I have for years wanted to be a novelist. As a reporter, I was always writing about someone else’s accomplishments. Granted, as a crime reporter those accomplishments were sometimes beheadings, stabbings, and death by any number of other methods.
Still, as a novelist I felt I was creating something that was uniquely mine. My ideas, my words.
There’s also the time commitment. I was talking to a friend of mine, Marilyn Greenwald, who is a professor at Ohio University and a biographer, about the differences between her world and writing fiction. In particular, we were discussing the time commitment required to research and write a biography. “You might spend four days in a basement going through documents to get one line for your book,” Marilyn said.
Fiction is much easier. You can make it up or bluff your way through.
Most of my former teachers would tell you that I’m something of an expert in those areas.