I just finished writing an article on Mary Lou, an 86-year-old woman who worked in Washington D.C. during World War II. It was an incredible challenge since that type of writing is a bit foreign to me. I am much more comfortable with scholarly writing, copywriting (i.e. marketing), and fiction-writing.
For this article, I combined the interview I did with Mary Lou with other sources to create a well-rounded picture of Washington D.C. through her eyes. While there were some rough spots in the beginning, I read through other articles to get a feel for the writing style, especially articles from magazines I'm targeting. Eventually, it all came down to just writing that crappy first draft and then editing from there. Sound familiar?
Editing was where the real work came into play. And I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of it. I usually do. Editing, for me, is better than writing. The words are already down on the page and I at least have something to work with.
Why did I write an article on this gal? One, she's an amazing woman and her story deserves to be told. And two, I have a MA in history that I am not using. What better way to use it then to combine my love of writing with my love of history? Thus, I'm embarking on a new venture - writing articles specifically targeted to history magazines.
I've already created a list of article ideas and just the thought of researching them fills me with a giddiness I can't describe. Sure, there's going to be a lot of hard work involved, rejections from editors, and other pitfalls.
Well, I've already experienced all of that from my fiction writing.
This makes me think I've hit upon the perfect blend: history writing and fiction writing. Not only will working on both allow me to pursue both my passions, but it will also strengthen my writing muscles. I'll also add elements of fiction-writing to my nonfiction, and vice-versa.
Win-win! (Though not Charlie Sheen's kind of winning...haha).
What elements in your life do you blend?
*Bonus points if you recognize where this marketing slogan comes from...