In a recent interview on The Hollywood Report’s Awards Chatter, Fran Lebowitz has a few things to say about the idea of “selling out” as a writer:
“No one pays you for no reason. They’re buying something…What do you think “sell” means? Sell means you don’t own it anymore. It’s like, you sell your house, don’t complain about how the new people decorated it.”
These remarks hit close to home, particularly as someone whose parents just sold the house where I grew up.
The question here becomes, why are we making what we make? If our work is truly generous, truly designed for others, then selling it shouldn’t be a problem.
As Bill Withers says, “I don’t care if you own a furniture store or whatever–the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.”