As you can see by the little banner on the right column of my blog, I've just ended to write the draft of my first crime novel in English. Yesterday I began editing the novel and I proudly announced it to one of my colleagues, who showed me his delight about the fact that I write non-fiction as well. His pertinent question was: "No way, do you write novels as well?". Then I asked myself: why am I a novelist as well as a blogger, a journalist and a non-fiction writer? I've never asked myself it just because writing is a natural thing for me, which prescinds from "genres" of writing. However, I tried to think about five good reasons everybody should write a novel in their lives. It doesn't matter if it will be terrible or it will become the next world best seller.
1) We are all born writers. It's an idea that I use to say when someone asks me if he/she can be a novelist. Writing is like dancing: they are on human cultural DNA, because they are just tool to express yourself. 'Writing' a novel does not automatically mean that you necessarily must publish what you wrote, so the identity writer=book is not mathematical. I have so many novels into my drawer that I could easily fill an entire bookcase, but it doesn't mean anyway that they deserve to be published and therefore they deserve readers! If you want to write something, just write and enjoy yourself.
2) The more you write, the more you improve. It's like scoring a basket or trying a place kick (doesn't matter if the ball is round or oval). There are natural persons who become marksmen just after few hours of practice. Then it comes poor slippers (as we used to say in Italy) like me who need months of practice to do it properly. Writing is the same: the more you practice it, the more you improve it. Practice lies at the bottom of all the beautiful things in life (and of all the ones we don't like as well!). The secret to increase your performances while practicing writing? Reading. See point No 3.
3) The more you write, the more you read. They say that there are more writers than readers nowadays. Assuming this is true, I don't see the problem, actually. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that I write a lot always brings me to see how other fellows write in order to 'steal' their secrets and skills, just to improve my style. This way, I jump from a genre to another, from Italian to English language, from fiction to non-fiction. And at the end, it turns out that I read as much as I write. And I like it.
4) Widen the target audience of your reader. A concept which goes for everyone: bloggers, journalists and people who love writing poems on their social networks status. Do you want that more people read your thoughts? Just write a novel! Fiction writing allows you to open the gates of your imaginations to your readers, therefore you can spread the voice of an hidden aspect of your personality, for example.
5) Publishing does not cost anything. I mean, you cannot spend a penny. Do you think that someone apart from your friends/family could be interested in your novel? So you can publish it, by yourself and without any help. We are living a golden age for fiction and non-fiction writers, because you need just one click to make the work of a whole life (of a whole evening) ready to be read (and judged) online by millions of potential readers.
What are you waiting for? Switch on your text edit software and warm your fingers on the keyboard!