Fiction Versus Non-Fiction Writing: Alternating Between the Two
Charm Baker Fiction and Non-fiction Titles
Many writers (including myself) like to alternate between writing fiction and writing non-fiction. Some have posed the question, what’s better, fiction or non-fiction? For a non-fiction writer who also writes fiction novels, I find there are plenty of benefits to doing both.
In reality, I’m only just beginning in my career as a novelist and I am not alone among the thousands of unknown authors. With two novels and an Amazon short read (novella) currently on the market, I’ve started on my long journey of becoming a best-selling author. But in spite of my goal of publishing additional works of fiction, the desire to write non-fiction has also resurfaced, and this time in a much stronger way.
As the remainder of this discussion will bring out, there are plenty of good reasons to focus on writing non-fiction in the current social and political climate we live in today. I love the idea of covering important issues and sounding my voice on controversial topics. Like many authors, I know it can be difficult to prioritize when to do your fiction versus non-fiction writing. Trying to alternate between the two types of writing on a regular basis is a challenge because they both require different mindsets. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do; however, when it comes to dividing up your time, each author must decide what matters most to them. Before you make a decision, keep reading and consider why it’s a good idea to consistently try and do both.
Publishing fiction was something that I always planned to do at some point during my writing career and I can’t deny that I enjoy it. Fiction writing is more about imagination and creativity, though it still helps to get your facts right. But it is not the facts that shine and stand out when publishing fiction, it is the author’s creative handling of those facts and details. Following the publishing of a novel, or collection of stories, the author’s work is just beginning. This is true whether it’s a digital book or a traditional print publication, and most especially when the book is self-published. I know this to be a fact, from my own first-hand experience. Since releasing my latest novel this past December, I’ve had to spend a great deal of attention promoting the title “Lights Out at the Moulin Rouge.” As many of my former blog posts have brought out, there is serious work to do, before, during and after the book publishing process. All that hard work is multiplied if you’re a self-published author, trying to go it alone. There is way to avoid activities like marketing and promoting your book on a regular basis.
Did you mistakenly think that writing and publishing a work of fiction would be easier than gathering research to write and publish a non-fiction book? Well surprise! Not only is research often necessary when writing fiction, but sometimes you your creative juices don’t always flow when you want them to. Writer’s block may come along and rear its ugly head, as was brought out in a former blog article (Newly Published Authors: Why Maintain Your Writing Momentum).
It is not my intention to discourage any new author who is currently involved in trying to promote and market a new title, however, I don’t believe in glossing things over. Newly published indie authors have a lot of hard work ahead, and even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll achieve the exact kind of book ”success” that you desire. That is why it is so important to maintain your writing momentum, no matter what. You’ll make a big mistake by limiting your time solely to marketing and promoting your new title, with no time or regard for future creations. No matter what you write, you have to keep producing so you keep your writing momentum going. Since you probably won’t be ready to embark on starting another manuscript right away, this can be an excellent time to do some non-fiction writing. Continue reading and you’ll see why.
There are three good reasons that have prompted me to once again focus attention on writing non-fiction articles, even while I contemplate my next novel. They are:
- Maintain Writing Routine
- Network & Promote Titles
- Establish Voice & Brand
Maintain Writing Routine
It takes a lot of time for an author to write a manuscript, then re-vise, edit, and re-vise it again (and that’s just the first draft)! During the course of this rigorous writing process, at some point you manage to establish and maintain a reasonable writing routine. This is clearly the case, or you would have never finished writing and publishing the book at all. Afterwards, you will have plenty of book related activities to keep you busy once your book’s title has been released. This was also brought out in the previously mentioned post (Newly Published Authors: Why Maintain Your Writing Momentum). But marketing and promoting is not the same thing as using specifically allocated time to write and continue producing new material. Do not let the writing routine that you were able to successfully establish come to an end. Whatever you do, try and keep your writing momentum for as long as you can!
Network & Promote Titles
If you’re not getting reviews and feel like an isolated writer, find a writing platform like Hubpages or some other site where you can network with other writers, potential new readers. Discuss your articles to the targeted audience and find a way to mention your book title(s). This is a big step in the right direction. Through your association with the new Followers you gain, you may eventually be able to get more book sales, as well as feedback and reviews for your current and future titles.
Establish Voice & Brand
Your writing speaks to who you are, and so does your choice of topics and the way you approach those topics. This is how you start to develop and establish your brand and your writing voice. This makes it important that you find a way to set yourself apart from others who write in your category. Strive to become known for the quality content you provide, no matter what writing platform you use, or what type of content you write.
Share what You Love
One of the easiest things in the world for a writer to do is to share what you love. When you do, you’ll never run out of things to write about. After spending over a decade writing articles and online content, I developed a lot more than just a flair for writing non-fiction material and creating simple how-to ebooks. During my many years of blog writing, ghostwriting, and contributing to various websites, I’ve managed to develop a strong love of fact-finding and publishing useful content. My journey as a novelist is barely just beginning as the sales of my available Amazon novels continue to rise. But my years as an online writer are slowly but surely paying off. That is why, as I continue to focus on writing and publishing fiction and working towards my goals as a novelist, I will never give up on writing non-fiction. I’ll continue to tackle subjects about politics, social issues and other current topics of interest, and of course, the subject of writing and self-publishing.