Don’t Call Me a Sell-Out for Ditching My Poetic Status for Dollars

Let me tell you why dollars trump creativity any day of the week.

Christina M. Ward
10 min readJul 23, 2022

Photo by Yohann Lc on Unsplash

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Note from the author: This article will likely find more receptive reading from true fans of my work. Those who know my struggles motivate me but do not define me. It’s a personal article with tons of whining. You’ve been warned…

It details my experiences as a poet on the Medium platform, why I am largely redefining my presence here, and how I plan to do that…but yes, there’s whining. Not sorry. Today, I just needed to type something not-work-related, and this is what rose to the surface. I appreciate your reading.

Why I had to Sacrifice My Heart for Money

Have you ever been hungry? I mean really hungry? Gone to bed without dinner when you were really hungry — because there wasn’t enough food?Have you ever dreamed so big to get out of impoverished circumstances that the poetry just cried out of you?

Well, I have. Poetry has saved me from terrible pain, time and again.

It’s also allowed my heart to sing in joy and praise for all that is glorious in this world. Poetry is and always will be a part of me.

My first year on Medium, I went from a complete unknown to Top Writer in Poetry in a matter of a few months. I stayed in that position for over a year. I published my poems frequently and in over a dozen publications. Then, I ran The POM group to uplift and help other poets find the measure of success I was having.

Then — without a lot of warning, I gave it all up — for money. To chase money with my writing.

Like a selfish sellout asshole.

I know you’re thinking it.

I took some heat for this too. But nothing compares to the inner turmoil I felt at giving that up. And, it’s hard to defend yourself when you can’t be totally honest about why.

I can’t play today…if I do, there…

Christina M. Ward

Author of "Organic." Freelance word wizard. See her work in LA Weekly | OK! Mag | Village Voice | Men's Journal | VEGAMOUR | Today's Health Sciences and more!