Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What price Integrity? or Are we Selling Out to cheap?

Before I started today’s post I remembered that about a year ago I posted this during the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I is for INTEGRITY {a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy.}

INTEGRITY. We demand it from others. We think we want to have it. We believe it is easy to achieve. We tend to misunderstand it. Having integrity basically means that we are consistent in our thoughts, words and actions and that we are not hypocrites. It does not necessarily mean that our thoughts, words and actions are good.

Throughout my life, my thoughts, words and actions have changed. Many of the circumstances I have witnessed in life have caused me to turn completely in another direction. I hope this does not mean I lack INTEGRITY. But, rather that I am teachable. I am able to see the error of my ways and make a course correction. I believe that life is like a great university. There are lessons to be learned and unlearned. We are granted time, that most precious commodity, in which to perfect ourselves. It’s all a preparation for the ‘next great adventure’. As we find our way through this life, it is our responsibility to remain consistent to the truths that we learn. To maintain INTEGRITY to those truths. To live consistent with our values and principles. It sounds like it should be easy. It’s not always so.

The following are only a small sampling of the comments to this post back in April 2012.

Matthew MacNish said...
I've always thought of integrity as doing the right thing, even when no one's watching, but I like your descriptions too.
Integrity: having your YES be YES and your NO stay NO. Sadly, in politics, integrity seems an illusion spun to win elections, Roland
Bish Denham said...
Integrity, to be that which you say you are. To be consistent. What a great word. And I totally agree with what Roland said!
Lynn Proctor said...
hmmm never thought of integrity being possible if one's actions were not at least purposed to be good--interesting post
Catherine Noble said...
Good choice of word for today's challenge! :) Integrity means different things to different people (which is why it will always be inconsistent), but you seem to have hit the nail on the head with your explanation!
You're the second integrity post I've seen today. I love the way you discussed it. I try to have integrity; as a writer, it can be hard to write what is true to me rather than what I think others want to read.

Erin summed up what I wanted to talk about today. Integrity as a writer.

A few weeks ago I asked the question when is ‘enough, enough’. There were some interesting answers, you can scroll back and read them if you like.  Today I want TO ASK, would you sell out to get published. Is all about marketing and making it into that select group able to call themselves authors. (I’ve heard it said you’re a writer until you’re published, and then, and only then can you call yourself an author.)

I REALLY WANT TO KNOW what you think.  


  1. Teachable - I like that description.
    I didn't sell out and I wouldn't have sold out just to call myself an author.

  2. Sellout is defined as 'a betrayal'. This usually means would you jump through various hoops to say 'I'm published?'

    This hinges on one's goals and reasons for writing. It also depends on how one plans to achieve those goals. For some, it's a no-holds-barred situation, considered the survival of the fittest. That seems to be the prevailing attitude in today's writing climate.

    For myself, integrity is important. It's also important in how I choose what I read, so the integrity of other authors matters in what I buy.

    We are all teachable, but we have to want to learn. An interesting topic, farawayeyes.

  3. Yeah learning along the way is good, as we should learn and grow. Never ever going to do everything right.

    As for integrity though, pfft just a word I could care less about. I'll go to my own tune how i want, not how some word dictates, not to say I'd go on the other end of the spectrum either. But people put to much into words and that is all they do, never acting just sittig around worrying about words, so pfft to them is all i say and go about life at my bay.

  4. I love the concept of teachable. That's my goal as I age. I like the YW description--making our actions consistent with what we know to be right and wrong.

    And there it can get a fuzzy. I've been to some ethics trainings that posed some excellent scenarios where our black and white rules--when applied in a particular instance--aren't so black and white. I guess that's where the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law come in. Some things are just wrong. Period. Rape. Murder. Abuse.

  5. You yeah, I'd sell out, buy out, buy in, dress up in a clown costume ... to be published. *chuckles to self*

    Popped in from the Blog Blitz.

  6. I think integrity is important but shouldn't be confused with stubbornness or cutting off your nose to spite your face. I'm not sure what 'selling out' would entail - I'm prepared to be teachable/flexible on that one! Food for thought!

  7. thought provoking insight on integrity!
    and as we learn, or gain more perspectives, we grow and understand how to better make decisions, with integrity!

