Writing for contest vs for self liberation

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My blogging history

I started blogging almost 5 months back. I wrote on various topics of my interest and with the appreciation, I got from my readers, my confidence kept on growing in my writing skill. In this short time, I somehow started feeling that I have capability to write on any given topic. After all, I was a well-known speech writer and essay writer in my school days. And now after more than 2 decades, when I started writing again, I got the same overwhelming response from my readers. And I cannot miss to mention that writing made me feel so good and content.

For writing blogs, I revised schedule of my house chores. I did time management and without feeling any stress or exertion, I started devoting time to blogging. It made me happier, more energetic, early riser and just one step short of crazy. 🙂 Many of my friends told me that I can make good money out of my writing skill. It did not attract me because Firstly, money has never been a motivator for me and secondly, I believe that money corrupts. In the beginning you earn because you write and gradually you write because you earn – you dwell in an economic mess. I wanted to keep money away from my passion for writing. So, I was doing good and living passionately until few of my friends told me about a contest, a blogger contest.

My confessions

I wish no one would ever know, but I feel kind of obliged to reveal that my conscious mind hungers for success and prestige. And I am kind of forced to accept any challenge. This contest seemed to fit in both the parameters. I had started feeling that I know how to think and I can rationalize anything, but I wanted to test it and measure it. To see if my confidence in my writing skill was a real thing or just a product of my reality distortion. My readers’ encouragement and my confidence propelled me to participate in the contest. 🙂 I was not interested in prize money, but I very much wanted to win the contest and be the best.

Shocking reality check

I saw the topic and oops!! It was something, I never experienced in my life and I have to be a motivator. It was a bigger challenge now, it was not my genre and I am not a motivational writer. I was used to write something I liked and would serve good for my readers. It could be classified as journal or it could be understood as kind of journalism. Here, I was challenged to write something that made me feel constrained almost like mentally paralyzed. One consuming thought started running in my mind that I was wrong – I cannot write on any topic. It was catastrophic for a competent writer inside me. I was not ready to accept this and tricked myself. It is just the anxiety of first participation in any contest that is making me think like this, I thought. I should start writing and eventually I will feel better about it. Also, I thought that there might be many people who need this motivation to rise above the hardships of their lives. My writing could serve good for them.

Writing for contest

I will be honest to say that the moment when I decided to write it down was a happy, fulfilling moment and all other moments that followed were highly stressful. Earlier, when I wrote the writing process was liberating, fun and full of moments of transcendence. This time it was dull thinking and I felt that all my creativity has sunk. I was so tempted to exit because of such revelations about me, but at the same time I wanted to prove myself that these revelations are momentary and wrong. I felt this time writing was necessary and I was challenged to write an artistic piece. Writing about what is happening around is not ‘art’, but writing about what should happen is more creative, imaginative, leading and is ‘art’. I felt the importance of topic, but just could not understand and evaluate extent to which it was important (important enough to step out my comfort zone!). My whole day was eaten up by great discomfort and anxiety. By the end of the day, I wrote a blog and posted it. I must admit that I was not very happy about it and I am a great critique of my work.

After contest thoughts

I received ‘likes’ on the blog, but none of the ‘likes’ seemed to be satisfying me. I was very critical about the blog. I got hundreds of ‘like’ but with every ‘like’ my question and surprise was same. Really! They liked it? I was relaxed, when a reader said that it was very motivational for her. I have experienced the two diametrically opposite positions while writing. Earlier, I held a position, where I wrote for my liberation and others’ welfare was a byproduct. Recently, I held a position where I wrote for others’ liberation and my anxiety, discomfort was a byproduct.

Conclusion

I am evaluating: Why I was in a hurry to participate in a contest when I am a selfish writer? Why assessment of my writing skill was so important for me? Why I could not decline the challenge? I got my answers: significance, impatience and justification. I wanted to feel competent, special and valued right then, and I was not ready to wait for another opportunity to prove myself to me. I could not decline because that was disastrous for the writer within me. I regret my decision of participating in the blogger contest for the discomfort and a long mental paralysis it brought to me. I am a selfish person who writes primarily for my own sake and I am yet not ready to be a motivational writer or leader. However, I am yet to evaluate myself after the results of contest. 🙂

See you again.

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