I’ve come to the realization that I’m far better at non-fiction.
…which is disheartening, considering how much more I like fiction and would prefer to write it. Especially F&SF.
But it’s not surprising. I’ve had years more practice writing nonfiction. Every paper I wrote in college. Emailed stories to friends and family. Even those letters I wrote during class in high school, to be delivered in the hallway at the next break, which I will be mortified if any ever survived to this day.
Blogging continues the same trend; I am forever trying to examine life, analyze it, and reconstruct it.
Reconstruction for my own sake is easy. The hard part is reconstructing for others. Rarely are people persuaded, but persuasion is never my goal. (Dale Carnegie wrote that you can’t “win” an argument.)
My goal is to get people to RECONSIDER. Even if they land on the same side of an argument they did before, if they at least thought of it awhile longer, approached things from a different angle, my mission is accomplished.
The reaction I get most often is, “I still believe the same things, but I see your point.” Enough said.
So I’m starting my first non-fiction book-length project.
Correction: Define “starting”? This project has been in my mind for years and years. I’ve quoted notes of it to people, summarized chapters, written essays on some of the subjects therein.
Alright, fair enough; in terms of organizing and presenting these materials in book form, I’m starting my first non-fiction book.
And true to my brother’s advice (even more apropos for non-fiction I think), I have a specific goal in mind. A specific absolute goal that I want the book to accomplish, not just in the reader’s mind, but in the wide world we share.
That goal is give every reader 100 more hours per year. Obviously I don’t mean hours of life, or daylight, or other disparate phenomena I cannot affect: I mean 100 more useful, productive, valued, enjoyed hours.
How is that possible? What can anyone do to get more hours into a day, a week, or month?
I’m going to tell you. But while you’re waiting…
You can start by using your turn signal.