Aug 15, 2021
6 mins read
(Note from the writer: This is a raw journal about my personal experience. I have not used any premium content writing tools so that it doesn't lose its informal tone. There may be a ton of mistakes here. I have written it one-go based on my emotions at the moment. Do not judge my writing skills here to the professional write-ups I provide, lol)
I am no expert in writing content but I have some mastery of the English language and have watched a lot of Hollywood movies and series on Netflix to pick up on the tone and mannerisms of how people talk in English. That's why after pursuing engineering and spectacularly failing at it(thanks to my lazy ass and our corrupt education system), I decided to work on my skills as well as build new skills instead.
In July, while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I stumbled upon a post that offered a cash prize for writing an article at reflections.live. I immediately clicked on the ad and went to their page. I read the post and decided to submit an article. My ambitious mind said, "Hey, why not write about the future of wireless technology!" even though I had no idea about how to write on that niche. I had already done some research on how to approach content writing. And the first thing you need to do is do a lot of research on that topic! I had only ten days to work on my article. So, I started gathering information by visiting the top articles on Google. Soon, I realized how mammoth of a task it is. I had to collect the key points as well as write them in my own words to avoid plagiarism. I also had to make sure the article should be interesting enough so that I actually win the competition!
As usual, I got demotivated and procrastinated completing the article. I started making excuses like it's not possible to complete an article in just ten days even if I am an expert on the topic! I procrastinated for over a week until there were only two days left to submit an article! My anxiety levels were off the charts! Then suddenly, I decided to submit an article, doesn't matter if I win or not. I was in dire need of money, but I thought, even if I don't win, what I've got to lose? But if I never try, I will kill my opportunity to win. So, I sat down in front of my laptop and started writing. I changed my topic to something that I can write. We all use WhatsApp, India is its largest user base, and I am one of them. I read some articles already out on the unknown features of WhatsApp but all of them were outdated. I couldn't find relevant ideas that would be up to date with 2021. How can I write on a topic with no information in my hands? I was once again, lost.
Time was ticking and I had to come up with something. Finally, my mind lit with the obvious. WhatsApp! No, I mean the app, that I have been using for years on my phone is lying there with all the information I need! All I need to do is explore the app, press every button I can possibly do like a child, and find the unknown features hiding in plain sight! I rushed to my laptop and my phone and started exploring the features and write an article that explains how to use them, in detail. I did not stop. I sat there all day, smashing the buttons of my keyboard like a crazy person. I did not care about the word limit, since the organizers of the competition did not care. I just wanted my article to be engaging and helpful to the audience. I was exhausted by midnight, but there was still work left. My mind was screaming to go to sleep, my body ached, and my soul was on the verge to give up. But I couldn't just give up. Now, I had something to lose, my hard work. I had already invested so much time and energy in writing this article, I couldn't let it go all to waste. I persevered through and kept on writing. It was not until 3:30 in the morning when my mother came and scolded me that I went to sleep. She had a point, health is more important.
I woke up at 7 and rushed to my laptop immediately. There was no time. It was the last day to submit my article. I had to finish it! Unfortunately, I had no idea how much more tasking it's going to be to write a simple article. I had to collect stock-free images relevant to the article, build a portfolio then end up uploading an image that I could have completed within minutes. I had never used an online platform to write a journal or article before, so I had no idea how to use the interface. I went along with it, learning how to add an image or a link to make the article interesting. I had no idea what are meta keywords or meta descriptions. I went from one tab to the other, understanding them and implementing them in my article. Finally, I was done and I pressed the submit button!
But something nagged me in the back of my head. The pictures I had used were not from the mentioned websites but from a different stock-free website. I asked them whether it is fine to use them, and they said I need to add the source link! Dammit! I hastily went back to my article and added every source link. Phew! I waited for them to approve my article, afraid of whether it is too late! Stupid me did not realize the article will be approved and published on 15th August! The whole day was like going through one mini-heart attack to another. But it was done, and all I could do is wait for the results.
Yesterday, on 14 August I got a mail from reflections.live team. I was ranked 3rd on the list with a score of 97 out of 100! I ran to my mom announcing the result. I know it may be odd for some people reading this article, about a guy biting his bronze medal and celebrating his 3rd position with a champagne bottle(meme reference), but only the person who has put his mind, body, and soul into his work knows it's value. I didn't brush my teeth, I didn't eat at night, I didn't even shit until I had pressed that submit button! If you have actually given your everything in something, and have invested your time wisely in honing your skills and knowledge, then you can win your goals too. It's easy to fall back and procrastinate, but at the end of the day it is your life and you are the creator of your own universe. So, what's stopping you from being your own God?
Here is the link to my article ;)