Sixty second writing tips: writing is writing

I often find, while chatting with people via Twitter or my blog, that a ‘writer’ by definition means ‘novellist’. I get asked about progress on my story.

Actually, the majority of the writing I do is non-fiction. Right now, I’m writing a non-fiction biography of a mineral, Dava Sobel style.

I also do a lot of other writing, none of it fiction.

To me it all classes as writing. And I think the onus is on writers to be good at all of it, even if they become adept at a particular kind.

Everything inter-links. Understanding how structure works for one kind of writing, for instance, feeds through into good structure for another. Styles interlink.

Breadth of output lends wisdom, it deepens the writing experience and can help make your own favoured or specialist genre shine.

Your thoughts?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013


11 thoughts on “Sixty second writing tips: writing is writing

    1. It’s amazing how doing this can also teach without intending – there’s a knack to writing blog posts, I find – almost but not quite feature article style – and yet having done a fair number of them now I’m finding it’s feeding back quite well into other writing.

  1. I one hundred percent agree–except in that nonfiction will not teach you to push through the mental walls into wildly creative stuff. For that, you have to write fiction. But, voice, pacing, structure, etc? Yeah, I think they compare well.

    1. I was actually trained in fiction writing first off and find that non-fiction demands just as much creativity – including lateral imagination – to make it work. Both types of writing begin with a blank canvas. The difference is that the content of non-fiction is pre-established; and the creativity – which has to be quite wild, sometimes – involves finding the best way to frame and present that content. It’s like the difference between a painting and a photograph; the photographer has to work with the world they’re photographing, but it still demands a LOT of creativity to capture it in an appealing way.

  2. Beautifully written. I wasn’t interested in doing a blog, but was told it was necessary. I have found I enjoy it and it gives me a chance to write freely about whatever without worrying about characters misbehaving, or plot since most of my blogs are about real life or oddball stuff.
    I was never much of a poet, but have been learning. I always thought poems had to rhyme, but now I know they don’t.
    Writing is fun and enjoyable until I get to the editing part of my book then it becomes something of a chore mixed with angst about whether or not it will be good enough to publish. 🙂

  3. I agree. The perception of ourselves as “non-writers” is a self-stultifying vision. So many would-be artists take themselves out of the game before they’ve built any momentum because they’ve bought into the restricting notion that they are not “true” writers until they’ve written in a certain style or for a certain genre. I’m glad you’re offering such an encouraging counter-perspective. Great post.

    1. Thanks. Truth be told, I never considered myself a ‘writer’ of any kind for years, even after I was publishing. I do now, but it took a while. I guess that for me at least, the notion that ‘writing is writing’ flows from that.

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