For whom do we write?

This is a great quote except that it goes under the assumption that writing is a hobby, fiction or blogging. It ignores the possibility of people who write for a living. They will write whatever it is their commission to write. There’s nothing soul-destroying in writing manuals, documents, and other information. As a professional, you write whatever your company pays you to write and the person you are writing for is never yourself. If you are independent, you write for whoever has work for you and can pay your rates.

Almost all professional writing is NON fiction. I think I can expand this to say that the majority of writing is information: news, manuals, proposals, business writing. Fiction is freelance and even those who write best-sellers often keep a side job because the mortgage needs to be paid even if you are in the middle of your next book. If you want to earn a living, you can’t live on a hobby. Hobbies are fun, but then there’s the rest of life and the bills that come with it.

I wrote for a living. I wrote mostly documents and manuals and brochures, plus proposals for places like NASA. Others, like Garry, wrote TV and radio copy or news articles. That kind of material is written with intent. Typically it’s intended to communicate ideas, information or instructions. I suppose if you’re writing speeches for politicians, public relations or advertising you might call it “fiction,” but otherwise?

There are a lot of ways to be a writer. If you want to write for a living, the odds strongly favor you will NOT be writing fiction and overall, in the real world, there’s a lot more non-fiction that needs writing than novels. Unless we plan to turn all writing that isn’t novels over to AI software.

May the gods forbid it!

Categories: #Blogging, #Photography, #Writing, Anecdote, documentation

Tags: , , ,

13 replies

  1. From your comment earlier, I anticipated that you would come up with a great piece in defence of nonfiction writers and I was right.

    As fir AI and other tech “stuff”,something funny happened as I was writing this reply. When I started typing ‘ant’ for anticipated and a picture of an ant 🐜 popped up in my sentence 😀


  2. Well, there must be some public otherwise what’s the point? I can keep things in my head. When I wrote job work instructions for a previous employer, the “public” were the people in the corporate international department. It was a limited readership, but there were some readers.
    Here some things are popular and some receive limited views, but there is a public. Fortunately, I can write things that interest me, but I also have readers in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think if you write entirely for yourself, why have a blog? That’s what diaries are for. I have nothing against fiction writers. I read them all the time. What I resent is people acting like that is the ONLY kind of writing worth doing — which is untrue. Writing is a tool. What you write about is what you are being paid to write about OR what you think other people want to read. One way or the other, you still have to keep readers in mind. That’s was spelling and grammar are all about!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh please! Not AI! Writers come in all shapes and all walks of life! No AI allowed!


  4. Write on! This quote irritates me immensely. As if we’re all trust fund babies and can wile away the days staring at our navels…


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