A funny thing happens when I tell people I’m a writer: I’m asked if I write fiction or nonfiction. It’s as though the general consensus is that fiction and nonfiction writing are mutually exclusive, when, as any writer will tell you, they are not.
This phenomenon gets even weirder when I tell them that I write books as well as content marketing material for clients. The fact that a person can freelance and write books at the same time seems to boggle the minds of many people.
So what about it? Do freelancing and fiction go hand in hand? Are they compatible? Or should you keep them apart?
As most of you know, this blog is dedicated to readers who, primarily, are freelancers looking for tips, to read about the lifestyle, to meet others who do the same work, and to follow my journey into the world of freelancing. But I can’t talk about freelancing without occasionally bringing up fiction, just like I can’t talk about my fiction (and non-fiction) “book writing” without bringing up freelancing.
The reason for this is because the two truly do go hand in hand. I learn a lot about many different topics as a freelance writer, and I also learn about keeping to a deadline, finding ways to write when I’m not inspired, and how to be a better and more efficient researcher. Freelancing also helps me keep up to date on the world of SEO and search, which helps when you go to publish your books on places like the Kindle, since Amazon relies heavily on relevancy and search engines.
I take what I learn in freelancing and I funnel it into my fiction and “book writing” life, and it helps me immensely. Similarly, I take what I’ve learned in my fiction writing life – how to write poetically, how to craft a story, how to develop a narrative instead of just listing facts – and channel that into my freelance life. This makes me a better freelancer, because my work is less dry and more engaging than perhaps some other freelancers who aren’t as experienced in crafting narrative and write like they’re composing text for an encyclopedia. (I don’t mean that condescendingly, it’s just a fact that some people do write this way, and most of them will freely admit it.)
My point here is that you should never let someone tell you that you have to choose between writing for passion and writing for profit. In both freelancing and fiction, I do both. Freelancing funds my “book writing”, and book writing helps me when I go to land freelancing jobs.
If anything, writing in both areas makes me a stronger writer – both a stronger freelancer, and a stronger story teller – not a weaker one.
What are your thoughts on this?
And, for a moment of shameless self-promotion, you can see a work of fiction right here: “The Magician”. It’s the first book in my fiction epic fantasy series “The Rogue Portal”, and since the second book is coming out sometime this month, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share the first book with you. 🙂