I’m wondering whether the time has come to explore my ideas through fiction
My second book, “Viviendo en el futuro” (“Living in the future”, hopefully soon available in English), is out, and I am in that pleasant moment for an author when the first comments and interviews about having written it are now followed by the first reviews by people who have had time to read it.
My second book sees the light of day almost ten years after the first, and in many ways, I think that’s about right. My editor, Roger Domingo, asked me several times about publishing earlier, but I believe that a book, which involves a certain sedimentation of my daily writing on this blog, is only ready when it’s ready.
However, something worries me: one does not write a book to get rich, possibly not even to make money — although in my case at least I can consider myself reasonably paid for the time I have dedicated. Sometimes one writes a book as a career move, to beef up one’s CV, but in my case, the main reason has been to my message across and in the hope that people consider it worth reading, either to learn something, to structure their ideas, or to contrast them with mine.
Non-fiction books do not sell particularly well in Spain, which makes writing one an even greater labor of love than is usually the case. When people tell me they have read my book, it seems normal, because they’re part of a socio-demographic category I have already reached with my blog or with my articles, part of a segment with which I am familiar and that I enjoy being part of.
That said, I have recently begun to give some serious thought to the idea of writing fiction, a genre that is read by more people, but which in many ways would be harder: as Saint Matthew said, “many are called, but few are chosen.”
Which is why I would like to use this opportunity to ask you, my readers, what you think about such a move. Does it make sense for a teacher of innovation, a researcher, to consider writing fiction? Is that a format that could be interesting coming from a person you’ve always associated with a particular type of content? Obviously, technology would continue to be a fundamental part of what I would write about. I guess that would probably put me in the science fiction category, although to tell the truth, I’m not entirely clear yet.
Fiction isn’t easy to write, and what’s more, it’s something I haven’t done since my school days, and anything I wrote, which I remember as being reasonable, has probably been lost a long time ago. To be honest, I don’t know if I have the creativity, the style, the approach to situations or dialogue management required. The first thing any fiction writer needs is a good story, and then the ability to describe things, create convincing characters, carry out research, connect with the reader, come up with a strong story line and then keep the reader’s interest. In short, a tall order. A lot of ground work, a lot of work. There’s certainly more to it than just sitting down and starting to write. That said, I like the challenge and I believe it could be a way to reach a wider audience that won’t be familiar with my blog, my conferences or my teaching work. Fiction would another way of thinking about things… it would be a breath of fresh air. It would be a big challenge, and I can’t guarantee that anything I produced would be worth reading.
Nevertheless, I value the opinion of my regular readers, so I’m asking you directly: is fiction a genre worth exploring? Is it something a person like me should consider? Is this a transition that would make sense?
(En español, aquí)