#1156 - Out-of-Work Writer Turns to Profitable Poetry


This episode is brought to you by the new podcast go and see hosted by Malcolm. Glad well produced by the team behind revisionist history go and see as a six part series focused on Lexus and a philosophy of Gin Gin Bhutto which means go and see for yourself in this series. Lexus invites glad well to Japan to discover their unconventional thinking firsthand. Go inside lexuses headquarters ride along on a top secret test track with master driver sit in the expertly. Designed seat actually lowers to welcome you into the vehicle. Follow Gladwin journey starting March Fifth. Wherever you like to listen visit. Lexus DOT com slash curiosity for more stories? Like these well to a brand new month we have turned the corner of Leap Day leap year etc. Now it's back to normal months but this is going to be a good one. Good Mark Wasn't today story. Have you ever wanted to make a living doing poetry slams me neither okay but listen the more interesting question is? Is it possible in this story? Down His luck writer composes impromptu poems for strangers in the street he put smiles on the faces of everyone he meets. Is this too trendy? Is it only a fad? We'll stay tuned for the story right after the at hiring used to be tough multiple job sites stacks of resumes but today hiring can be easy and you only have to go to one place to get it done. That place is Ziprecruiter so effective that four out of five employers who post on ZIP recruiter get a quality candidate. Within the first day I got powerful matching technology in the. Send your job to over. One hundred of the Web's leading job sites right now to try ziprecruiter for free. Our listeners can go to ziprecruiter dot com slash side hustle. That is ziprecruiter dot com slash side-hustle Ziprecruiter the smartest way to hire ten years ago. Brian Sony Wallace was living in a medieval Scottish village researching ecoconscious living a year later. He graduated and moved back to United States and economic turmoil says right after the global financial crisis and there were no jobs to be found in the ECHO. Space was after all just a fledgling industry at the time he took a job fundraising for a local nonprofit. But that didn't last long. He was laid off and spent the next six months looking for work with limited success. Eventually he turned to a contract job and grant writing to make ends meet but to make matters worse. Brian was going through a break up at the time and sleeping on his ex's couch with a job he disliked that awkward living situation and no prospects on the horizon. He had officially hit rock bottom in an effort to lift his spirits. He began frequenting poetry slams at night. Poetry slams spoken word competition. We're poets perform for a live audience. He found listening to the stories helped him feel less alone during his time of isolation in fact Brian enjoyed them so much that being somewhat of a writer himself decided to undertake a challenge to figure out a way to pay his rent. Play a new location for an entire month using only his poetry skills. Although his situation was dire he wasn't hoping to set the world on fire he was just determined not to be beat so he took his feet to the street. He bought himself an old typewriter for twenty dollars drugs. Busy intersection and sat down with a sign. Read give me a topic. All right you appoint pay me what you think it's worth prime was well aware. He looked like total Weirdo. Just sitting there typewriter at the ready but as they say every movement needs a leader and at least one follower and soon brian had his first disciple woman with a buzz cut walked up to him and said I don't have any money he responded. But that's okay an offer to write her opponent for free. Then something amazing happened. She began to open up telling him the story of her father. A truck driver who was always on the road working to provide for his family Bryan All typewriter starting with the woman's name and the words for you soon enough. He a one of a kind poet as he read it out loud to her. She began to cry. She then rush off to an ATM and paid Brian for the poem. He was happy to do for free used his earnings to buy a burrito eating his free lunch. Brian realized something people needed what he had to offer. It had real value so he kept going sitting on the street every day meeting strangers offering poems on a pay what you will basis. He believes it resonated because we have a crisis of connection in the modern world. We've gotten rid of so many of our old shared stories and are looking for new ones to tell us who we are and how we're all connected. His poems provide a small dose of that. The moment he knew this concept could be taken beyond. The street was during a recession at Venice beach near Los Angeles. A big burly realtor came up to him gave him his number and invited Brian to be the writer in residence at their upcoming corporate party. A week later he was sitting next to the bar. Swanky party typing poems for the staff and their guests after that night. Bryant's future looked bright. He met the challenge successfully paid his rent for the month and kept at it after that he began receiving referrals and was hired by everyone from Google to macy's mall of America to Amtrak and even the National Park Service from time to time he pick up some media coverage through one of these events and that would lead to more referrals. Get this after a while Bryan was earning about as much money as a put for higher as he was a grant writer and didn't come from some grand. Pr Plan but from showing up over and over wherever he was welcome and writing for people on topics they cared about. He dropped the grant writing altogether picked up some work as an art educator to level income all while keeping up the pros on the street he received more media coverage from outlets like the New York Times and the Guardian also built a website rent poet dot com and people began to find him by googling higher poet which by the way. That's a real thing and apparently people search for it these days. Brian can generate anywhere from two thousand to ten thousand dollars per month with a little alliteration to get that one. A little a little ration- he feels like he's living surreal. American dream by paying his bills from the most unlikely art form poetry. There've been times he's felt like throwing in the towel and moving on but then a unique opportunity comes along keeps engaged that recently when he was approached by publisher his book the poetry of strangers. What I learned traveling America with a typewriter we'll be published in the summer of twenty twenty began with a struggle. It seemed impossible but rent poet. Dot Com is now unstoppable capitalist poetry. How about that yes? You can't do that. You love something. That's totally fun and might seem random. you know to some people or maybe even to yourself at a certain point like it did for Brian But then ended up not just doing but also doing well on. This episode reminds me of of one from long ago episode. Two fifty two for everybody out there interested in making money through poetry. That episode was called Managerial Account in Dubai. Earns one thousand dollars a month hosting poetry slams? So there's at least two people doing this. And by the way March twenty first is World Poetry Day which is a UNESCO declared a day of celebration purpose is to promote the reading writing publishing and teaching poetry throughout the world. So I don't know if you have to do anything to get ready for that show up but that is coming up on the horizon all right. Congratulations Brian and get work. Thank you for allowing us to share your story and listeners. No matter the drama no matter the weather inspiration with action is so much better. Today's show notes are at school dot com slash eleven fifty six. We'll be back tomorrow with eight non rhyming episode but I hope you enjoy this one. My name is Chris. Gil about this is a school a probably onward project.

Coming up next