Being a poet is one of the cruellest things that can happen to a person, and I should know, because I am one. The reason that it’s cruel is because getting published in various anthologies means that there is not only a publisher who likes your stuff, but multiple publishers who like your work. Thing is though, you don’t get paid and most people think you’re a bit soft in the head.
Poems are usually quite short but can take as long to write as it might take you to write a cheap Mills & Boon novel. There’s a difference though, you get paid for writing cheap novels.
You also get paid for writing stories, erotica, chick lit, anything vampire and of course if you can churn out a booker prize definitive Irish novel, you’ll probably be as boring as poets, definitely as stuffy, but you’ll have money and live in an old house with a writing desk that faces a big old Georgian window looking out onto a leafy garden. You’ll spend periods of time in your country cottage or in
and you’ll get loads of sex but might be too bookish to want it. New York
Nobody wants to have sex with a poet. They worry that they’ll have to endure hearing twee rhyming couplets at the point of orgasm, whereas everybody wants to have sex with a novelist. Novelists live in the moment, then, after the orgasm, lie on their back smoking a cigarette in the dark saying ‘I’d like to work a scene like that into my next book.’ Then you’d have to have sex again and again and again to work all the little details into that next novel. I know this, because not only am I a poet, I am also a novelist, albeit a failed one. But even failed novelists are good in bed because they need new material. In fact, failed novelists have the advantage of not having to get up early in the morning to go meet their publishers.
I suppose at the end of the day you have to think about your priorities. If you want to have a lot of money, a lot of sex and plenty of free time, it really is quite difficult to find a career that is kind to all of these factors. I haven’t found one yet, I had planned to spend today doing some career planning in that direction, but then I got inspired to write a poem and started doing that instead.