ‘I am a writer’. LOL
Moreover, several of my articles have been published and reproduced by Wingovers, Edinburgh, Scotland, Freedom of Information, Glasgow and Dundee, Scotland, The Pensive Quill, Dublin, Ireland, The Advertiser, Adelaide, Australia while Press TV English, Tehran, Iran has offered me to work as online contributor and commentator on Pakistan’s issues.
As a translator, I also translated many projects from regional languages to English as an associate of UN, USAID and EU Humanitarian program for the eradication of polio in KPK.
Q 3. Don’t you think pursing Writing as a career is something unusual in countries like Pakistan where there is low literacy rate, no formal writing programs and very few work opportunities?
Well! This is unfortunately very true largely because in Pakistan we don’t have actual academic programs in Writing either in schools, colleges or universities that may educate and guide the students who want to pursue ‘writing as a career’. Although from my teaching experience, they have really good syllabus of English Composition and Literature in Cambridge based education systems in Pakistan, but still the professional teachers are what we lack. If you talk about the programs being offered at University level, they are sadly not adequate. They only have Masters in English Literature while at international platforms, they have heaps of specialized programs in Literature, Language, Creative Writing, Non-fiction writing, Professional Writing, etc. which obviously lead students towards self-actualization. It results in making correct career choices, regarding Writing.
Similarly, when it comes to ‘employment or career opportunities in writing’, well that’s another sad picture. We have not been able to produce or accommodate writers in well- paid opportunities. The only option left with the aspirant writers is the ‘Newspaper’ industry, but again, it requires you to be well experienced in order to become either editor or news reporter. Unfortunately, the Fiction Writing is a dying industry in Pakistan.
In order to survive in the writing industry, you have to be a good writer in Urdu or English language. Moreover, you have to be fortunate enough to have got the column-spaces in newspapers and magazines to publish your writings. Or, you should be a genius to write on the exceptionally on the popular topics as fashion, cinema, sports, etc in flashy magazines.
It’s very sad to my personal insight, since writers are those who enlighten the whole society and become the beacon of light.
In Pakistan, the unfortunate reality is that ‘we have killed the reading habit’ which causes distortion in the knowledge gaining. People prefer to watch TV to reading. Unlike us, in Western countries, people still have a living culture of reading newspapers, fiction, and non-fiction to expand their knowledge. So, obviously, writers are well paid and regarded there.
Q 4. Who is your inspiration in writing?
I have an avid attitude to reading and I have great respect for writers of the past and in modern times as well. Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, Dorothy Parker, and Arundathi Roy are my favorite writers whose writings have infused great inspiration in my writing instinct. Well, my favorite writing genres are Novels, Poetry, Children’s Literature, short story, journalistic writing and digital composition.
Q 5. Did you go for a College Degree in Writing?
No, unfortunately, I couldn’t because we don’t have any educational programs in Writing in Pakistan, but I had always been naturally brilliant and passionate in Reading and Writing skills throughout my entire academic time period. But thanks to the internet and digital media which has profoundly expanded my professional acumen regarding Writing. Here, certainly, my keen online research and reading online materials and publications of world’s best universities such as Harvard, Yale, UCLA, USA, Waterloo, McMaster University, Canada, Strathclyde University, Glasgow University, Harriot-Watt University Scotland, Manchester, Heather Fields University, London School of Economics, Massey, Canterbury University of New Zealand, and Wingsover, Scotland on Writing, have guided me all the way through.
Q 6. What techniques and resources did you use to polish your writing?
I learned from the digital publications of world’s best universities that offer great resources for improving writing skills. For fiction writing skills, you need to have sound grasp over literary devices and figures of speech to be able to write well. Fiction requires you to exaggerate every aspect of figures of speech, narrative style, or plot mechanism; whereas on the other hand, for expository writing, you have to have good command on technical terms and ability to write precisely. Besides, I often translate texts from Urdu to English which is another great way to enhance your vocabulary stockpile and improving your writing style.
Q 7. What factors play significant part in your success?
I believe honesty, dedication and hard work are the basic parameters of success in every sphere of life. My personality is deeply packed with stubborn attitude in getting the required results which means that I keep on working hard work until I get the eventual outcomes. I have deleted the word ‘impossible’ from my personal dictionary. Writing has always been my passion and I am madly in love with it. The incessant refinement in learning has always been part of my learning process which systematically leads me to produce maximum output. I am very strategic and goal oriented in task achievements and I keep a calculated tendency in speeding up the work flow. Maintaining a healthy social network of professionals always becomes a great source of continuous enhancement. Obviously, people have their own parts of experiences and educational backgrounds, and getting interaction with variety of professionals, result in efficiency and quick professional learning process. I am not shy and hesitant in communicating with the people and I keep my confidence level always alive and straight upfront.
