Don’t sell your thoughts!

Go ahead. Judge me all you want! I never liked the idea of having blog contests worth insert-some-price-here bucks. If you want money, then let’s do something meaningful with it or for it. Like cleaning the roads of our neighborhood or buying some medicines for the stray dogs who’ve been wounded for years or feed the hungry and the poor.

But writing some cooked up story or some words that will blow others minds which you’ll never ever do them in real life just for a great prize is just plain rubbish. Some say that actions speak louder than words. It’s the same thing with our writing. Sure, it’s easy for me to sit here in my comfy room and write a couple of words that might influence a lot of people. What will really influence the world is when I step up and actually apply my words in real life.

If the sponsors have loads of money to give out, then they should give it to people who are needy and cannot afford food or cannot afford to live, not the ones who can manage to write some influential words and wait for grabbing the money when they want.

I see contests all around. In fact, I even subscribed to a couple of blog contests a few days back. This is what happened! I saw this contest where there was a prize money put for a 1000 dollars and a couple of other freebies. For a moment, I lost my mind and got so greedy over those incentives that I decided to write for it and win it. And as soon as I made up my mind to write, I started thinking of the topic. No matter how much I thought, there was this need and urge in my mind that it has to make an impact on people, on others, on the ones who’ll judge my writing, on the ones who’ll actually decide if I deserved the money. I started thinking about my real life stories. They were too precious but not 1000 dollars precious. That’s right, they were priceless. They may not have made an impact on others but they made an impact on me. Truth is your life only makes an impact on yourself. A few others too maybe – the ones who care about you the most. So after thinking all this, I started thinking of making up stories. I thought about fiction. I thought about fairy tales. I thought about tragic endings or beginnings. I thought about animals, the nature, the birds, the people. I thought about relationships. But I failed to cook up something interesting for winning that ”money”. I got so mad at myself that I dropped the idea of writing for the money. It had this evil influence on my mind. It was making my feelings too commercialized. It was manipulating my heart and I could not let that happen to my thoughts!

I say that never sell your thought, your blog or your heart for the money. Your thoughts are too pure and precious for just some contest grab-on. The day you sell your thoughts for the money, it will be sold forever. The things written from your heart is SO not worth the price they are putting on them.

It’s sad to see that 90% of the posts written for the contests are so fake and commercial that they have no impact except scream out loud for the money. Sure, writing for a living is a different thing. But then again, the people who write for a living have their posts manipulated, reviewed, refined like 50-60 times before they actually get it published. That’s not the real outburst of thoughts. Our real thoughts are raw, fresh and drafted in our hearts for a long long time. Do you really want to sell them?

If we had put our passion, our heart in our jobs, it wouldn’t be frustrating. Heck, it wouldn’t even feel like we deserve the stipend they pay us. Think about it. When was the last time, you did a job you really loved? And if you did really love it, did you care about the money so much? I bet no. If yes then maybe that’s the way it is. What I feel is already spoken.

The saying – “If you’re good at something, never do it for free” has its own limits too. Remember that.

8 thoughts on “Don’t sell your thoughts!”

  1. I beg to differ.
    Though I am not into participating in contests which already have pre-planned topics and we are supposed to write on them, but I don't find any harm in making people participate in such contests by giving away prizes. They are doing business, not public service. The money they give away as prize is already channeled back to them through increased publicity and ads.
    And tell me one thing, keep money aside, let's say it is moh-maaya. But why do you write and push that publish button? To be read? Or say it you don't care and I WILL NOT believe you.
    A song goes like “Look my heart is a bird, it needs to sing and to be heard, not this clockwork precision.”
    Totally agree that the ones who get published undergo numerous revisions, but ask them if they'd not want to be published in original manuscript? If thoughts were to be kept to ourselves and not put forth for others to see, to sell them, for money or for free, I'd rather say, why do it in the first place.
    You may argue that it is more of a journal for you to type down the mental scribblings like notes so that you can read them afterwards, but a notebook is much better and more personal than a webpage. Yes, it might sound preposterous to write on a prompt that is just a passing thought, but at least, they are doing it. Let's admire them for that, if not for what they have written. More often, the mind blowing comments that one might receive are just an open invitation for others to link back and read what the commentor has written and pay back in same words. Kind of fueling the ego.
    So, “tomorrow might be raining, but tonight we have the stars.” πŸ™‚

    Thats of course, my viewpoint.

  2. “Totally agree that the ones who get published undergo numerous revisions, but ask them if they’d not want to be published in original manuscript? If thoughts were to be kept to ourselves and not put forth for others to see, to sell them, for money or for free, I’d rather say, why do it in the first place.”
    Erm, why do we always have to think in money terms? And why should the medium become a constraint? It can be public or private. But if it has to be public, I understand we all seek appreciation. But my point is why should that appreciation be in the form of money when that money could be put to some better use? And if money drives our passion to write then I don't think we can write what we really want to write. Original manuscripts are priceless. Why put a price on them?

  3. Writing is like music, Some of the most amazing songs have been composed by artists who have actually felt the emotions conveyed in the songs, Just like music when someone writes from their heart, words come to life, a contest forces you to focus your thoughts on issues you may not be concerned about. A contest offers an incentive and any article written for a contest is driven by greed….Write for yourself, write even if no one will ever read what you write…..

    Really nice post, keep writing πŸ™‚

  4. “Write for yourself, write even if no one will ever read what you write” — Amazingly put. That's exactly what I tried to convey through this post. πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Vijay.

  5. I am tempted to consider the want for money and the want for appreciation under the same heading. “Want”, “Desired”. So what should be the problem if what you like to do fetches you appreciation in terms of monetary gains?

  6. @BA
    Umm, the problem is that your thoughts aren't worth any price. It's priceless. Why associate money with what you write from the heart? πŸ™‚

  7. I don't think that there's any harm in selling ones thoughts. If someone sees some other people getting happiness from what I think or feel then I wouldn't mind making that as a business. Loot at musicians. Look at artists. Look at movie directors. Look at most people in the world. The ideas they come up with, the thoughts that they have, they choose to make it a business. They choose to monetise it. They choose to make their living out of it. I don't think that there's any wrong in asking for money for your thoughts. Especially if people appreciate your thoughts, It does not do any harm.
    You say that people should not contribute to contests for money, well, I think that they have a right to if they choose. If someones thoughts actually end up convincing someone of something, or end up acting as an advertisement then what is wrong in that? If we stop utilising our brain to earn money, we will have to resort to the world's oldest profession where we do not have to use our brains at all. And that is not at all accepted in today's society.

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