Quit Writing : 10 Ways To Be Happy and Successful As Writers of Modern Poetry
Being True To Yourself As An Artist is What Matters To A Poet
Poets have an unusually defined position as writers, that is both a burden and a badge of honor. Throughout history the poet has always been respected for being the most dedicated writer type, they tend to be purists about their art and also write from a very personal perspective. At the same time, they generate the least actual respect for the depth of their writing ability. Because being a poet will not lend itself easily to actually making a serious living as a writer.
This is not to be little anyone on HubPages or other sites online that is earning money with the writing of poetry. But consider this perspective on how little earning potential most poets truly will see in a lifetime. A poet such as Maya Angelou is lucky enough during her last decade to speak at a few educational institutions for about 35,000 dollars and maybe another couple jobs yearly in the same caliber. This is only during her prime years as an author and poet. This does not make up for all the years she was not making any money as an author, or the future years when her infamous stature will eventually wain.
Now consider that most of us will never be Maya Angelou. Or even lesser paid poets like Jim Carroll, most of us will be lucky to be published a few times for very small amounts of royalties. No matter what you may have been told, it is almost impossible to earn a living as a poet, period end of story. But the upside is, now that you have come to grips with that, you can make a career for yourself as a poet. With the understanding that poets do their craft out of love and not expectations that it will provide them a steady livelihood.
As a writer of poetry there will be a number of hard lessons , if you plan to last beyond a few years of writing. So the first thing you should come to grips with is how real poets make their pursuit of the divine muses into a lifelong workable set of goals. It is being able to recognize what makes you happy and successful as a writer of modern poetry, so here are 10 ways to do that and be true to yourself as a poet.
Write what you really want is the spirit of the pure poetic artist.
Nothing can stop the pure of heart from being just that, if poets have ever been held in high esteem it is for this virtue about their kindred as writers. One of the worst things any writer can do is follow the crowd or capitalize upon current trends as a source of inspiration. Whatever turns your mind wild eyed and excites you down to the bone is what you should really write about. Some of us love the feeling of being in nature, some of us are entranced by cultural stimuli, some of us are tuned into our homes or our families or our children. Some of us get a hard on for words that play games with the mind, even Dr. Seuss got that visceral excitement when he wrote his nursery style phonics. Get in touch with the things that really set your mind on fire, then dance naked and write like you are doing the dance of the two backed beast. Love it, live it and it will always come out poetic.
Reading and reciting poetry for live audiences is the best exposure.
The real money as a purely gifted poet comes mostly from giving live readings and recitals in public. This is the magic hour that lovers of poetry long for and is the best way for the talented poet to make a real name for themselves. Even in the age of digital recording and mass media, there is still the want to hear the actual poet speaking their own well crafted words. No other version of their works will ever be quite as important, so this is a must do to become a great poet. It is also about the only way to make any real money for your work as a poet, all the literary societies worldwide expect their members to have the ability to both write and recite their writings. Memorization of complete works is really the only way that this can be pulled off, nothing is more distracting than a poet with their hands full of pages due to not having their words committed to memory. Today this is not as common, but it has been traditional for poets since the earliest days of written oral tradition, Homer, Plato, Aristotle and all the classical poets read and recited by memory.
Learn how to write, publish and sell your own books independently.
If you intend on publishing your complete works in one or more forms, it is most wise to learn the skills to do it yourself. Modern technology has advanced to the point of making all of this possible from your home from anywhere in the world. Print on demand allows books to be pressed for buyers, eBooks and PDF versions can also be sold online. Websites that let authors self publish even provide ISBN and bar code creation services, plus you can create and utilize all your personally made graphics for the book covers too. The costs are nominal if any to start self publishing. The only advantage of having a larger company publish you at all, is to gain access to their larger buying customer base and the marketing potential such affords them as a publisher. The overall biggest benefit of self publishing independently is having artistic control, creative license over your works and no worries about copyright restrictions being placed on your writings.
Writing lyrics for music or commercials is a way to earn money.
