Giving It Away

Will Hindmarch is a freelance writer, graphic designer, and game designer. He also blogs at Gameplaywright and The Gist. Look for him at Jeff VanderMeer’s reading in Atlanta at 8pm on December 11th at Manuel’s Tavern.

haikuyearA few weeks ago, I gave away five poems drawn from a Cessna flight manual. Today, I’m giving away 105 haiku I wrote as part of my Haiku Year project. The short version: I set out to write a haiku a day for one year. I made it a little over three months. Starting on Thanksgiving, I’m going to give it a shot again, though, and as part of the preparation for that I’ve gathered together all the haiku I wrote during the last jaunt, plus a few articles about the poems, and put them into a little book, also called Haiku Year. Starting today, you can buy it for a pittance, as a POD paperback, or download a free copy of it, as a PDF ebook. Get either of those things at Lulu.

The obvious question here, of course, is can you even give poetry away on the Internet? Put another way, who gives a damn? The answers to those questions are, of course, “Yes, you can give it away,” and “Very nearly nobody.”

I made $15 in donations from those Cessna flight-manual poems. That’s $3/poem and, honestly, more than I expected to make. As I said at the time, it means that I was able to pay for a couple of beers using poems I wrote. That ain’t nothing. Truth be told, that was kind of a fun feeling. But the money isn’t quite the point. The point is to be putting work in front of people, in lots of various forms. The point is to get excited and make things. (See also Wil Wheaton’s recent post, “get excited and make things!”) The point is to get it out there.

Most of this book’s haiku were written to get me jump-started on the day’s writing. Or to get me some practice with the form. To get me looking around for a poem every day. They did that. Now that that’s done, why not put them into a handy package for people? Why not make them available for sale as a little pocket book? I’m not out anything but a little bit of time for making it. Who knows, the book might buy me a beer.

The only trouble is that if you download the thing, I have no record of that. So please drop a comment here or at this post on my home blog, letting me know that you chose to get it and, maybe, read a bit of it. I’ll come back and let you know what sort of response the thing gets. It may very well end up being an embarrassing silence, but at least we’ll know that.