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How much is your work worth?

July 5, 2010

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I say, most of us think we are underpaid while our boss(es) feel that we are being overpaid. Performance and productivity are extremely relative and it’s tough to gauge them especially when you pit two individuals in the same frame of reference. After all, how can you compare work in modern times especially in service or publishing industries? Earlier, comparing productivity and performance in factories which indulge in mass production was easy because you know what the end result is going to be. And productivity/performance boils down to the number of products produced in a given time. Now, it’s co-operation which occupies the centre stage in service industries where every employee fulfills a certain objective which in turn becomes the starting point for another employee. And it’s not the same in publishing industry, especially when it comes to writing.

There are several opinions on what exactly is ‘good writing’? Is it the one which takes you by surprise because certain words aren’t part of your vocabulary? Or is it the one which is surprisingly simple and easy to understand? We are taught in schools that ‘flowery’ language gets the extra brownie points because it sends out a signal that you know few more not so common words. Of late, I have realised that it’s not always the case. Take for example, this blog. I have absolutely no idea if it’s good writing. My primary objective of writing a blog post or a movie review is to express an opinion. I write almost everything which comes to my mind at that point of time and thankfully it turns out to be a decent narrative prose. Probably I can make it sound a little more elegant, but the idea that expressing a thought, an idea is more important still remains the same. I have been told that the narrative or the flow in my movie reviews is good, although I can get better at it. I still can’t find what the heck people are talking about. For someone who hasn’t been trained in writing, it all sounds mumbo-jumbo. I ain’t kidding.

Coming back to the main question, “How much is work worth?”. I was taken aback when my parents said that I should be concentrating on something else, there are better things in life. I told them, “It’s an honourable job for which I get paid good money. What’s wrong with writing as a career option?.” Then they point out to the zillions kids in the neighbourhood who are earning a LOT more than what I do now and suggest that I should get a life. There ends the discussion.

The bottom of the pyramid is an interesting place to live and study life altogether. I don’t want to look up and do everything I can to reach the zenith. That’s what everyone else is doing, which means there’s a huge space left at the bottom of the pyramid. Of course it has it’s pros and cons. This reminds of an interesting conversation I had with my parents yesterday, July 4, 2010. My parents couldn’t stop cribbing about how carelessly I was whiling away ‘time’. They have already started thinking about my marriage and rue that I haven’t earned the tag of ‘eligible’ bachelor in the family with almost zilch savings! Apparently, that a major turn off for the society in general, especially the latter part. I couldn’t counter argue and tell them that I was having the time of my life. There’s still a lot of time ahead for me to come up with an answer that I work as hard as any other dude/dudette they know in the neighbourhood.

I guess, at the end of the day, ‘How Much is Your work worth?” will remain an unanswered questioned for eternity like “Which came first – the egg or the chicken?”. The only thing I can probably find an answer to is “What is good writing?”. Right now, I am totally in favour of what I have observed working at Southscope Magazine. The language has to be simple enough to understand, but you can always play around with your narrative.

Oh, by the way, I have begun writing for Southscope magazine as well.  Features on Pathala Bhairavi, Jagapathi Babu and an interview of Soma Raju who co-authored a biography on Savitri. Do read the magazine if you get a chance, would love to hear your suggestions/comments on what I have written…:). Here’s the cover page(s) of Southscope’s July Edition.


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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 5, 2010 5:02 pm

    the passion for any profession that drives us brother and as a matter fo fact ,i told you as i expected you turned out to be so would say about you in one line

    what is achieved is imp rather than how you achieve

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