Q 8. What are your dreams and where do you like to see yourself in another five years ahead of you?
I am a dreamer and dreams are beautiful ornaments in our lives. Life can be challenging for most of us as only a few of us are born with ‘golden spoons in our mouths’ while a huge list of us, are lavishly aspiring for it. The dream of becoming a writer was among the quite early dreams of my life but I kept it caged on the belligerent assumption as to let other dreams be fulfilled first and then Writing dream will be realized on its natural turn, when the time will be right; but I wasn’t right. I wasn’t justifying the cost and the value of dream of writing because it weighed higher than the other ones – I wish I could talk to my heart for the ultimate jurisdiction of writing dream.
It took me 14 years on the heated debate as to whether should I walk towards this dream or not. However, eventually, I was compelled to fulfill the dream of being a ‘Writer’.
I can foresee a lucrative future in writing iNsha Allah. Fortunately, I and my friend are contemplating of launching our own magazine in Ireland and if life gives me a chance, I can see internationally acclaimed accolades under my name iNsha Allah. I would be world’s famous writer iNsha Allah and so far, I enjoy the recognition at international level Alhamdullilah with over 11,000 established readers around the world.
Q 9. You seem like great in networking with the international writers’ community. How did you approach and impress native English Writers?
Majority of readers are international and native English speakers. If you have the ability to produce the content which is based on truth, realism, humanity and widely acceptable all over the world, which will automatically generate audience or readership. You have to build repute with your readers and in my experience; I do interact with my readers on regular basis. Social media is a great way to expand your readership and profile. I possess exponential knowledge about international politics, current affairs, socio-economic, educational, women issues, science and technology and health etc. We live in a global village now and we can within a blink get to know about the happenings all over the world. I have a simple strategy to approach to international readers and that is that I use social media and continuously keep adding up my social circle. Besides, my established readers are always there to publicize and share my written articles which substantiate my profile.
Q 10. What did you find common in the international writers’ community?
Internationally, writers follow a well uniformed pattern of writing standards and norms. They write primarily on the issues which are pertinent to the common citizens of their countries and humanity. Their style of writing is quite different than that of ours, and off course, English is their native language; so they use the conventions, patterns of language and lexicons which are best known to their readers. Moreover, they write without using unnecessary jargon and repetitive words which confuse the readers and distract their attention.
Q 11. What role does Writing play in our lives? Does it benefit as a person, student and professional?
Writing and writers play a significant role in the development, progress and awareness of societies and nations. Without writers, the world would be like a tree which does not give fruits. They transform the societies into building civilizations. Without writers and books, knowledge can never be transmitted. We live in a modern time full of specialization and knowledge sharing. We find writing in many forms such as newspapers, books, magazines, online blogs etc. Knowledge enlightens us and obviously, it benefits everyone; an individual, students, common citizens and professionals.
Q 12. Can Writing provide us with a decent living, regardless of where we are located in the world?
Off course it does, provided we don’t limit ourselves to national level opportunities. Don’t we see the international newspapers industry and journalists working there? They have great empowerment opportunities and they become integral parts of our socio-economic life-cycles. An author earns handsome amounts of money, and at times, a successful writer’s income is as higher as a wealthy sportsman. Besides, editors, writers, content and legal writers earn a decent living
Q 13. What should a writer do to approach best writing opportunities?
Writers can get great opportunities as editors, news reporters, authors, autobiographers, content writers, digital writers, children’s writers, feature writers, article writers, professional writers, technical writers, research writers, etc. in newspapers, magazines, journals, websites, ad agencies, and so on.
Q 14. What other careers are you interested in other than writing? Once you get your Writing Dream, would you like to pursue something else as well?
I would be gladly pursuing teaching in Creative Writing and Business Communication. Besides, I have great interest in photography, graphic designing etc.
Q 15. Are Writing and Management inter-related? How do you manage two diverse areas simultaneously?
Yes, they are inter-related; a corporate management dedicates a great deal of time to correspondence and communication internally and externally. So, without an effective and well-managed writing, there is no guarantee of the growth of organizations. How would we expect to conduct business and deal with international clients and corporations without written business communication? Off course, in an office setting, we need a robust writing capacity and productive writing skills for drafting emails, memos, business proposals, corporate reports, social media campaigns, etc.
Q 16. When you don’t write, what hobbies, interests and activities do you pursue?
I write and I am world’s renowned writer now Alhamdullilah, lol. I love sports, travelling, socializing and internet chatting to know about the people’s lifestyles, culture, linguistics, geography, etc.