Several months ago, I wrote about the value of surrounding yourself (and your writing) with good and trusted tribe members. Now, I would like to introduce some of my tribe to you. I have asked a few of my writer friends to help me with guest blogs as I take some time to refocus my energy on my family. Today’s post is from a very dear friend, Heidi Croot, who is transitioning between corporate writing to non-fiction and fiction writing. I know if the shoe was on the other foot and I had to transition from fiction to corporate writing, I would feel some of what she has expressed below.
Many of you have asked me what gives? Where are the new posts? How’s the book coming along? Did you ever send in your 75 pages for your final project? The short answer is I have not been able to find much time to write in the last month. Unfortunately, one of our children is unwell and my husband and I are caring for our young granddaughter. It is indeed a challenging time, but I thank everyone who is checking in with us regularly and holding us in their thoughts and prayers. I am indeed blessed to have such a large and supportive tribe and know we will get through this difficult time.
Is writing, writing?
By: Heidi Croot
So, here’s the dilemma. And it’s a gnawer.
I’m a corporate writer, a business writer. Have been for more than 30 years. It means I write annual reports, employee newsletters, articles for trade press, even corporate communications plans.
Fine and good.
However, what I want to do, desperately, is break into personal writing: memoir, fiction, poetry.
Isn’t writing, writing? If I can do it in one genre, shouldn’t I be able to transition easily to another?
I am paralyzed. Have no idea how to get started on, say, a short story. What would I write about? What on earth would I write about? Does plot piece together like ideas in a non-fiction piece? Who is my character? And what the hell does she want? How do I select point-of-view, describe people’s faces, evoke a setting, create suspense?
I don’t fumble like this with magazine articles. I know exactly what to do. How to begin. How to organize my material (indeed, where to get my material). How to bridge paragraphs. What tone to take. When to use stories or case studies.
I turn to mind-mapping, an indispensable tool of my trade, but it lets me down. I don’t even know what to put in the centre cloud. So I put a question mark. That really helps.
There must be a bridge from genre to genre. Got to find it. Meanwhile, I tear around, choking on my own dust, mild hysteria mounting as I face the prospect of being stuck on this island forever.
Plunge in, just start, practice, practice, practice: I hear you, all you capable fiction writers out there.
I know my voice is in here, somewhere deep, buried under the detritus of dry corporate babblespeak. Going to get me a tractor and clear all that rubble aside. Let the music out. Soon, I’ll do it soon. First I’ve got to finish that business report.
Heidi Croot is an award-winning business writer who has been connecting the five essential dots of communication for employees, customers and the community for more than 30 years. As principal of Croot Communications, she writes magazine articles, newsletters, brochures, annual reports, speeches, strategic plans, and more.