July 31st, 2009

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The Road to Here

Elsewhere I had cause to track the background behind my crowdfunded activities. I thought you-all might enjoy seeing that ...

I've been regularly active online since the early 1990's so over 15 years. My first website dates from 1998, so I've been giving away massive chunks of content online for 11 years; that site includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry (some reprints, some original). Those activities were intended for research, networking, and exposure.

I deliberately held off starting a blog until I had something that I could sell to people who got hooked on my work, so blogging started in summer of 2007 when Composing Magic came out. I launched the first Poetry Fishbowls at the end of 2007, posting one free poem without a donation button. Then in January 2008, I introduced the "Buy It Now" feature so people could sponsor poems they wanted to make public. (I usually send a copy of the resulting poem to the person who prompted it, but 1) it's your-eyes-only, and 2) if your prompt leads to several poems, you'll get to see at least one but not always all.) A commonly cited reason for sponsorship is so the sponsor can share the poem with a particular person or people. Over time, I've added more options for support, mostly at the suggestion of my audience.

Also important: it's not just how long you've been working a particular audience, it's how long you've been working. I've been writing poetry for over 30 years, and writing it regularly for about 25. Of all my skills, this is probably the most developed; my quality is consistently high. So I can do things like ask other people for inspiration and know that I'll be able to create good poetry from whatever I get.

You don't have to have decades of experience before you can try cyberfunded creativity, but it sure does help.

And somehow, I rarely realize how much I've accomplished until I try to lay it all out for someone else.