In addition to Lindsay Lohan, Lil Nas X, and many more, you can now add six New York Times best-selling authors to the growing list of high-profile creators trying to cash in on the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) game. NFTs are unique token assets (art, tweets, music, etc.) handled through blockchains (think cryptocurrency).
There’s a lot of debate over the value of NFTs, the environmental impact of crypto art, and whether we’re in a tulip mania-like bubble or falling prey to scams. The Verge explained it better than I can, but anyway, for our purposes, popular YA authors Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Ranson Riggs, Adam Silvera, and both David and Nicola Yoon joined forces and announced the NFT-based writing project Realms of Ruin.
Realms of Ruin was promoted as a way young writers (teens mostly) could work together with the six established authors to build a narrative universe. Think of it as contributing to fanfiction, but if selected, your creative assets to the story get added officially into the canon of the universe and you can make money from it. Sounds like a great way to collaborate, except for some reason they choose to involve NFTs.
The rules of the Realm are as follows:
While most of the authors seemed taken aback by the all-but-immediate backlash to their involvement and open to criticism (even before the project was eventually paused), its creator, science fiction writer, Marie Lu fought back. Snarky remarks downplaying the concerns despite the fact that she is a well-established science fiction writer who we imagine would normally think twice about the social and economic impacts of such a project.
Julie Zhuo (who is understood to have worked on the project early on with Lu) did explain they were using Sonala for minimal environmental impact. People online compare Solana’s usage to mid-level webserver use like Wikipedia, and it usually is mentioned as one of the greener options. However, the new business appears to have no oversight or third-party confirmations.
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Art NFT’s (digital sales of art using cryptocurrency) launched in 2017 and began taking the world by storm in early 2021. As a writer who has worked hard to make a sustainable living for well over a decade in one of the least affordable cities in the world, I am always interested in cutting-edge ways to find funding for writing. Although we are just on the cusp of it, I believe that NFTs for Writers could be a terrific way for people who love writing to support the craft so that authors can make a more sustainable living.
In order to understand this better, you’ll have to get to learn a small amount about cryptocurrency and NFT art. However, don’t worry. You don’t have to know a ton to be able to begin supporting writing in this way.
The first thing I want you to understand is that writers don’t make a lot of money, no matter how hard they work. A lot of the money that we do make these days comes from ad clicks online (or direct payment from sites that rely on those ad clicks for their income.) This is increasingly unsustainable which is why authors are always hustling with side gigs, selling online courses, etc. None of that’s bad, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if writers could get paid a sustainable income for quality writing? I believe that the 21st century has solutions including crowdfunding and perhaps NFTs for writers.
NFTs for writers are really brand new. We are still exploring this potential. I have launched my own first NFT writing piece for sale (details coming soon!) And I’ll be doing a lot of blogging and posting about the emerging world of NFT for funding writers.
Let’s talk about the adjacent world of NFT art.
Keeping things relatively simple.
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