Do not ever forget that all music and commercial jingles in advertising, is really just poetry put to musical meter. Today is an era that has seen music become a driving force in all aspects of entertainment and television media. Not all musicians or companies have enough material for their projects, so there are many more chances to sell poetry for the purposes of lyrical licensing. Almost all lyric writing will pay, but expect that they will not want to let you retain any of the copyrights to the lyrics they buy from you as an artist, but this is another excellent way to pay the bills. If you already have any connection to the local or national music industry, it could be easier than you ever imagined. Commercials pay even better, but not everyone gets those opportunities as easy and you will have to seek them out to audition usually. Starting your own ghostwriting or content writing service might also be a way to get your foot into some doors too.
Working at daytime jobs in related industries has many benefits.
There are many jobs that you can take in the regular world that are relative to the field of writing and writers interests, this is a good way to have an income yet still be able to pursue being a poet seriously. You might take employment at a theater house or place where stage performers do spoken word. Anywhere you can work with entertainment is going to be of interest and expose you to new ideas. Working in libraries, bookstores, printing shops or local newspapers will allow you to learn relative skills. Working anywhere in photography, multimedia or design would allow you access to printing and computers. Also finding your way in some aspect of journalism or the publishing industry could open doors. Even if you are only working maintenance for a publisher, you would be able to see the inner workings of such an agency first hand. Any of these experiences would be interesting and keep your daytime job paying the bills, just some food for thought.
Teaching others about writing is an important skill poets possess.
Many poets do not consider the job they are usually most qualified for, even if their education is average. As people who write, are well read, enjoy reading and reciting poetry, they are very uniquely qualified to teach others about the craft of writing. They also would be able to do justice to teaching English literature and Literature appreciation, most even without a degree may know more than the average college professor. Even if they ran their own private classes locally, poets can help shape the future of literature by teaching what they love. This passes poetry and writing on to the next generation directly and leaves your mark on the society as a poet, just like writing an immortalized piece of writing does. Human beings pass on the legacy of writing poetry directly through teaching it. It also is another way to make money as a poet, actually it is probably the best and most likely to be successful readily.
By helping poetry to progress, you help all poets like yourself.
If you live somewhere that is not very culturally mature, you can help form local groups for poetry reading or open mics to promote spoken words artists. Support your local businesses, libraries and any kind of forum that helps others like yourself. You can help the progress of literature in society by forming voters groups to take direct action against censorship. You could form or join organizations that promote literacy. Randomly take action in anyway that makes itself known to you and support anything that is about reading, writing and being creative. If possible, do not show your support for businesses and places that oppose any of these basic ideas that are so important to you as a poetry writer, it is what poets do. We speak for the better and higher minded ideals that make the world worth writing about. Take a chance, see what you can change the world by doing.
Do not let yourself become jaded by the savage forces of art.
These are just some ideas, if you are a serious writer and poet long enough there are consequences. But in the end, you realize that you asked for most of those situation in your deeds and actions. The art world, but particularly the world of writing is very competitive inside and outside the ranks of the the purely private industries that modern families are surrounded by all the time. In a sense, the world counts on the poets to speak for them, give people a voice that have none of their own. Also remember there are even more opportunities than are fair to cover here at all, like special disability compensation rights or the right to go to college.
Learn to be supportive and build relationships with other poets.
This is only a quick mention to everyone of you. Because of our egos being a factor in our persona, we artists have a problem with transferring our feelings as literal responses. If you ever do partner up in these kindred artists, writers and poets from the first thing they will need to know is who, what, where, when why. Writing can almost be made for other alternative markets like magazines, cooks books, campuses newspapers, office flyers and speech writing services, they all could be ways to make money using the very skills that poets possess.
No matter what happens the true poet always keeps on writing.
Writing is the one thing that the world can never take away from you, it is yours at the soul deep level. It is committed to you, even if you are not yet committed to your art as a writer. Great poets have left loves, friends, country and even given their lives for the pure cause of not only the spoken word, but also the right to speak it freely without restriction. The pen is mightier than the sword is used to express this idea, not because words have won so many battles without weapons, but rather because words are more deadly in the hands of a skilled poet. And equally so, that poet would rather die by their own hand than sacrifice any bit of honesty in their poetic testament. Let alone that they have the birthright from the gods and muses that has blessed them with the ability to express themselves as a poet. The muses sing to them a song that must be sung, or die trying. So no matter what happens in life, all true poets will keep on writing and the cosmos will continue to bless them for it.
Whatever you think of what I have said, it should just be understood that I am trying to help people with this hub. Perhaps something in these 10 suggestions will help the poet in you, all of them did amazing things for me