Non-fiction writers: Do you read fiction?

I found that as I wrote more and more non-fiction, I didn’t read nearly as much fiction as I used to.

I had the desire, but couldn’t get through more than a few pages of even my favorite fiction authors. I got distracted and moved onto non-fiction reading (or fictional movie watching).

Does this happen to you?

If so, why do you think that is?

I’m at a loss for explaining why I can’t get absorbed by fiction in the way I once did.

I was thinking about this the other day. Ten years ago all I wrote was fiction, mostly short stories. My reading habits were a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Over the past decade, with the exception of a few NanoWriMos, I’ve largely switched entirely to writing non-fiction, and incidentally being much more prolific about it. This has in some ways been a personal decision—I feel I have more to offer the world with non-fiction. As time went by, I wondered if this change in mentality would impact whether or not I continued to read fiction—but it hasn’t. In fact, I probably read more fiction now than I did ten years ago, but I’m not sure if that is fair because I in general read more today than I did back then, too. Part of that is the e-book revolution. I find reading e-books much more pleasurable than reading paper books, and an increasing supply of e-books has pushed me into reading more and more. But I still am rather voracious when it comes to reading fiction. I go through that stuff like air!

I have gone through periods where I will substitute films for fictional books. It generally doesn’t last for long, films can only provide so much stimulation, and they pass by so quickly, but they have a good mix of potent emotional power that I like.

Whether or not non-fiction writers do read fiction, in my opinion they should - if only to cull and absorb and apply the lessons of writing that fiction has to teach.

The idea that every text or film or indeed person requires a narrative has now been driven by spin-meisters and PR-merchants into cliché-land. Nonetheless, like most clichés it contains an important central truth: explanations whether factual or fictional need a story, and should as far as possible conform to the codes and shapes of stories, because those are what human beings tend to enjoy and engage with.

From your comments, I’ve decided to pick up a fiction book to go with my non-fiction writing: I started Lord of the Flies. I’m enjoying it so far, and I think it may actually help me get unstuck from my current affliction of writer’s block.

We shall see how it goes!

:unamused: 90% of what I read is fiction. I am continually awed by the creativity and imagination required in writing good fiction. I, personally, write non-fiction from everyday life. Something might happen during the course of the day and loop around and around, in my head, like an old movie reel until until I realize that that’s my next article. I am a “relatively successful” writer having been published in local newspapers. That being said, I love a good spy/espionage story!

Welcome aboard Scrivener, Janelle :frowning:
I notice:

well, having joined Scriv’s crew, you can kiss all that goodbye. Your writing career path, is now on what we call a, ‘Scriv trajectory’ (basically, a euphemism for, 'Downward Spiral. :frowning: ). As a new member of Scriv’s crew, there are those who would seek to take advantage of your naivety, and proffer advice and companionship. Avoid them like the plague! The born survivors aboard Scriv, tend to keep to themselves.

You can disregard anything you read in on the Forums and threads, since the bulk of it, is at best, procrastinators’ verbal excremental effluence. The vast majority of Scriv’s crew members are attention seeking self promoters, with powerful exhibitionist tendencies, in short a bunch of lying fantasist.

Welcome to the crew Janelle


Mr Hugh! :open_mouth:
really…I am surprised at you. How am I supposed to rein him in, if people who should know better, keep encouraging him.tch.tch. I don’t know, I’m sure.
Disappointed Fluff

There is a good chance Vic was naked when he wrote this.

Urrrgh!!! yerk! Doesn’t bare thinking about!

Bare thinking about! aahhhhhh haa haa ha ha haaaa :laughing: :laughing: :smiley: :slight_smile: :neutral_face: :blush: er em.
A specious hypothesis, Floss. The sad reality is, his Lordship has nothing to exhibit. As many aboard this leaky old tub will attest to…vehemently.

:wink: :smiling_imp: