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    I Don't Want to be a Novelist

    I've told family and friends that I'm a writer. The response is always, "What's your novel about?"

    As of last count, I've had 14 responses just like that.

    I don't condone violence, but one more and somebody's going to get his legs broken. I'm only kidding, but a lot of people think that being a writer means that you're aspiring to be the next Stephen King or Danielle Steele. Maybe you're interested in writing a cookbook or technical manuals; or maybe even an eye-catching corporate marketing package.

    There are a lot of different types of writers. Novelists are not only the ones out there looking to have their words set in print or posted on the Web.

    A writer created that ad on the side of your cereal box.

    Somebody was hired to write the instruction manual for your VCR.

    Ok, maybe that last one is an annoying example, but they still got paid for their creations and they were *not* novelists.

    For a while, I thought creating greeting cards might be fun but my first foray into poetry was not my finest hour. I showed a few poems to a friend and he didn't stop laughing until the paramedics arrived. Let me point out that my poems were not intended to be humorous. Apparently, I need to move on to another mode of expression.

    Non-fiction articles are my favorite and I feel I can write them now much better than I can write fiction. I discovered I like this genre because it involves so much research, which I love doing because it involves being an investigator -- sort of like putting a puzzle together to create an entire picture.

    In fact, if I'm not careful, I'll overdo my research, which is not a good idea. My writing instructors have warned me of the possibility of getting caught up in too much researching and not spending enough time on writing.

    So, until I'm bored silly with non-fiction articles, Stephen King and Danielle Steele can relax.

    They don't have to worry about competition from me for the top 10 novels.

    Copyright © 2001 Lyne Royce

    Lyne Royce is a freelance writer living in the desert east of Phoenix. She lives with her devoted husband and six spoiled and previously stray cats. She's fervent about Native American history and enjoys reading books on the subject when she has the time. After 15 years teaching software classes, and two years doing Web site design, Lyne decided to listen seriously to her muse and has participated in writing workshops and clinics on the Web, including the Writer's Digest Workshops' Fundamentals of Non-Fiction Writing, Focus on the Non-Fiction Magazine Article; WriteRead.com's Query Letter Clinic; Writers.com's workshop Writing and publishing Magazine Articles; the humor clinic, Writing from the Left Side of the Brain with Jane Combs; and Secrets of the Professional Freelancer at Coffeehouse.com. She belongs to several writers discussion groups but her favorite, Writers Pad, is where she enjoys learning from her writer friends on a daily basis that it is possible for a writer to become a published writer.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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