Why Non-fiction?

A number of people have asked me why I chose to begin my foray into writing with a non-fiction article. Especially one as deeply personal as “The Hardest Three Days of My Life”. To be honest, it was much easier to hit the submit button on that than it has been for my fiction. In fact, the second submission I made was an equally personal essay that I have submitted to the Kenyon Review’s annual contest of which I will find out the results of in the Spring.

Maybe it’s something that comes with age, but I find I am much more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been before in my life. I don’t really care what others think of me on a personal level. I am what I am and like me or not, it’s your choice. The things that I have been through and everything I’ve done have made me who I am. I will not apologise for it, to anyone. Besides, if I can touch just one person with my personal stories, it’s worth it.

My fiction, on the other hand is completely different. They’re like my children if you will. Somehow, in someway that I can’t really put into words, my fictional work is more personal to me. When I write it’s a story that has to be told, at least to me. Those stories and the characters in them take on a life of their own. I’m just their narrator.

I have begun the oh so daunting task of submitting my fiction for publication. So far I have sent one short story for consideration in an upcoming anthology on alternate apocalypses and one to a respected online Canadian literary magazine that is more of a human drama story. By the end of this weekend I plan to submit another, this time a horror story. Also, I’m currently working on a fantasy story for another open call for an anthology. series.

I can’t honestly say I’ve found my niche just yet. Like everything else in my life I’m curious about absolutely everything. I’ve written stories in a lot of different genres, both personally and for the courses that I take. Where I’ll ultimately land is anyone’s guess.

But, as has been said many times before, it’s not the destination but the journey that is important.

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