So this whole self-publishing thing is a bit of a grind. To date I’ve made back about 1/3 of what I spent in publishing the book, which isn’t terrible for a first-time endeavor, and it’s not like it cost me very much cash to begin with. Last night I went to the All Arts Market in the arts district here in town, set up a table and sat there for four hours. To sell one book. That was a little brutal. But I knew when I printed 100 copies that most of them were going to go to friends and family for Christmas (so if you’re related to me and reading this, at least have the grace to feign surprise). It’s not like anybody makes any real money writng and publishing poetry, but it should at least be able to be a break-even proposition. I plan to approach local colleges about doing appearances and readings there, so that’s another avenue to sell a few copies.

It’s not really about the money, it’s more about changing the way people view poetry. One of the greatest compliments I got this past weekend was from DrChako, who told me that he’d never really cared for poetry, but that my stuff made a connection with him. That’s what it’s about for me, making connections and telling good stories. Maybe I do it with fewer words and a different format than most writers, but it’s the same thing – storytelling. So I want to push the boundaries of what poetry is supposed to be, because I don’t think very many people have it right. I dunno, maybe I’m way off base and everybody is writing accessible, clear-minded stuff nowadays, but I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot of purposefully obscure drivel out there that drives people away from the form, and somebody needs to show people that there can be other accessible poetry that isn’t slam poetry. It’s not to take away from the slam poets, but it’s not what I do, and it’s not the only game out there.

So that’s all I want to do – change an entire societal view on poetry and poets. We’re not ALL effete beret-wearing omnisexuals who smoke cloves and drink lattes. At least not every day:).

And I’m trying to make a concerted effort to write a little here every day. That will likely blow up in a matter of days, but for now, we’ll keep it rolling.

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4 thoughts on “Grind

  1. I, too, love poetry. I love having an idea, and choosing the form, and making yourself adhere to the discipline of the form, and of trying to make your thoughts fit into that.

    I feel extremely gratified when I can see my thoughts and find the ways to make them flow without the convention of full sentences and long explanations.

    I don’t claim to be as good as you, but I do have a few in my back pocket too.

    Keep it up – someone needs to push the art!

  2. i really love when someone who doesn’t read poetry is able to connect with what i write 🙂

    getting a chance to read at colleges with a self-published book is going to be difficult (even with a published book by a small press I’ve had trouble)

    you should start connecting with some of the open mikes in the area!

  3. Doc,

    That’s EXACTLY the point! I love the fact that you said “I don’t usually like poetry, but I like your stuff.” It really was one of the greatest compliments I’ve received as a writer. Thanks again!

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