So I have a dilemma: do I sell my soul, or attempt to keep my integrity in place and perhaps wither away in the process?

Let me elaborate.

Last week, my compadre and I were discussing the merits of writing bad fiction for the sake of making money. Perhaps not in such blatant terms, but… that’s really what it was. She mentioned ‘pot-boilers’, the kind of writing certain famous women used to do in order to ‘keep the pot boiling’ and put food on the table, while they were working on the fiction they actually wanted to write.

I’ve thought about this. I’ve thought about writing crap in order to actually have an income worth noting, and doing my ‘real writing’ alongside. The thing is, if you’re spending all this time writing crap, would it perhaps be better spent honing the “real” stuff instead, possibly leading to a finished work and publication sooner?

All I know is that for the stories I really care about, it takes me forever (or what seems like it) to research, plan, and then finally get it down on paper. I have some other ideas that I consider more ‘trite’, which I don’t really care about and I have a feeling I could write fairly quickly. I know, getting anything published these days takes a significant amount of time and effort… but if you can write quickly, it means more submissions get out in the mail, which typically means less waiting before someone wants to pay you for your work.

To boil the pot or not, that is the question.

I found this interesting article that made me smile, which I find to be so very true. Now, I’m not saying that I could write anything worthy of a Newbery Medal, but I’ve read some of these, and let’s be honest… beyond the heart-wrenching death of a beloved pet/pathos character/MC’s parent, a number of them are, well… not really that well written. In my opinion. It’s like the Oscars – the critics like it because they think it’s ‘art’… but the public is just bored.

But, that’s another topic for another day. For now, it’s time for another cup of coffee and a few more hours of keeping my soul to myself.

For now.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 2:56 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


Totally agreed. As in, Ive read a LOT of Newbery Medal winners but NEVR any with dogs on them, its like, DUH are you going to be surprised by this? Not a chance! As well, just to put my 2 cents in, I think every struggling artist is allowed to cook a P.Boiler at least once. I mean, food doesnt grow on trees.Well, admittedly some food does, but I really dont like fruit that much. I for one, usd to be passionatly interested in my Nano story, but I let it sit for a year and now I dont give a fig (are figs from trees? i think so) Anyhoo, I planned it all out, and Im going to studiously finish it, but will a piece of my soul live in it? Probably not. If I could sell it tho, I totally would. Thats why they’re called PSEUDONYMS!

October 17th, 2008 at 2:47 am

but you proably shouldnt write something that your soul or morals finds “wrong” in terms of its content, just to sell it. But if you can write lovely, syupy sweet morality stories, then you allowed to write a few, to keep your pot boiling. it migt also keep people grounded, because then they would not take themseleves so seriously, because there is some aspect of their oevre they themselves do not take seriously. But money is money, in this world that requires people to have money to live! Or a lot of fig trees…

October 18th, 2008 at 1:35 am

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