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Monday, June 15, 2009

An Example of How to Monetize Your Writing


Students often ask me what practical use creative writing skills serve (and by “practical use” they mean “how can I put food on the table”).  It’s all well and good to be able to write a poem for a loved one, but the only payoff is a warm fuzzy feeling. 

I tell stories about how most (if not all) best-selling authors today didn’t begin their careers as authors.  They all had full time jobs that paid the bills and during the night (or any free time they could get), they’d write their stories and hope for publishing success. 

But not every writer becomes a best-seller.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of deserving authors still trying to get published.  It’s not very inspiring for students to hear that the stories they’re working so hard on might never make it to a bookshelf.

That’s why the following website had me tickled pink when I ran across it.  While reading Webgrrls I stumbled upon the website Songs To Wear Pants To.  Andrew, the site’s owner, is a writer and composer.  He puts his talent to work writing songs chosen from the requests people leave on his site.

And what requests they are! Here are a few choice examples:

  • a song about a sad toaster made of glass. that walks around the country.
  • robot pirates.
  • Can you write a really Bass guitar filler song about being a fish that is learning everything about the world around him from his tank?

How does he make money doing this?  Well, each song he writes is 99 cents to download and for those people who really want their idea to come to life, they can pay a small commission to make sure he chooses their request. 

He might not be famous enough to appear on Oprah, but I bet he makes a good bit of change off of the site.   Seriously think about what talents you have and how you can put them to use (whether it’s for money or for your own personal satisfaction).  It’s ridiculously easy nowadays to make a website and publicize yourself for free on the internet. 

Don’t forget to make sure your writing skills are up to par first!


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