A first-time author’s experience
Despite headwinds, I persisted with writing my Urdu to Hindi/English dictionary. My family, my extended family and friends could not understand why I was writing an Urdu book or whether an Urdu dictionary even has readers or a future. Why was I wasting my time writing a book like this?
But I was bitten by the Urdu bug and had a very strong desire to become a published author – at that point, no one could dissuade me.
The world was entering the second year of Covid-19 and I was starting my first year as a writer. Enthusiasm was at its peak with all doubts quietly buried as deep as I could possibly bury them. As the first year came to an end, so did the writing of my book. That’s when all the deeply-buried doubts surfaced, and I wondered briefly whether I should even consider publishing.
I am a go-getting person and not one to be bogged down easily. Thus I went ahead and found the best self-publishing company.
In my spare time, I started to talk about Urdu – primarily Urdu Shayari with word meanings on all social media. I got in touch with a couple of organisations promoting Urdu. As I was busy building my audience for the Urdu dictionary, my publisher Zorba Books was hard at work giving professional touches to my book.
About one month after starting the publishing process the book was in my hands. Pure joy! I was now the AUTHOR of a beautifully produced book. Once the book was out, congratulations started to pour in. People I barely knew in school and college suddenly had something nice to say to me. Briefly, I was in the limelight of different WhatsApp groups. The good times had just begun.
When people met me, they mentioned my book and conversations always veered towards my book, Urdu and writing. While I was still coming to grips with this new attention, a large organisation involved in promoting Urdu requested my publisher Zorba Books to sell my book on their platform and placed a decent order. I was travelling into unknown territory and enjoying it. Soon they were asking me for a video and a blog to promote my book with. This story of growth continued.
A month passed and out of the blue, I was approached by an Indian charitable foundation based in the US for a solo webinar on Urdu Shayari! This was another door opening for me. Though I was secretly thrilled about this webinar, I was also very apprehensive because though I had read Shayari and even enjoyed listening to it, giving a talk on Urdu Shayari was another ball game. But the webinar was a great success and more limelight, more congratulations and greater book sales followed!
Now, this opportunity has landed in my lap and here I am talking to you about how writing my book has opened many doors for me. Doors I never imagined even existed!
And I remain optimistic that more doors will open up.
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