Want your poetry in stores? Here are the things I did
Yes, you CAN make money as a poet
“Why don’t you put your poetry together with your husband’s art?” Arlyce asked me.
“I never thought of it,” I answered.
So I gave it some thought and I did it. And remember waiting at the print shop for the first piece to come out of the printer. Mike and I stood there beaming.
Weeks later someone decided to have an open house for me, where I would share my poetry and the stories behind them. People could browse the pieces and purchase them.
My first door opens
Five women bought my piece, I’d Marry You Again. One of them, Marilyn told me, “I’m taking mine to work to show my boss.”
Marilyn worked at Creative Calligraphy.
I smiled, but inside I was thinking, You can show your boss, but I don’t want to work for anyone.
A few days later, my husband and I sat across a big table with the owners of Creative Calligraphy, a company that created gifts that sold all over the world.
They were interested in leasing my work.
Since Lynn was an artist herself, she only needed the poetry. At first, I hesitated, because I didn’t want to do it without my husband’s art. “I think you should do it,” my husband said.
So because of Mike’s encouragement I did.
When fall came in Sycamore, where we lived, it was time for the pumpkin fest.
“Are you doing the craft show at the Christian school?” my friend Jenny asked.
“No, I don’t have the $25.00 fee.”
“I’ll pay it,” she replied. “I think you should do it.”
A week later, I did it, and there were so many sales, I was really encouraged.
Two days later, I received a card in the mail.
“You don’t know me, but I own the Dexsa Company, and we sell plaques. My mother-in-law was at a craft show and saw your work and told me about it. Would it be possible to meet you?”
So we set up a meeting with John. When he left our home, my stomach was jittery. Had we made the right decision? Time would tell.
Working with John was a great experience. Not only did I make money with my poetry I had the satisfaction of knowing my poetry was being sold all over.
Not long after being with the Dexsa Company, I was introduced to the James Lawrence Company. And that resulted in another open door.
“Just watch me!”
When I had been a returning student years ago, I wrote a paper about poetry. I called it, To Publish, Or Not To Publish: A poet’s dilemma.
My research showed, you can publish poetry, but you’ll never make any money with it.
Something inside me stirred. Just like the time I was trying to learn how to drive a car for the first time in my 30’s.
“You’ll never get this,” my husband said after I killed the car. Learning on a stick shift was tricky.
But I did it.
And I had the same stirring in my gut about the poetry. I thought, just watch me.
I’m not a millionaire with my poetry, though I wouldn’t be opposed to that. But I can say that thousands upon thousands of people have seen and bought my words.
Whether it was at one of my speaking engagements, at one of the many craft shows I’ve done, selling it online, or through one of the companies I’ve written for.
One of my poems that was on a plaque actually made it on TV. I received a call asking me if they could air a piece of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, where the couple talked about my poem for a few minutes.
Ty, who is one of the main characters on the show and a craftsman, took the title of my poem and carved it into the headboard he made for the couple!
(and they placed the poem on the wall right under the couple’s wedding picture on the left).
You’ll never know if you don’t try
You will always find opposition for the things in life you want to do. Sometimes the voice you hear may even be your own.
What have you got to lose by trying?
Since 1994, I have been writing poetry for companies. It has been in gift stores all over the states and in 23 countries.
The first time my husband and I saw my poetry in a gift store, he picked it up and showed it to the salesclerk, “My wife wrote this.”
I felt warm all over.
My advice to you is put your stuff out there.
Maybe instead of poetry, you want to write books. I have published 14 books to date, which are on Amazon. Poetry books, children’s books, and a memoir.
I love writing. I have to write. But knowing there are people out there who are reading my work is so rewarding. Sometimes I even get letters from them.
“Why don’t you put your poetry with your husband’s art?” my friend had said.
I’m so glad I tried.
What will you try?
Call to Action:
What dream are you waiting to see fulfilled?
What steps are you taking to make it happen?
I’d love to hear from you.
Life is hard, so I write words to make it softer.
Download my free eBook, Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know