10 Ways to Make a Living as a Poet
10 to get you started
1. write poems for mega successful web sites (wink)
2. write zingy 'poems' for advertising
3. write poems for manufacturers
4. write custom poems for people sell to them via the web
5. collaborate with a songwriter, band, music publisher
6. hire an editor & publish your own book using POD technology
7. syndicate your poems with lots of small newspapers
8. get the base degree, the Masters, the phd & get a job teaching creative writing
9. after doing ALL of number 8 get the book published via your contacts
10. podcast and blog your poetry for free & depend on the collateral revenue
Elaboration #1 write poems for mega successful web sites (wink)
As internet penetration increases and the web overtakes print media it is reasonable to postulate that major web sites will have their own poet laureates, i.e. a poet that writes exclusively for them. The poet will weave human and esoteric elements into the fabric of the site and chronicle its impact on users lives thus providing a historical snapshot.
#2. write zingy 'poems' for advertising
good advertising copy falls under the category of poetry, think of all those memorable lines you remember. Like Haiku if you can condense product attributes and benefits into a few words then start sending it to agencies.
#3. write poems for manufacturers
#4. write custom poems for people sell to them via the web
people need poems, poems capture an emotion floating on the surface and render it into something others can appreciate. Organic growth will bring revenue over time if what you write is popular with your customers (and competitively priced). Somewhere out there is someone who needs to say...
...I love you Mary, even when your legs are hairy....
#5. collaborate with a songwriter, band, music publisher
A. work with what you perceive as an upcoming band who are able to use the communications technology. Look at song writing techniques and how a poem needs to be moulded to work as a song. In my opinion there is a fine line between great song lyrics and poems.
B. hook up with someone known for their ability to write music and jointly produce songs, submit these to established bands and publishers.
# 6. hire an editor & publish your own book using POD technology
Why do I need an editor you say ? well poems are always good, bad and ugly and someone other than the poet needs to 'select' those poems that have maximum appeal and that are more finished than the rest.
I've a little Hub on POD, Print on Demand
#7. syndicate your poems with lots of small newspapers
there is still a role for the small newspaper since it remains a buying habit or may well be a local institution, especially among the older population. Not all subjects are suitable for syndication i.e. you write a poem and it is carried by a number of papers each of whom pay you a small sum.
#8. get the base degree, the Masters, the phd & get a job teaching creative writing
the traditional route, not only do you get to 'learn' about all kinds of writing if you are lucky you get paid to tell other people about it. Ok so there is a lot of BS&T from one end to the other, same old story, writing is a job, it is a profession no matter how you approach it.
#9. after doing ALL of number 8 get the book published via your contacts
get all your degrees and a nice position and then leverage your contacts to get a book deal or handle all the publishing on your own. This will take years and also assumes that you have some talent in the first place. you could of course start this activity concurrent with the degree, saves years !!
#10. podcast and blog your poetry for free & depend on the collateral revenue
given the state of play in blogsphere and social space you could be famous in a matter of weeks, months (don't forget me if you are). Do you have the determination it takes to get up every day in face of rejection and ridicule and keep doing it until you make a success of it, or at least until you achieve your own personal goals. Take the occasional reality / humility tablet and Remember the old cliche;-
...when the horse is dead you have to get off it...
A Little bit Extra
thats what it takes, a little bit extra,
can you see yourself spending the money you made last week, month, year from writing ?
can you see yourself holding the book with the your name on it ?
do you feel more alive working with poetry ?
can you plan and execute a strategy ?
can you trudge along in the downtimes or does a passing car take your attention ?
you could mark yourself out of 100, 20 for each point and then think about the results, are you in the good, bad or ugly category. good is great, ugly has potential.. bad is just bad.
just for the record
Poet.ie is a poetry site which I own, from an internet name perspective the jewel in my crown. This site and others are all works in progress they showcase my work and allow me to trudge along until my attention is taken by a passing car ...grin...
- A Web Image Reactive
Drax is my pseudonym and to protect it I have registered this site drax.net, it has poetry written around random web images. I also have drax.ie - drax.eu - drax.org all to protect / promote the pseudonym ... I know know I need a strategy...