More methods from the cash-strapped

Lynn recommends that I try some other methods, besides the controversial and not terribly lucrative one of selling private blog access, to raise money.

Because we are all broke. But sometimes some of us are broker than others. I remember when Joe Massey begged, and she remembers when Tao Lin sold some sketches to keep himself in ramen. I have a friend who sells poems and photographs on Ebay for some extra cash every month.

I have some things for sale, including Foursquare and my book Organic Furniture Cellar, at Etsy. I have now put a signed copy of Organic Furniture Cellar up for sale.


About Jessica Smith
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17 Responses to More methods from the cash-strapped

  1. Ana says:

    you could do a big ‘moving to new york’ reading. debut as a fresh new yorker. get cool folks big and small to read with you. print some stuff to give out at the reading. charge an entrance fee. coerce bribe and otherwise persuade everyone to attend. i don’t see anything wrong with fundraising for yourself. your editing work is a public service! you *should* be supported.

    it sucks new york = broke for so many. (me incl.)

  2. looktouch says:

    Thanks Ana– that’s a great idea. Maybe once the Anthology is out? I don’t feel like I could organize something that big before that. I could use that great little bar that Amy staked out, as a venue 🙂 … but maybe time-wise, it’ll be like when stores have “Grand Opening!”s when you’ve seen them open on your block for weeks.

  3. the reading is definately a good idea! i’d come! if i were there : )
    did you hear about that job you were excited about yet? the job search thing really sucks, doesn’t it…. : (

  4. I want to believe that it’s possible to make a living off of art. And it is. For a few people. Who sell their sketches for thousands of dollars in LA and New York.

    Until then (sorry, I’m trying to tone down my cynicism. I believe in art, but whatever) there’s It’s only $11 an hour, but it’s all work from home, so there’s no commuting costs, and there’s quite a few other poets already working for them. It’s a great way to make an extra 50, 100, or 200 bucks in a week or two.

    Honestly, I believe that unless your independently wealthy, there are only two alternatives, in this order: crappy work that you hate but tolerate or eventual poverty and early death–but not that early. Death in your 50s.

  5. That sounded like an advertisement for working for smarthinking. There’s online teaching, too, which is weird, but it works, and is not so bad. And there’s community college teaching.

  6. I never “begged” for anything, Jessica.

    Good luck with your venture!

  7. looktouch says:

    @Shannon I’m still waiting for them to schedule another interview… 😦

    @Joe whatever you want to call it, dude. You asked for money on your blog. I remember because I gave you some. My mom even gave you some. There was a PayPal button and mention of ramen.

    @KLG for college-type teaching, which will be great whenever I can get into it, and thank god for CUNY, I have to wait till the next round of classes begins, ie the summer. And I’d rather have a regular salaried position if I can get it (ha– I want the job you just turned down!), at least for awhile, because it’ll pay better and be reliable (you go in, you work, you go home. Every day, like clockwork). … Anyway, I’ll check out smartthinking, though I’ve had an opportunity for self-guided work-at-home stuff before and I just can’t get into it. I need to either really care about my job (like teaching) or get into a rhythm (as at a salaried job at a place I might not care about 100% but can tolerate).

  8. oh, wow, it made a little face. how’d that happen? somwhat like google chat, i suspect.

  9. Ok . . . how does one sell poetry and photography on Ebay? That sounds like fun.

  10. Hey Jessica,

    I think that some folks are more able to tolerate a job they don’t like so much if it has a rhythm, as you say. It doesn’t work for me, but there are many many poet and art folks that prefer it to teaching. So, whatever works.

    I don’t enjoy working for Smarthinking at all. But if I need an extra $50, I’m glad for it. But, good lord, it’s painful!

  11. Sandra says:

    I was a vet’s assistant and made $10 /hour with an MFA (no experience necessary!)

    it sucked picking up dog poop—but hey, i didn’t need to BEG LIKE JOE.

    (just teasing, Joe!!)

  12. @Sandra, yup, I’ve been doing odd jobs myself, first at the Strand at $9/hr then at Internet Archive for $11/hr, and happily was able to make rent, get a metro card, and pay one of my credit card minimums earlier this month, but other expenditures keep coming drip drip drip, and the High Paying Job I interviewed for last week has called me but not actually *scheduled* the 3rd interview with them; luckily, next week I have a meeting at a temp agency which should augment my cash flow. I’m basically never in this situation– even when I’m “broke,” I consider myself not to be as broke as other people, and try to support as many other artists as I can– but, right now, truly really broke. Well, not *now* since so many generous readers have been sending cash my way (thank you!!)!

    And I don’t mean to imply anything bad about begging. Everybody begs sometimes. One good thing about being a poet is that everyone’s been there, and there’s no shame in it. Which isn’t to say that people should take advantage of other peoples’ generosity unnecessarily, but that if it’s needed, hey, it’s needed. Personally, I can’t wait till I get a Real Job and can start giving back (again… but perhaps this time with Real Money instead of Grad Student Income).

  13. Sandra says:

    When I finished my MFA and moved to San Francisco, it sucked because I couldn’t find a job so I can totally relate. I went to a temp agency that said that I didn’t meet their “skill level!” (i.e., not a fast enough typer)
    Anyway, good luck with everything. I do hope that things work out.

  14. Augh, yeah, it seems like the more degrees (or, er, partial degrees) I have the less qualified I am for jobs. But, at least I didn’t waste 5 years writing a dissertation before discovering this. As likely as not, I’d have been in the same position I am now, but even more dissatisfied with the job market because I’d have done even more intellectual work.

    And it’s so annoying– the CraigsList ads that are like, “we need a receptshonist [sic] who can use microsoft word and can type 55 wpm and has 5 ears [sic] experience.”

    And I’m like, “can you spellcheck your ads please? who’s your receptionist *now* for god’s sake?” and who needs 5 years experience to be able to answer the phone and type a business letter?

  15. Sandra says:

    Yes! I think that the craigslist ad for the temp agency had a million errors but still, I didn’t have the skilz (or is it skillz?).

  16. Rebecca says:

    You definitely have 5 ears of experience. With the readings you’ve done, easily 100 ears. Apply for that job.

    I bet you not only know how to run Word, but even spellcheck! What a deal you’d be! (hm. spellcheck on firefox doesn’t like the word spellcheck.)

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