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Venturing into Non-Fiction #FLLitReview

I’m in the process of winding down my current project. In the editing phase, Poison Pen will soon be completed and ready for release. By soon, I mean another month or so. After I complete my line edits and proofreading, it has to go to my editor (and then back to me for more polishing). But it’s amazing how quickly things happen once I’m over the editing hump.

The next project is a non-fiction book, called Changed for Life: The After-Effects of Near-Death Experience, based on my master’s thesis.

The subject of near-death experience has fascinated me from the moment I first learned of it as a teenager. Rather than trying to prove or debunk the veracity of the experience, I chose to study the after effects, which are just as interesting.

One of the surprising aspects of this topic was learning about how even those who haven’t had the experience can be changed by it.

The book should be a fascinating read for anyone curious about what happens when we get a second chance at life.

To help me with the herculean task of completing further research to expand the existing manuscript, I’ve enrolled in Futurelearn’s “Research Writing” course offered through the University of Wollongong in Australia.

What I would do if I couldn’t be a writer — #MFRWAuthor

When I was a preteen, my sister and I had a friend with whom we frequently had sleepovers. During these nights, we’d pose “what if” questions to each other: What would you choose if you were on a desert island and could only eat one food? What would you choose if you could only listen to one song? What if you were tied up and couldn’t move?

For me, these questions always posed an interesting challenge, but the issue wasn’t deciding how to whittle my options down to one. And yeah, the tied up question was weird.

What it made me want to do was rebel against the restrictions. My problem wasn’t how to pick one option to live with forever — kind of like marrying one food or drink — it was how can I circumvent the rules? I missed the point of the question: picking a favourite food/drink/song. These questions threatened my control. My knee-jerk reaction was to fight them.

If I were tied up and couldn’t move, I’d blink my eyes. There. I moved.

This is my long-winded way of saying that the question of what I would do if I couldn’t be a writer triggered that knee-jerk response.

What would stop me from writing? Paralysis wouldn’t. With today’s technology, I could get around even that. Lack of money hasn’t stopped me and neither has a shortage of time. Whatever restrictions exist, I work around them. Or plough through them.

I suppose if somehow I had no outlet for publishing my work, it would mean I couldn’t be a published author, but I could still write. I’d write for myself. It’s something I’m compelled to do, not something I choose to do.

I guess the real question asked here is what would my job be if I couldn’t publish my work? Editing doesn’t count as writing, so I’d do more of that. I can’t imagine not working with words in some way. Even when I did software/web development fulltime, I wrote. Even when I didn’t publish anything, I wrote, so, you see, I’ve already been there and done that.

You can take the publishing away from the author, but you can’t take the writing away from the writer.

For more posts from other writers on this subject, check out the MFRW 52-Week Challenge post for week 4.