CADILLAC — Leanna Carr is a 20-year-old writer and poet.
It’s not just a hobby. Writing is her life, her freedom, and now she’s working toward making it her fulltime job.
“I think it’s an unconventional job,‘ she said. “It’s hard.‘
Carr made a tough call in 2017 after graduating from Cadillac High School. Although she was a good student who took AP classes, she decided not to go to college.
“As a writing student, she was always laser focused and I could see that she was a serious writer then,‘ said her former English and creative writing teacher Jona Seeley. “She wanted to learn the craft and she worked tenaciously.‘
“In the end, I knew I wanted to be creative and be my own boss,‘ Carr said. “I’m working on that creativity (combined) with the business skills.‘
Writers who make a living in poetry are almost exclusively college English professors or freelancers.
But social media offers new ways to break through and establish a following.
Carr found an online membership platform for artists, a service where she can offer subscription content online. It’s a way for serious artists to receive funding from their fans.
“Welcome to the home of me, and my brain,‘ Carr wrote on her page at patreon.com.
She offers poetry, screenplays, artwork, short films, behind the scenes information “and so much more.‘ Subscribers can join “tiers‘ that start at $1 a month.
In addition Carr is releasing her first poetry book about “growing up, love, self-doubt, and failure‘ called “with love.‘
“I wrote a book!‘ she announced online.
“Everyone has been so supportive of the book, I’m so grateful,‘ Carr said. “Friends and strangers are sharing it ... talking to me on social media and reaching out ... it resonated well. These words of encouragement keep me pushing and moving forward with what I want to do. I want to be working for myself entirely.‘
There will be a book signing at Horizon Books in Cadillac from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 29.
The book “with love‘ is also available at Horizon Books in Cadillac, Traverse City, and on Amazon.