1. Please decide the key messages that you would like to include....
2. ...then choose which package you would prefer
3. ..and please
4. Once you have placed your refundable deposit,
I will complete your first draft within
2 -7 days,
depending on the package you have chosen.
The draft is sent via e-mail.
5. You get the chance to review your poem, maybe sharing it with family and friends for their opinion.
6. I then incorporate your comments and thoughts into a new draft.
7. Steps 5 + 6 are repeated until you are totally satisfied with the outcome.
8. Once the final draft is agreed upon, you choose the style of card you would like your poem presented in.
9. Your gift is then packaged and shipped express worldwide.
Options are sent
Ordering and payment can also be arranged by telephone
from this site:
More (Not So Frequently Asked) Questions
A tremendous amount of hard work and determination. In truth, there a lot of good and great poets out there but sadly, poetry is rarely commercially valued. It takes more than just words to get recognized. In my case, it was just effort. Lots of it. There was also a degree of stubbornness involved, especially when my friends and family told me it couldn't be done. I used that pessimism as "wind in my sails". There were also some key moments when I thought it was all too hard and I was about to give up. It was then that someone came along and said the right thing and that got me going again. There are one or three people who I owe particular thanks to and they know who they are. Never underestimate the power of commitment too, it seems at times I have had some "unseen" helping hands.
What made you take the decision of setting up a Website and selling
It never started out as a master plan or anything. I'd written my first poem back after a 20 year break (called What If?). That received sufficient encouragement for me to write another and then another and so on. By 1998 I had enough for a "collection" and I wanted some way to get them out there. I also recognized that I needed to update my skills with regard to the Internet. I put those two goals together to create my first web-site (which later morphed into A Gift of Poetry).
I've got too much to say.
Yes, there's an order
form on the site. The customer can give as much or as little detail as they
want to. Once they have placed their deposit I will have the first draft to
them within 2-7 days, depending on the package that they've chosen.
5. You write each poem from scratch. Why not just write a couple of poems and sell them to whoever likes them?
I could do and they're are plenty of sites out there that do that. However, I think one of the main attractions of what I do is that every poem is UNIQUE. One of a kind. The only one in the world. I think the true appeal is that every person is also UNIQUE, one of a kind, the only one in the world. So, to put people into a "template" is never going to deliver that uniqueness. However, I also recognize that not everybody can afford to commission a poem from scratch every time, so I will be introducing some cheaper alternatives later this year.
6. How much time does it take to write one complete poem?
A hard question to answer as I don't charge by the length. I guess on average there's at least 4 hours of creative time invested into each poem, in many cases more.
Best part is every moment. Not having to commute, doing something you love. Being creative. To be honest I now "work" 7 days a week (most weeks) but it does not feel like work. I have made "my vacation my vocation" (Oscar I think). The worst part is definitely dealing with people you find to be unscrupulous. In this sort of business there is a degree of trust necessary from both sides. I've found that in some people this is not deserved (i.e. they take my words and "run", never to answer another e-mail, very sad). Still, it's their conscience and they have to live with it.
I do find that I procrastinate tremendously when I know I have to sit down and write. I will find an excuse to do anything else. However, once I'm in the chair then I'm not normally too bad. If I struggle for any reason a brisk walk normally removes the cobwebs. I feel very lucky to be "prolific" because I know a lot struggle with the "block".
No, generally I keep the copyright but I have written for specific purposes such as gifts. We normally do a deal on the fee or I can be paid in product, I'm pretty flexible
At school I found it remarkably easy. I was always quite creative growing up but I think most kids are. As you know, no one can make a living out of poetry :o) so I went off and found a career in logistics. As a consequence I didn't write again for 20 years. At a management course we were encouraged to get in touch with our artistic side. That inspired "What If?" a few months later, the rest followed.
In the early days, all you needed to do was pledge some money to charity and I would write for you. Sadly, too many people didn't follow through with their pledges so I decided to commercialize and donate the money myself. I have just donated $200 to Comic Relief, next month it will be the Sudan crisis and so on. I still also write for deserving cases and probably write 2 a week for no charge.
I think a lot of poetry goes over most people's heads. I know my stuff will never be critically acclaimed (not while I'm living anyway :o) but I think "every man, woman and child" can understand what I'm trying to say. I also know that I'm being a little glib when I say everybody but I do intend to record much of my work, so that those people with reading or viewing difficulties can at least listen in.
13. If asked to choose between a million bucks and never writing poems again or continuing like you are, which would you pick? Why?
To be honest, I've already made that choice. When I told my wife I wanted to become a full time poet she gave me a choice. Stay in a job I hated (but keep the million and the family together) or go and become a poet. I gave her "everything" and chose the "road less traveled". As a father, it was literally heartbreaking to leave my children and the lack of money has led to further tough decisions. However, given the same choices tomorrow I would make the same one again. However, I do not plan to be a "poor poet" forever, as I intend to make a lot of money (so I can give 90% away to help those less fortunate get on their feet). Strange I know. But true.
14. Any final thoughts on poetry writing?
Yes, it is very powerful. Poetry has a unique way of reaching people.
If you have a poem inside of you, please write it. Do not be afraid of criticism, use it to sharpen your tool. Keep writing until you have nothing left, then write some more....
15. Do you have any advice for writers who may be thinking of pursuing
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