Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Thoughts - On Writing for Free

A Mouth Full of Cents
by Rachel Hoyt

The writer's war is fought with words,
Fraught with nerds who gulp then purge,
The slime they urge us to swallow,
The hollow nourishment -
Not a cent, just oxygen,
A pretty den, a play place
For my face to be seen.
How keen. I might matter,
If I scatter myself freely,
Poignantly place words in the world,
Unfurl my soul where all can see.

No one is buying vowels
Or consonants these days.
I've seen embroidered towels
Receive more sincere praise.

Alms for the poor are spread thin,
Beginning to tread heavily,
Steadily on hearts who trust,
The lust for profits won't kill
The will of the true writer -
Fighter with words for nerds.
The herds are hungry, starving,
Carving their way through the crop,
Won't stop until the cream,
Their steam cloud growing,
Snowing cents and sense.

© 2013 Rachel Hoyt. All rights reserved.
This rhyme is in honor of those who already worked their way up,
yet still get asked to work for free like this young pup.
Technorati Tags: Writing, Magazines, Free, Rhyme, Poetry


  1. I may be just a writing nerd,
    but mostly I have gone unheard.
    Simply writing from my home,
    nothing famous, just a poem.
    I dare not stop, I'm obstinate.
    Though will not say I'm confident.
    The quote I choose for when I'm dead,
    "His words didn't buy his daily bread."

    1. LOL. Nice epitaph. :) I'm going to remain optimistic for now. It's not that I think I deserve payment for THIS blog, but I do hope to be a paid writer someday. :)

    2. I'm always optimistic, despite the rhyme. Thought it's a pessimistic sort of optimism. Is that even possible?

  2. what an interesting article...i think it is very different for those of us just writing and having fun with it...and maybe it would change when we actually make money for it...but he's got a good point...and very cool verse yourself off of it...

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the verse! There are definitely many of us who are happy just writing and sharing for free, but I can't imagine being the guy who has been paid for stories by a major magazine many times and then gets asked by the same major magazine to edit a story to make it shorter so they can publish it for free to their website. It is quite an interesting dilemna.

  3. "Poignantly place words in the world..."

    Well, THOSE were some poignantly placed words. I love it!

    The link at the end helps understand the angst apparent in the poem. As one who gives away free milk from the cow that no one in turn will want to buy, and whatever other dead metaphor we'd want to beat, I'm keenly aware of the same dilemma from the other side (as are all of us Bloggers, of course). The established, professional, writer feels like his vocation is being betrayed by upstarts giving away their work for free simply for the dubious comfort of being heard. Meanwhile, the upstarts (you and me and the guy by the tree) would LOVE to get paid for what we do, but you find me someone willing to pay me anything decent for writing something besides blurbs about plumbing fixtures for five bucks a pop.

    Them's the battlelines here. There are people out there with talent who are hungry to be read, DYING to be be heard, and they find nothing but closed doors to the world of professional writing. So, to have someone who is comfortable behind those doors complain that the castle is being stormed, the food is being ransacked from their tables. Well, what do they expect us to do? There is a revolution of some sort at work here, and it's not one that's going be laid to rest by insisting that the thronging, disenfranchised, masses outside need to volunteer to silence themselves for the "good of the industry" or whatever.

    And THERE'S some more free words to add to the pile ;D

    1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one inspired to poignantly place words in the world in response to that article! :) Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts, Bryan. I LOL'd at "find me someone willing to pay me anything decent for writing - something besides blurbs about plumbing fixtures for five bucks a pop". Exactly! :P


Rhyming or not, I would like a lot to hear the thoughts my words brought...