Writing For Money?

I opened my inbox this morning to find an invitation to a blogging contest hosted by Indiblogger. Along with Yahoo! Real Beauty, they were hosting a blogging contest with the following announcement:

What does real beauty mean to you? Is your perception different from what most people imagine beauty to be? Let us know and win the biggest prizes in the Indian blogosphere, ever!

They were offering a prize money of Rs. 100,000Β  for the best blog on the topic of ‘Real Beauty’. I was stumped.

Naturally, my mouth watered at the prospect of making easy money and I opened my editor on WordPress and started writing. Three sentences in, I hit a block. I just couldn’t write anymore. I sat at a different table, I used another computer, I smoked, I had lunch, I tried to plagiarize, but I just couldn’t finish writing it. Every now and then, a tantalizing thought came into my mind about all the goodies I could buy with the prize money, and I smacked my lips, hunched over my computer and tried to type a word. In vain.

Absolutely no thought came to mind. In all the vast writing experiences I’ve had in my life, I couldn’t draw on any one of them for inspiration. I just could not write an article all morning. It was weird. I had never had such a strange writers’ block in my life. True, I’ve had a few, and I haven’t been able to write anything for months on end, but all those were times when I had no motivation. Today, I had the biggest motivator in the world – easy money! And yet, I couldn’t write a word. I knew I had to write, I knew there were words on the tip of my fingers waiting to get transcribed on my keyboard, but I just couldn’t get them out.

For a writer, the biggest hurdle he will ever face is himself. If he has some principles in life, then no matter what he does, he can’t break them. But that’s not me! I have absolutely NO principles in life. I’d sell my liver for more alcohol. I should be the last person to be facing a writers’ block.

Writing for money is something half the world does. I was a journalist before I decided to ruin my life, and I used to get paid for whatever I wrote back then. I wrote two books and I certainly used all the money I got from the sales on alcohol and other vices. I have done if before. Why should this time be any different? Then, the answer struck me, like a slap in the face from an ex-girlfriend – this time was different because this was a contest. I have never written for any contest before. THAT was my unwritten rule back when I had a few remnants of principles left over. I had vowed never to take part in writing contests because it wouldn’t be fair to the other participants.

And incidentally, that was when I had my illumination. “Real Beauty,” according to me, is a person’s ability (audacity?) to use vanity as an excuse to explain his shortcomings in life.

Phew, I just tricked my brain into entering the contest.

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

16 thoughts on “Writing For Money?

  1. @Amar Jajoo
    Welcome to MirrorCracked! I’m glad you liked it. Let’s cross our fingers for the results. If I win, then I’ll buy us both enough booze so that we won’t have to sell our livers – we’ll have to buy new ones! πŸ™‚

  2. You need to be married to write anything on “beauty”.My hubby knows a lot about make up products because he has to spend a lot of hard earned money on them!

  3. @Seema Sinha
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    And I beg to differ – marriage is not a necessity to appreciate ‘Beauty’. I really don’t get your point because you seem to think that to know beauty is to know what body lotion to purchase! πŸ™‚
    I come from a very different school of thought.

  4. I have recognised that you have cleverly written a good post around beauty, its how you searched your inner self to understand what beauty is – and not just what you see physically.

    Beauty is a mystery and can never be solved.

  5. BS total BS.
    But again it’s all abt perception my friend Nikhil. πŸ™‚
    wish you luck for this contest

  6. This was great! Honest and funny at the same time. These two things go together more often that we think. Wish I had thought of this one.


  7. @Sunjoo Krishna
    Welcome to MirrorCracked! πŸ™‚
    Thanks, but I don’t think I won! So, the ulterior motive of winning was in vain πŸ™‚

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