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Friday, November 24, 2023

Not All Writers Are Equal...And That's Okay

Different kinds of literature are everywhere. That's just a fact! Whether it's a fantasy or sci-fi novel, historical fiction, a book on historical events, biography, memoir, or even ad copy, UX writing, video game writing, interactive fiction, blog posts, reviews, or a news article, we see different forms of written work out there. So what's the point in stating the obvious? 

The obvious is just because you're a writer doesn't mean you can write every form out there. I suppose you could. But are you going to excel at it? Are you truly passionate about a particular subject or genre? Do you have previous expertise in a particular field of knowledge or at least willing to learn that field? Or, is this for a paycheck or creating a vanity project? Any writer who is serious should honestly ask themselves these questions.

To be fair, there are some writers who do great writing at different genres. God bless them for having this ability. Writers, such as CS Lewis, who wrote both non-fiction and fiction was great at what he did. I have been blessed from what he wrote. And writers, such as Harry Turtledove, has been successful creating many different types of novels, especially alternative history and fantasy. (I have yet to read his alternative history stuff, but I would like to. I've only read his fantasy work thus far.)  

And, there are writers who write for a hybrid of genres. For example, the technical copywriter has to dance between writing engaging marketing copy and explaining technical information clearly. Talk about a feat!

For others, such as myself, I excel at one area–technical writing. I don't consider myself that good.  I just simply do my best to create clear, accurate, easy-to-follow technical documentation. (I have written a novel, but it seems I excel as a technical writer instead. Whether I write another novel, well, that's to be determined.) For me, creating technical documentation is as natural as breathing. Even though it's still hard work, after all these years, it's a labor of love. I like guiding people through complex topics or helping them learn how to do something. 

Not everyone wants to do what I do and that's okay. I don't picture myself writing ad copy, alternative history, high fantasy, or even a treatise either. And that's okay too. 

I let the other writers who are more skillful than I do that. As much as I love to write, I also love to read and appreciate a good book. If I'm able to incorporate elements of their work into my niche, then great. If not, I can just appreciate at what they do, the story they're telling, and learn from them.

God has created a big enough world for us to live in and includes us writers. We don't need to feel squished out by other writers or have to write every form there is out there. We don't need to sound the same. Each writer develops a particular voice over time. I can't explain this. It just happens the more you do this. 

If you're a writer, or you're trying to get into writing, ask yourself these things: what things interest you, where do you feel no one is writing about, or what needs can I fill? If you were to ask me, I would tell you to pray about this and see where God leads you. If you take the first step, or the next step, as a writer with this mindset of asking yourself this, you'll find where you need to go.

Not all of us writers are equal and that's okay.

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