Clarification Necessary

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I wrote a post a while ago about addressing ‘selling out’ and Paolini and apparently the people at Anti-shurtugal discovered it yesterday and linked it. I think some of the may have misunderstood what I was saying, or thought that when I said I would sell out like Paolini that I would sacrifice personal integrity to write popcorn fiction that has no literary value. So, I think I need to clarify what I meant by that post.
When I say that I would sell out like Paolini, I would never intentionally write something to the market. I only write what I enjoy and will never do anything different. Even if I were to write popcorn fiction, it would never be stuff I don’t enjoy, but it would always be something that would be a fun exercise for me. I don’t consider myself to be a great writer, and maybe some people would argue with me over that, but I certainly have no intention of simply writing junk for the sake of getting published. Yes, I want to be published, and I would love to make lots of money doing it, not because I want to be a rich writer, but because I would absolutely love to be able to stay at home and write every single day as my career. I can’t do that unless I make decent income as a writer. It might sound that I only want to write to make money, and I guess in some ways this is true, but at the same time I have no desire to be as loaded as J. K. Rowling or Stephen King. If I could live a comfortable life telling the stories I love, then I would take that job without question.
So, to say that I would sell out doesn’t mean that I would intentionally do something to get rich and successful (i.e. writing to the market), but that if the opportunity came up that I could be published and could possibly gain the adoration of fans and have film adaptations, etc., I would take it. This has nothing to do with my integrity. I will never sacrifice my literary talent, whatever it may be, for the sake of money. I write what I feel are good stories, nothing more. I also am constantly honing my craft. I don’t know if I’ll ever be published, but it’s a hope.
On the subject of film adaptations, I have to make something known that perhaps hasn’t been known before. This is a rather forward discussion and perhaps somewhat arrogant on my part, though arrogant in a good way I think. I have a very strict, personal policy about film adaptations. First, if anything I ever write is optioned for a movie, awesome. Second, I will be very adamant in demanding complete involvement in the project and veto power. While a nice paycheck from a movie would be lovely, if my story is going to be bastardized by Hollywood I’d rather not have it. Complete involvement would allow me to make sure that the story itself is not lost, within reason. If this demand means that my movie won’t be made, then so be it. I refuse to allow anything I may write be turned into a horrible adaptation because I personally cannot stand bad movie adaptations.
But, it has to be understood that I am not in a position now to have to worry about any of this. I’m not published (except in a literary journal for a community college, but I don’t count that because they cut the last five pages out of my story and now that story makes no sense whatsoever). I may never be published. Yes, that might sound as if I’m too pessimistic, but it’s not. Getting published isn’t like going in for a job interview. Not even close. But, I hope I’ll be published and I hope I can write for a living. That would be awesome.
Hopefully this post cleared some things up, but if you have questions, just ask. I don’t mind answered things about myself.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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