  8. Alex, I've read your work and from what I know about you that apparent.

    D.G., Integrity is important in everything, as is being teachable, but desire as in truly wanted to learn and grow is surely what has to come first.

    Pat, Integrity is just a word and that's a fact. It's about what you say and how you act. In Willy's words 'To Thine Own Self Be True'. And, that's a form of integrity, too.

    Donna, how right you are, especially about the letter vs. the spirit. We do need to be teachable, so things DON'T get fuzzy and end up in 'the grey'.

    Tami, Ha, ha, ha!

    Linda, so true teachable vs stubborn and yet we have to know the difference between ultimate right and wrong.

    Tara, perspective, I love that concept. It's important to learn and be willing to change, but some of the basics will always be the same. It's we who come to see and understand them better.

  9. That depends on what 'sell out' would entail. I hope I would be open to suggestions that would make my work more marketable, and better overall, but if for example someone suggested turning my witchy regency into a witchy zombie regency, I might have to decline, as much as I love zombies.

    See, this is what happens when you ask a Libra a question, it always depends...

  10. I don't think I'd drop what I'm writing right now to write a Fifty Shades of Gray book, even if someone promised me a publishing contract and a million dollars. So not my thing. I like what I'm writing now, and if no one wants to publish it because it doesn't fit market expectations, I'll do it myself. :)

  11. To me, maintaining Integrity doesn't mean holding a hardline...but remaining flexible! :)

  12. Okay, first of all I don't believe you're only an author once you get published. Or that it somehow means your writing is better, because you are published.

    As for selling out as a writer--you can't do it. I don't mean you shouldn't. I mean I literally don't think it would work. We write the things we do for a reason, and it's the combo of our interests, writing style, and talent that makes something worth reading. Take away one of those things, and you've got nothing.

  13. ms, it often does depend and working to make your product the best it can be is not necessarily selling out, at least not in my book. It's that writing to the masses instead of your muse.

    L>G>, well said. I couldn't be good at writing something like '50' anyway, so why try. Setting the trend seems to be a better way to go, at least for me.

    DL, I agree that being flexible is import, bending to be better is a good thing. Bending so far that you break is not.

    Beth, well said. I've read a lot of stinky books that have been published by some of the big houses. I'll agree that you can't do it successfully, but I have to say that it seems as though many have tried.

  14. I'd like to think we have integrity. I have no doubt that if we sold out and wrote to current trends, we could churn out a soulless novel that would sell through a decent sized publisher and establish a bigger name for us. But we're better than that. We're taking the long road, sure, but when all is said and done we're still going to have our integrity and our pride, which is invaluable.

  15. Beer Boys, INVALUABLE, what a great word. It's obvious you guys have not 'sold out'. But I hope your books do. Congrats again on the real life tangible product in stores in the Denver area. Next, I hope they go nationwide.

  16. I feel like every day I learn more and more how ignorant I am. Isn't it funny that we thought we knew it all when we were younger?

    I can't really relate to the concept of selling out to get published. I wish I could, because that would mean I've seen some dollar signs. But I went straight to self-publication. I think others may view that as "selling out," but it worked for me.

    PS I really hope you don't write chick-lit and that I didn't offend with my blog post. =)


  17. Robyn, not to worry on the chick-lit. I was ROTFLMAO (did I get that right) about the chick-litter.

    I don't think Self-pub is 'selling-out'. One mans ceiling is another mans floor. I've been seeing your book all over the place. I have got to get me a copy...SOON.

    Personally, I think an anthology of your 'online dating experiences' should be next.

  18. Thanks so much, Faraway. Yeah, I think you got the letters right. =) I was slow on the uptake of cyber-lingo and had to ask a friend what all that RF...stood for, a while back. I love what you wrote about one man's ceiling being another's floor. My novel will include my online dating experiences mixed with off-line but equally weird dating experiences.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  19. I love your descriptions of the word. Integrity is a huge concept that truly is often misunderstood. I did not sell out to be published, but I think that there are writers out there who take the low road because maybe their circumstances are just that desperate.

  20. Melissa - That's probably true. I'm just not sure how you could do it successfully, but then maybe that's just me.

  21. Thanks for playing throughout the whole day, at my bay.

  22. Integrity is a word that is often taken for granted. Not everyone has this quality.