How I Became a Full-Time Writer Without Even Realizing It

For the past 5 years, I’ve been writing full-time. I’ve worked with agencies from Poland, Denmark, the US, as well as many individual clients. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve turned into quite a writer who understands the business better than most people my age. 

But never in my wildest dreams have I thought about becoming a writer. And now, it’s my profession, a well-paying one at that. 

How did it all happen? How did I turn into a professional writer?

The Humble Beginnings

Being born into a middle-class family came with its bitter experiences. I’ve always seen the struggles my parents had to go through to make ends meet. Not that I agree with them on the approach, but they did what they thought was right. 

By the time I started university, I had seen it all. Apparently, my father made some money and managed to curate some assets during his early years. And then, it all started to go downhill by the time I was 8. 

Coming back to the point, when I was a university student, I obviously needed pocket money. What I got from my father was not enough. Not by a fair margin. It was $10 a month. Ridiculous? Tell me about it. 

But I couldn’t ask for more money because I knew the situation. The “situation” I’ve lived all my life in. To make things work, I started looking for work. It was back in 2017 Thankfully, I found a gig at a local marketing agency as a subtitle translator. It was a one-off project by a streaming platform that planned to localize popular shows, such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Two Broke Girls. Two and a Half Men, 30 Rock, etc. 

As I was always interested in pop culture and was watching shows in my free time, the translations came naturally to me. I also learned touch-typing when I was in high school (college in Bangladesh) which helped me finish more work than anyone else in the team. 

Three months later, the project was discarded. A team of 20 translators disbanded. Things were falling apart. However, my supervising officer at that time, this wonderful lady with the mind of a genius, had seen the potential in me so she hired me as an intern for the agency. 

That’s how my professional journey began. At this point, I’m only 20 with little to no idea of what I’m doing. All I knew was it paid a little bit of money that I could use to take care of myself. 

The Ad-Hoc Writing Project

As part of the core agency, I started working for local clients. Content calendars, research, and social media posts. You know, the usuals. 

I got lucky in the sense that my supervising officer was in charge of the global outreach program. So, she mostly handled foreign clients. As a part of her team, I was also heavily involved with the work. From creating sales reports on MS Excel to posting on Hootsuite for a motivational speaker, I’ve done it all. And I’ll be forever in her debt for giving me the opportunity. 

One of the clients was a Canadian SaaS company that needed some blogs. That’s when I came across the idea of writing long-form content. I learned how to research and write cohesive pieces by myself.

They were not good by any means. But they laid the foundation for me. And they paid well. Better than anything else I’ve done so far. 

How I Was Almost Not Hired

As the writing gig was paying well, I thought why not try out some options? I started looking through Facebook groups for similar gigs. And I found one. I remember it was February of 2019 because the hiring post required me to mention it in the subject line. 

And I did. I reached out and passed the initial phase of the interview process. I was told the management would get back to me with further instructions. 

But that never happened. 

In May of the same year, I saw another post by the same person, in the same group. Just out of curiosity, I wrote a comment on that job post. 

Finally, they reached out, apologized for the miscommunication, and hired me.

The Meteoric Rise of Tariq as a Writer

So, I started working for this company. It was a UK-based private limited company but the owners were Bangladeshi. They were settled in Malaysia at that time so it was a fully remote position. 

Similar to my previous role as a subtitle translator, I managed to create an impression here as well. Everything was going well. I was scaling work consistently and the clients were happy. Inevitably, this made the management happy as well. 

In September 2020, I was offered a full-time role as the company was opening an office in Bangladesh. Keep in mind that I’m still a university student who’s juggling multiple jobs at the same time. 

Life was hard. I used to wake up at 6 AM to leave for work and come back home around 10-11 PM after classes, the office, and the part-time job in between. I had to let go of friends, family, and any potential love life I may had during that time.

Oh, did I mention that I was working as an intern for the largest non-profit in the world, BRAC by that time?

Coming back to the full-time offer, I took it. It was hard letting go of my mentor, the same person who took me everywhere with her. She’s now in a leadership role in BRAC, doing amazing things for society. 

But it’s my story so let’s focus on that. 

I started working. The company secured more clients. Work got more complex. And I was there throughout the journey. From making $50 a month to over $1,000 was like a dream. And it all happened within a span of two years. 

In 2021, I got my first freelance client on Upwork. It was a miracle as I thought newcomers couldn’t get any job on these milling platforms. But I did. And it ran until I made over $3,000. Since then, I haven’t had to look back. 

Motivation to Keep Going

As I’ve already mentioned, money has always been a driver for me due to my family’s poor (literally) financial conditions and decisions, which is still the case, by the way. But in the meantime, I’ve found my calling as a writer. I’ve realized I have potential and I can get things done. 

From SEO to formatting, I’ve learned it all by myself. I’ve trained many new writers for my company in my specialist niche. In case you’re wondering, it’s iGaming. 

Now, I manage light official work, train people, and spend my time working for my independent clients. It’s a good life. 

Sure, there are times when I panic about the future. There are moments when I feel like staring into the void and letting my soul submerge into the darkness. 

But I don’t. I have to keep going. For survival. For a better future.

Cheers to a better future. For me, for you all. 

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