08 May 2013

Just a bunch of SELL-OUTS!

by Rob Hines

Yeah, I said it.

You're just a bunch of sell-outs.

Peevish Penman is Selling Out
on YouTube!
Carrie shared this idea in a recent podcast, which you can view on our YouTube channel. Just because I'm insulting you doesn't mean I can't promote our stuff.

But don't go there yet. Wait until I'm done calling you names.

By the way, Carrie was much nicer when she brought up the notion on the podcast. I, on the other hand, am choosing to paint with the broad brush. So there.

I really believe it's true, though. We writers are all resigned to sell out in at least one part of our lives in order to be "happy" and/or "successful." The life of an author requires a certain amount of fecal material that we're forced to plod through with a big smile because we're LIVING THE DREAM MAN!

No, you say? Well, you're wrong.

"But Rob, I love to write and I get to write everyday so everything is wonderful!"

Excuse me while I wait for the unicorns to finish flying out of your rectum.

Admit it. There's something you're forced to do on a regular basis that allows you to write, but you'd love to not have to deal with it.

Maybe it's marketing (personally, I dig that stuff, but some people don't). Maybe it's dealing with editors. Maybe it's that damn day job that is supporting your writing pursuits.

And maybe it's the writing itself. If you're being paid to write, you're producing for a specific market. This market is now your boss, and you're committed to writing for them, not for you. Sure, it's better than a life sentence in a cubicle, but you're still giving up a little bit of yourself when you put those words on the page. Congratulations, you're selling out.

Can't deal with that idea? Good, that's what the comment section is for. Just promise you'll read the rest of this first. I can't stand commenters who don't read an entire article.

For those who stayed (I like you), I'm not trying to dissuade an entire community of writers from pursuing their dreams. It's just a fact of this life that we all have to accept, and it may help you determine what your writing path is going to be. Currently, I'm a tremendous sell-out because I'm working a full-time job for the paycheck and benefits, freelancing as a voiceover artist for some extra cash, AND attempting to become a professional writer because I want to write. None of these pursuits are going to bring me intense personal happiness because I'm simply serving someone else in each case. However, I choose to sell out so I can satisfy the one part of my life that brings an endless amount of joy: my family. If I get to do some writing for myself on the side, then that's a bonus.

"Well, just quit your job and write from home."

Who are you and what planet kicked you out?

Sure, that's the romantic version of the story. The writer with a dream gives it all up and lives as a hermit to pursue a career, and yeah, that might have worked for me 15 years ago. But the dream didn't show up until a couple years after I bought a home, and just before my son was born.

Romance be damned! I have mouths to feed, so I'm going to sell out with a smile on my face. Besides, selling out lets me come home to this every day...

That's not fair. He's usually pretty happy.
I'm the one that's crying all the time.
If you don't like the idea of being a sell-out, that's fine. Just come up with a way to become a financially independent, million-selling author without giving up a little time or money in the interest of others. And once you figure that out, please share with the rest of us in the comments below, 'cause I got nothin'.


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