Writing is writing, right?
By Angela Henry
“You’re a writer. So you should be able to help me write my research paper, right?” Researching the paper topic, yes. Writing it, no way. I get asked this a lot from the students and staff at the college where I work. Everyone seems to think that because I write, I know how to write everything. We’ll I’m here to tell you that not all writing is the same. I write fiction. Fiction. In other words, I make stuff up. I put a lot of thought and planning into what I make up. But it’s made up none-the-less.
I graduated from college in the late eighties, which means I haven’t had to write a research paper for more than twenty years. And writing papers was my least favorite thing to do. My papers tended to be a lot of BS strung together with a works cited page tacked onto the end. Plus, my grammar sucks. Other writers may disagree. But for me writing fiction is a whole lot easier than writing non fiction. Yet, when I try and explain this to people, they listen politely and then proceed to ask, “But you can still help me, right. I mean you’re a writer."
What about you? If you're a writer what do you write: fiction or non-fiction? And why?