Selling Out?

I love it when I hear people sneer down their nose and say, ‘If you are selling your work, you are selling out!’

Selling out? What does that mean? I want to sell my work.

A friend of mine wrote a great post the other day called ‘Consequences and Choices‘, in it she referenced an online article that talked about the concept of selling out.

When your writing ceases to be commercial you’ve just shot yourself in the foot – at least if your goal is to turn pro – perhaps in the name of art.

The concept of selling out isn’t about writing commercially, it’s about writing at a level that’s beneath you, which is a completely different thing.  When you disrespect the principles of craft, you are already in that free-fall.

So many ‘literary’ authors feel that they MUST starve in a garret, suffering in the cold with only crusts of bread to eat for their Aaarrrrrt.

Really?

Writing for me is a joyful, invigorating experience.  Yes, there is work involved. When my muse is playing hard to get, I do get cranky.  VERY cranky.

I need to be good at what I do.  I have to put time in to learn my craft. This is a process that should never end.

The act of telling a compelling story is fulfilling and satisfying.  I want that story to appeal to as many people as possible.  I don’t want it to be so obscure that only I get thematic wisdom of the tale.

The only way I will sell out is if I don’t stay true to myself and my standards.  And my standards are high.

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3 comments

  • There’s a similar — and annoying — belief that’s become popular, that self-publishing is better/nobler/purer than working with a traditional publisher. It gets really old and boring to enjoy one’s hard-earned success, having jumped through the multiple hoops necessary to find and win an agent, and editor, and readers, to be dissed as old school.

    Respect is the name of the game.

    • The industry is certainly changing, but there are certain things that stay the same. I’m willing to put in my time, and work the system. The rewards are worth it in the end.

      Thanks for visiting!

  • That was an interesting blog post wasn’t it. 🙂 And of course I thought it was a great take on ‘selling out’ 😉 😉 Glad you liked it! 😉

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