The difference between reading nonfiction and fiction books.
As a child, reading nonfiction was a tedious task. This is mostly because I always associated it with textbook reading for school or university. The style of writing was often factual, it avoided personal opinions, they were non-descriptive and standardized. As a teenager or young adult, I found this type of writing monotonous and often had many figures and dates to remember, but as it was necessary, I persevered. I passed my exams and moved on but through those experiences, I made a conscious difference between nonfiction and fiction books. Nonfiction books were required books and were part of a life skill that we needed to survive in society. Alternatively, fiction books were imaginary, and an escape from real life.
I kept these two types of reading completely separate, and if possible, I avoided nonfiction altogether! However, last year I decided that I wanted to write my book. I have always wanted to write a book and I had a story in mind, but I didn´t know where to start. Should I follow a writing style? If so, which one? How should I draft the book? How should I structure the book? Should I write first or second-person? How to write characters and locations? I didn´t know where to begin, so to help me solve those questions I took to the internet to find out more. By that time I had already attempted to start the story but I always deleted them after a few pages. That´s when I came across nonfiction writing and nonfiction books like memoirs, essays, autobiographies, and opinion pieces. They cover all types of topics from history, travel, self-help, philosophy, and more! Though I have always had an avid interest in reading the news, magazines, and opinion piece, I never equated them to nonfiction writing! Essentially, it was a mental block from childhood but which I finally broke free from.
Reading nonfiction for pleasure.
I am now reading a lot more nonfiction books for pleasure and the more I read, the more I learn about the world. Whether through books or opinion pieces, I have begun to see through the eyes of different people and their experiences and backgrounds. Moreover, reading nonfiction opens my eyes to different perspectives that I wouldn´t otherwise notice and be aware of, and that is always a good thing!
How reading nonfiction can inspire future writers.
Since I began reading nonfiction has inspired me to write more, and more specifically, it helped me start my memoir. I now realise that while I now love reading both fiction and nonfiction, I am currently most comfortable writing what I know, see and experience myself. We all have opinions, views, and often interesting lives that differ from people around the world or even from our neighbours, friends, and family. I learnt that lesson from reading nonfiction and may inspire many more writers to contribute their stories for a richer conversation.
My 2021 nonfiction reading list.
There are so many forms of nonfiction to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to start. I suggest going through your chosen newspaper and/or magazines. In regard to books, here are some of the nonfiction books I hope to read this year:
Never miss a blog post!
Sign up for the biweekly newsletter and get great tips and stories like this!