Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
As a freelance ghostwriter, I get a chance to flex my literary muscles in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, I don’t get many requests for fiction work. Most clients want non-fiction, fact-based pieces. When I try to be a bit creative, they call it “fluff.” It seems there is a thin line between what can go into an article and what is deemed as filler. What do you find to be your cup of tea, fiction or non-fiction writing?
Can You Be Creative in Non-Fiction Pieces?
Regardless of what you write, there will always be an element of creativity behind your work. Otherwise, everyone would be writing the exact same thing on every page. It’s our individuality that makes the greatest impact. This is an aspect that is hard to accept as a ghostwriter. Essentially, it’s other people who are getting the credit for my sense of humor or personal views about any certain topic.
Creativity in non-fiction needs to be wrangled in a bit. Too much self-expression or personal insight often results in the client requesting a revision. Even if the point you’re trying to make is relevant, the piece could still come back to haunt you. I think this is one of the reasons why I’ve been delving into my own fiction pieces as of late. I’ve completed more than 5,000 orders for various clients around the world. Yet no-one knows me by name. It can be disheartening at times.
One of the most difficult times I have is writing something that is “personable” but created in third-person. Sometimes I wonder if some clients don’t know the difference between first, second and third-person styles of writing. It’s possible to do this, but it makes it far more difficult – at least it does for me. Unless you’re telling a story, such as in a novel which clients don’t want, it’s hard to imprint a personable element in a third-person format.
The Control Over Fiction
Personally, I would prefer to write nothing but fiction pieces. When writing something based purely in creativity, you can change the laws of physics to suit your story. Fiction gives you something that you just cannot get with non-fiction: absolute control. As long as the story makes sense to your readers and it’s developed properly, anything is possible. Most people would prefer to write in this field simply because it gives them that sense of control that may be denied to them in life. Regardless of what happens at work, home or if you’re sitting in jail, you have total control of a fictional story line.
Why I don’t Write More Fiction
I try to get in as much as I can. Unfortunately, I believe I am too busy to really put a true effort into something creative. I spend time writing for clients, working on my blogs, taking care of the children and running the liquor store with my Dad. By the time I get home, I am often too tired to even think straight.
However, I have been forcing myself to schedule things differently as of late. I want to get more fiction in and I am still focused on publishing my first book on Wattpad before my birthday next month. I just need to admit to myself that I have to drop some projects and habits if I truly want to be an author. And this is where it gets difficult. Once you get into a certain groove in life, it can be hard to adjust. But if I don’t, I will never truly know my potential as an author outside of ghostwriting non-fiction pieces.
Write What You Know
I don’t know who said it first, but the statement, “Write what you know” is true whether you’re a freelancer or a novelist. From fiction to non-fiction, understanding who you are will determine a great deal of your success. Currently, I know I am a ghostwriter. I know what my clients want and I know how to research topics I’ve never covered before. I would like to “know” that I am a fictional novelist in the near future. Unless I change how I conduct my day-to-day activities, though, I may never experience this part of myself.
What kind of a writer are you? Would you rather delve into building your own universe, or do you relish in sharing fact-based information to anyone willing to read it? Stay true to yourself and write those pieces that inspire you to continue. If you don’t, you could be stuck in a rut of ghostwriting for others without exploring what you could be as an author. Open yourself to possibilities and try to make more out of what you can accomplish.
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