Thursday, August 21, 2014

Will Write for Food


A friend called me today to tell me she has been offered publication of one of her poems in a national magazine. Yea! Then she says she will be paid $2. per word. Now if I were paid $2 per word for one of my novels, it would be a deal to remember. (The novel I've finished recently is about 108,000 words.) I think I could settle for that. My friend's poem, however, is 32 words. She says she spent sixteen toSAM_0498 eighteen hours on it all told. Four dollars an hour then - at most. That sounds like a lot of time, but poets tell me  they never feel like a poem is finished. They always come back to rework it over and over. But then I realize most of us not-so-famous writers say the same thing: we'd write whether we were paid or not, or sometimes that we just want to make enough to be able to keep writing. I suppose we just have to celebrate being "good enough" for a magazine and remember, basically, we'd write for food.  

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