Non-Fiction Returns

The year is young and there are things to look forward to already. I can’t say much at this point but, unless something untoward occurs, I should be published in two literary journals in only a few weeks’ time. Both pieces are non-fiction, one a personal essay, from the memoir genre, I suppose, and the other something with personal and historical elements, at the same time more frivolous and yet dealing with some serious issues.

Writing about something you can’t write about is pretty unsatisfying. Apologies for that. But there are reasons to be happy, to be positive, to think that I might even be on the right path. However the loss of our friend Mr Mu has cast a long shadow over our little world since early last month, and we are still in mourning, although perhaps the shadow is less dark than it was. It makes it less easy to celebrate a win when these are the circumstances, and you don’t really feel like doing it either. Maybe when these two essays (if they even are essays) are published it will feel appropriate and natural to be pleased. I’m sure it will.

Writing of this kind is a departure for me, in some ways. I tend to write about me and my experience even when I’m writing about other people – all authors do, to some extent, or so I’ve heard. I used to write a lot of non-fiction. All my energy for some years went into recording memories and descriptions of events and essays. I even had a column in a street magazine (which paid nothing), which allowed me to write about my world, or about anything really, which usually came back to me, in some form. It has only been recent that my focus has turned to fiction, and then almost exclusively. But recent in this case means over the last five years or more and it also means that I didn’t attempt to have something factual published for many years indeed – more than I care to think about.

Is this an example of the wheel turning and ending up where I was at the beginning? An essay which combined travel writing, memoir and political musings was the first thing of mine ever to be published, back in the early years of this century, in the UTS writers’ anthology. I subscribe to the spiral theory of history, which suggests that life moves forwards even as events seem to repeat, so that you have learned something since the last time the circumstances were like that, and you hopefully use what you’ve learned and that means you keep moving forward.

So I shall write in a variety of ways and submit things to people if they seem to have sufficient merit to warrant their consideration. I won’t discard an entire genre again.

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Published in: on February 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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