Writing fiction, especially fantasy, is the lifeblood of my creativity, but lately I find myself writing more and more non-fiction - articles, DIY instructions, blog posts. While sometimes the need to write "technical" stuff feels like a hindrance that is taking away precious time from working on my books, writing non-fiction does have its benefits:
1. It helps achieve a clear, concise style that enables you to say what you want to say quickly and efficiently, without a lot of embellishment (which you get in the habit of using when writing novels).
2. It helps put your thoughts in order, for example when writing a clearly outlined plan or article.
3. It's a lot easier to make some money writing non-fiction than fiction. Getting my books published is a lofty goal, one I'm constantly working towards, but I realize it's a long, slow uphill walk. Writing website content or articles, and getting them published, read and liked - which is much easier to do than publishing a book - can give you some immediate gratification and a moral boost while you still do what you do best - writing.
Last week, I got a letter from the editors of a magazine where I submitted an article for publishing. The editing team was unable to use my article, for various reasons, but I got a very kind message from the editing coordinator, complimenting me on my writing style and inviting me to submit more articles. It was a more personal, more encouraging message by far than I ever got from a literary agent, and gave me a great deal of motivation.