Writing is cool

The title of this post is a quote from my friend Kent Friesen, master of understatement.

I’ve been thinking this weekend about non-fiction, as the back of my brain slowly starts to percolate ideas for this summer’s writing workshops at the VPL.

So far, the percolation has brewed two main thoughts:

1. Writing non-fiction means you get to write about yourself, and your own experiences. You don’t have to pretend that you’re writing about a “character” in a “fictional place.” You just say, hey, this is what happened to me. Isn’t it so much easier that way?

2. Non-fiction has a greater potential to change the world. Fiction can impact people, change their views, maybe even change the way they make decisions in their lives. But if you think of books that have actually changed the world — Silent Spring, for example — they’re non-fiction.

And besides, the contract that arrived in my in-box this week is for a non-fiction project, and there’s an advance, and a deadline, and an illustrator, and it’s going to be a real book, and therefore… non-fiction is cool.

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