Tuesday, July 03, 2007

3. Non-fiction

Third and final part of Being a Writer

Articles, books, essays, letter-writing [presumably] may be your interest. That's great! Start with articles and develop a list of things that interest you and/or that you know a lot about. Stop right there if you're thinking you know nothing! My first article idea list ever garnered me over 30 possible projects from childcare and women's health to travel and writing. Mridu Khullar's website has some good articles on article writing. A simple web search will find you hundreds of helpful articles, tips and ebooks. As a starting point for a relaxed and friendly writing style, edit everything you produce for mistakes and ensure your facts are facts not fiction. If you would like to publish there are plenty of free article directories on the web. You don't get paid but you do have the pleasure of seeing your name and work in "print" so to speak and you can track your articles to see where they end up.

All writing requires some level of research. Non-fiction books especially. Readers expect to be reading the truth backed up with reliable resources. You will need things like bibliographies, expert's quotes, possibly some images, diagrams and tables. Don't be put off, non-fiction writing is just as creative as fiction and equally satisfying for the writer. Read up on things like developing outlines that will help you plan your work and how to research and keep records. You don't want to lose any scrap of information in the process through sloppy files or note-taking.

You don't have to be an "expert" to write non-fiction, but be prepared to have become one by the time you are finished. Good research skills and dedication will get you most of the way there. Good writing will carry you through the rest.

It doesn't really matter whether you're published and earning money from writing, whether you blog or keep a journal, write letters or that no one other than you reads your work. If at the end of the day, writing makes you happy in some way and you do it regardless of other outside outcomes, then you are a writer. Whether you take your craft out of the hobby arena and into the semi or full professional is up to you and other interests/ambitions you may have. Being a writer is something you are born with. Writing well and being able to craft a piece that is interesting and has an impact on its audience is something you learn along the way. You don't have to sign up for university. You do have to be prepared to work at it, learn, and keep practicing.

The way to better writing is to keep writing.

My ebook - Plan to Write, Plan to Succeed - has some articles in it you may find of interest to further you along your writing path. It's available free by emailing me at - trish.anders@gmail.com - and putting "plan to write" in the subject line.


NeoAuteur said...

Thanks for the great tips.

Beginnings, Middle and Ends said...

and thank you for leaving a comment

cheers - TrishA