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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, October 14
This month's poetry fishbowl got off to a slow start (comments turned off again, but I caught that after about an hour) and gradually picked up speed. It was going wild there for a while! I started around 11:30 AM and wrapped up a little after midnight, with lunch and supper breaks.

I wrote 23 poems, the majority of them medium-length. Oddly, all of them were free verse -- not another form in sight. There were several prompts that I used repeatedly, and most of the poems drew on more than one prompt. I also noticed a surprising tendency towards vulgarity, something that appears rarely in my poetry; I tried to tag those accordingly in my descriptions, so if you dislike crude language, check yesterday's post before voting in today's forthcoming poll. The freebie poems are "The Doll House" (with 15 comments) and "The Repair Job" (with 4 comments; be aware that this poem is snide and gruesome political humor). There were 38 comments on the main fishbowl thread, and 9 people posted prompts. One of those prompts led to a site with lots of horror images, very productive.

This month's donors are: dakiwiboid, dulcinbradbury, minor_architect, janetmiles, and je_reviens. Thank you all for your generosity and support. I have posted the sponsored poem "Motherless" (with 8 comments) in a separate post. This one is getting mixed responses, and that's okay. Constructive criticism and discussion of a poem's strengths and weaknesses are welcome, as long as people don't get gratuitously rude. I'll get to posting the general sponsorship poll and the donor perk post as soon as I can. The poll is going to be huge this time, so keep an eye on my blog -- I may need to do a tie-breaker or something.

I really appreciate everyone's enthusiasm. I asked you for scary stuff and you gave me prompts that turned into some truly hair-raising poems! I'm delighted with the results because I don't ordinarily write a lot of horror poetry, and I got a huge amount yesterday. It's good to stretch my wings.

EDIT 2/7/10: Two poems from the October 2008 fishbowl were sponsored and posted following the February 2010 fishbowl. One of the February poems was essentially a prequel to one of the October poems. Then I wrote a sequel to the other October poem. So you might want to read...
"Eviction, Noticed" (written 10/14/08)
"Home Shriek Home" (written 2/6/10)
"The Dream Dump" (written 2/6/10)
"Nightmares for Sale SOLD" (written 10/14/08)

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7 comments or Leave a comment
morningdove3202 From: morningdove3202 Date: October 15th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, how much money do you make from the cyberfunded aspect of the "Poetry Fish Bowl" and then how much more do you expect to make from getting poetry published?

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 15th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
How much I make from cyberfunded creativity depends on how much people donate here! Sometimes I get very little, other times quite a bit. The more I make, the easier it is to justify spending a whole day on this project.

I usually don't post dollar amounts here, but I do over on crowdfunding. Last month was the most profitable thus far; I received $84 total. That's a cart or two of groceries. It's also $7 an hour, considering that I typically spend about 12 hours on a fishbowl. After the snailmail payment arrives, the October tally should be $58. I worked about 13 hours this time, so that's about $4.50/hour.

Okay, now add what I make selling poems to magazines. I rarely bother with any market that pays less than $5/poem. Sometimes I get $10-15 for a poem, occasionally more. (See Duotrope's Digest for a description of poetry pay rates: http://www.duotrope.com/glossary.aspx ) A bunch of yesterday's poems will get published on my blog, funded by general donations; I think it's a maximum of 5 at this point. That leaves 15 for me to sell elsewhere. I won't sell them all immediately, and they'll probably go for varying rates -- but let's imagine that I do sell all of them and I get $5/poem. That's $75. Add what I made in donations and it comes to $133. Divide that by the 13 hours I worked yesterday: I'd be making about $10.23/hour. Definitely worth doing.

If I could actually get paid like that for all the poetry I write, I'd be doing pretty well. I can write fast. The drawback is, my output considerably exceeds the capacity of conventional markets. There just aren't a lot of places that buy poetry, and for the better ones, the competition is stiff.

That's where you come in, dear readers. Cyberfunded creativity lets me sell directly to my audience. You don't have to wait on some editor to pick my poetry out of a slushpile, and I don't have to wait for payment from a magazine. We meet here, you get your poetry, I get my grocery money, and we're all happy! Even the editors, because whatever you don't buy goes into my archives for later submission, and I have indeed sold a number of fishbowl poems this year. So thank you all!
morningdove3202 From: morningdove3202 Date: October 15th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I'm trying to sell this concept to my friend persephonerose who is an artist. I would LOVE to see her do an Art Fish Bowl or even an LJ Icon Fishbowl....

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 15th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)


She's on my Friends list too. What about it, persephonerose? Fishy fishy fishy? Also, please drop by crowdfunding for ideas on how to make cyberfunded creativity work. We've got a good mix of artists, writers, other creative people, and patrons on there; useful for discussions.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 16th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
FYI -- Reesa Brown, Steven Brust, and Kit O'Connell on "21st Century Business Models for Artists". It'll be a series of posts based on a paper given at 4th Street Fantasy Convention this year. First post -- others will follow.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 17th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)


This is cool. Thanks for sharing. I've linked to it over on crowdfunding.
whuffle From: whuffle Date: October 15th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's some more fodder for next time:
Particularly look through the massachusetts and new york sections. Spooky.
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