This post is, I guess, an extension of the previous goals I posted for this year. 2015 for me is about going back to the grass roots of why I enjoy writing, and that means all kinds of writing. I like writing non-fiction. In fact, the first thing I did when taking tentative steps towards a writing career was press releases for my sixth form college at 16. While taking a year out globetrotting I kept a travelogue of all the places I'd been. And then I enrolled for a qualification in journalism in Glasgow, and was lucky enough to get a reporter's position at my local paper.
I miss it. I miss the buzz of uncovering facts, doing interviews and getting a great quote. I think I've been so obsessed with developing my fiction writing that I forgot the pleasure that can be gained from a well-honed article. Furthermore, there are lessons to be learned from journalism that we can apply to our fiction. What's interesting about the story? Who are the main players, what troubles have they seen and what are their triumphs? In journalism you have to find the most important thread and put that front and centre.
So this year I'm going to devote more effort to my freelance writing career by pitching some article ideas to paying markets on topics I enjoy writing about. I know a bit about being a step-parent, raising a disabled child and coping with the loss of a child. Plus, all the ephemera that swirls about my head to do with music, movies and historical figures has to be useful for something.
I also need to get over the idea I'm not good enough. I'm qualified, people have said I'm alright, I need to start having more faith in myself if I'm going to get anywhere.
I'm also going to restart the goal to write and submit one short story a month. I spaced on it in January as I was just getting back into the swing of things after the holiday, but I'm definitely going to refocus on this in February.
Do you enjoy non-fiction? I know we all do it via blogging, but do you enjoy reading it or writing in-depth articles? Do you think fiction and non-fiction have lessons to teach each other?