Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Sunday Writer


Im what acclaimed author Lawrence Block calls a Sunday Writer.

In his book for aspiring fiction writers, TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT, Block envies Sunday Writers.

Sunday Writers do it for fun and enjoyment, not for profit. We sit at our word processors when the mood strikes. Its a hobby, not a job.

Sunday Writers enjoy the process. Otherwise, we wouldnt do it. There are no daily word-count targets or mandatory writing hours.  There is no market analysis for the final product.  We write what we think is important or interesting or fun, and are elated if others find it useful as well.

Every writer, including the Sunday Writer, likes to see his/her work jumping off the bookshelves to eager readers.  But the Sunday Writer knows this is icing on the cake.  The fun for a Sunday Writer is mixing just the right ingredients and baking the cake.

Sunday Writers should be held to high standards as authors. We don't face deadlines and don't have editors and publishers demanding things from us. We should take our time and get it right. We have access to similar resources as full-time, professional writers.  The Sunday Writer can easily find editorial or proofreading help if needed, as well as assistance with cover designs.

My Sunday writing is mostly about things I experienced in my 35 years as a college professor.  The cake I bake is short prose, with each story (ranging from 2,500 to 14,000 words) addressing an issue in higher education or college sports.  I enjoy all aspects of each story, from developing the idea to the challenge of creating a cover design. I also dabble in flash fiction, posting 100-word stories about life and growing old on The Adventures of Ed and Edna. Many of these short, short stories are in response to weekly writing prompts from the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge.

Electronic publishing has opened doors for many Sunday Writers like me.  I use an e-book aggregator called Smashwords to distribute my short stories to as many e-book retailers as possible. 

When allowed by the retailer, I typically set the price as FREE for my individual short stories.  After all, the fun was baking the cake -- and sharing it with as many people as possible.

Almost every day I thank my lucky stars that Im not a full-time writer trying to put bread on the table from my literary pursuits.

Thats because being a Sunday Writer is a blast.


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