Sunday, September 2, 2012

TSS: Sunday Writers

A somewhat blog-centric Sunday Salon post this week: I'm currently reading Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Laurence Block (excellent book, by the way), and in it he ponders why there are no "Sunday writers"--people who, as Block defines it, write regularly and develop their skills only for the love of doing something fun and creative, never expecting to be published or paid. Block does add one caveat to this: poets can't have any expectations of being published; and even if they do, they won't make money at it, so they're the exception. "When all poets are essentially amateurs, one's not ashamed to be less than professional," he says.

Naturally, when I read Block's definition of Sunday writers my mind immediately went to blogging, something that didn't exist when Block wrote Telling Lies (which I think was in the early '80s--he references typewriters a lot). Most bloggers don't get paid; and if they do, it's not very much. Instead, we write regularly because we like writing! Or at least I do. All the things Block cites as impediments to the existence of Sunday writers--wanting to share your work with others, the prohibitive cost of self-publishing and the stigma attached to doing so--have essentially been removed thanks to the internet. Now anyone can publish nearly anything, for free, and share it with the world.

I'm sorry for confusing your freelance writing career with unemployment.

But are we really "Sunday writers"? As in, do we consider ourselves as writers, and if we do, is our ultimate goal still to get published? I think a lot of people, even those who regularly write for a living, don't consider blogging as "writing" (Jessica from Read React Review wrote an excellent post discussing this a few months ago). I do consider blogging as writing; in fact, one of the reasons I started the blog was so I could have a writing outlet after a finished school. However, I also want to be published, and have been. So perhaps Block is right and there really are no Sunday writers, despite the fact that the impediments he mentioned don't really exist anymore.

Do you think there are "Sunday writers"?


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