Celebrating poverty

Celebrate blog hopFor this week’s installment on the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop, I’m celebrating my poverty. Celebrating poverty? Yes.

Poverty actually is a good thing for a writer or poet. It means you can’t afford a lot of the things that might distract you. If you could afford a brand-new sports car, you’d probably spend a lot of time on the road trying it out. Time that could be spent writing, or reading books that would count as research for your writing projects.

And poverty gives you a chance to do creative things other than writing. I sew, make bread, and do a lot of cooking-from-scratch in part because it saves money, but it also gives me a creative outlet that is different enough from my writing to be a good break from it.

Since the business of the writer is to make trouble for characters, experiencing a little poverty first-hand is a way to learn to be more realistic in your writing about characters in poverty. This might not help you with the upper-crust reader who knows all about poverty from reading what upper-crust poverty experts have to say about it. But to readers who grew up poor or are poor now, you can make a strong connection by having this knowledge and personal experience.

Another factor is that the writer-in-poverty can’t just buy any book they want. They are more likely to give library books a try, or temporarily-free ebooks. And I think you can learn a lot more by trying books out of your normal reading rut of the same authors in the same genre. Poverty made me try Amish romance— not my chosen genre by any means, but in good examples, such as those by Beverly Lewis, they are well worth reading, giving you a picture of an entirely different group of people living a different life.


Chicken #221 is on the porch in a cage while he recovers from frost-bitten toes. My young tomcat Simon (named after the Chipmunk) is in the house by himself as he recovers from some infected tomcat-fight wounds. Since he’s not feeling all that well, he’s behaving far better than other tomcats do in the house.


During my morning Bible reading I ran across the fact that Judas Iscariot was considered a bishop (Acts 1: 20, KJV). Worst bishop ever?

Read some more Elemental Masters books by Mercedes Lackey and realized I am missing book #2 in the series. Shall have to get that one. Then started re-reading the Dragon Jousters series by the same author, which is set in a magical version of ancient Egypt under another name (Tia and Alta). But I’m longing for something NEW to read and so may stop off at the local library.

What are you celebrating today?

Something great, or something nice, or something not-so-nice that has nice side effects? Share your celebration in a comment!



5 thoughts on “Celebrating poverty

  1. I was raised in Indiana, poor but not below poverty level. My best book friend was the library, even after I moved to NYC. That’s why I always search out free book opportunities and post them on my blog because I know that it will help people. I also ran out of food money 3 times in my life. Homemade cornbread, popcorn, and pickle sandwiches saw me through. 😉

  2. Hi, Nissa. Nice to meet you. I’ve never actually lived in poverty, but I’m fugal and need to save money. I breastfed my babies, because formula was/is so expensive. I used cloth diapers, couldn’t afford throwaway, until baby #5 then I switched it up somewhat. The library is the best way to get books cheap. Although, you’re missing out on all the indie authors, like me.

  3. I was raised below poverty, lived many years nicely above and am edging down again. I honestly started book reviewing because I didn’t have the money to buy enough to keep up with my reading speed. Both ends have their pluses and minuses, but I prefer the lower end of things simply because life is more honest and genuine, it seems. Not that a bit of extra cash is a bad thing 😉

  4. I like your attitude! I’ve never lived in poverty, but I’m not a big spender and neither is Mister. Now that we have a baby, we’re extra careful with money.

    Nice to meet you!

  5. What a great way to look at things!!! We live way below our means–I always will because I watched my mom struggle to raise my sister and me after my dad left when I was a kid. I think that stays with you for life.

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