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Art vs Commerce

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  • Art vs Commerce

    So, which is it? Are you guys trying to create something beautiful and lasting and meaningful with your writing, or are you trying to make money? Is it possible to do both?

  • #2
    Neither, really. What I really want is for as many people as possible to read and enjoy my writing.

    Money is a nice side effect rather than a goal. I wouldn't give my writing away free (except for short stories, which I put on my blog because I can't be bothered trying to find a publisher for them) but I will never make as much from fiction as I do at my day job, and even if it were possible I don't think I'd like having fiction-writing as my day job. The reason I won't give it away free is a) I think artists deserve to be paid for work as much as 'practical' workers and b) works which are professionally produced and sold for a fee reach many more readers, generally, than free/self-published works.

    I do want to make people feel things with my writing - I want to make them laugh and cry - so I guess I'm sort of trying to create something beautiful? Not so bothered about the lasting bit, and 'meaningful' to me means something preachy, so nope. I write light fiction and I want to keep it that way.

    I think it's totally possible to do both of the things you mention. I have no patience for writers who talk about "selling out" or sneer at writing to the market - most of the time they're just angry that their pretentious nonsense isn't appreciated as a work of genius like they think it should be. I write very commercial fiction (well, in theory... if only I could get publishers to agree!) and it's just luck that what I enjoy writing also happens to be what people enjoy reading. It's no more mercenary than me looking for day jobs which pay the most for my particular skills.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PhonyCaca View Post
      So, which is it? Are you guys trying to create something beautiful and lasting and meaningful with your writing, or are you trying to make money? Is it possible to do both?
      I think it's absolutely possible to do both. That doesn't mean that it's possible for ME to do both. But to me, "meaningful" doesn't mean there's a nugget of meaning in a heap of indirect, distant, dry prose that only a Literature grad student could plow through. I prefer the big-banquet-of-stuff view to the frame-and-light-one-beautiful-concept view.

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