Take Ten

This creative writing exercise is from Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer



Take Ten for Writers • No. 67 Creative Writing Exercise

Saucy Millionaire

Become a Full-Time Writer for Two Million Dollars with One Stipulation

By Bonnie Neubauer | Updated September 9, 2018


Today’s mail consists of three bills you can’t afford to pay, and one of your SASEs (self-addressed, stamped envelopes). You throw out the envelope and make dinner. An hour later, your curiosity about the assumed rejection letter gets the better of you, and you retrieve the sauce-covered envelope from the trash can. Inside the envelope, you find a real-looking money order for $2,000,000. The stamp isn’t canceled; the return address is your own. There is a computer-printed note that explains the money is for you to become a full-time writer.

There is one stipulation, and if you violate it, the money will be taken back, and whatever was spent will be collected, no holds barred. If you accept, by hanging a flag from your bedroom window at midnight, you give the sender 100 percent ability to track your actions.

Write about what you do or don’t do, starting with: After my next-door neighbor, a banker, told me the money order was legit, I …

Pick a number between 1 and 10: ______.

Find your number below. This is the stipulation to cashing the money order.


Saucy Millionaire List

Find your number here. This is the stipulation to cashing the money order.


  1. You must give $100,000 to a political party you believe is evil. You cannot be anonymous in your donation.

  2. You must cease communication for the next three years with all family members and never tell them why. Basically, you have to disappear from their lives.

  3. You must live on all raw foods for the next five years, without ever telling anyone why you’ve made this choice. (If you already eat raw, then you must live on cooked foods, especially meats.)

  4. You must submit all your writings anonymously, never getting any credit for what you’ve created, nor telling anyone that you are the writer of these pieces.

  5. You must donate a kidney to a person who is soon to be tried for terrorism.

  6. You must go barefoot for the next four years, no matter what the temperature or the occasion, and never tell anyone why.

  7. You must eat every meal for two years on your hands and knees out of a dog bowl, and not tell anyone why you are doing this.

  8. You must deliver twenty-four positive speeches in the next two years on a topic about which you are adamantly opposed. You may not explain why your opinion has changed.

  9. You must eat a bucket of worms.

  10. You must have a finger on your writing hand amputated.

Now TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE!

TAKE TEN Take-Away

Finish this sentence: If I were a millionaire, I’d _________.

And this one: If I were a dessert, I’d _________.

These sentences use the subjunctive (“I were”) which often causes confusion for writers. Here’s a tip for proper usage: If you are expressing a wish or something hypothetical, use “were” instead of “was.”

Next: Simile But Different Writing Exercise

©2009 Bonnie Neubauer. All rights reserved.