It’s Time to Write Nonfiction, Part Two

Nobel Prize-winning fiction writer Toni Morrison says, “If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Apply that quote to nonfiction. What is your burden? What do you feel passionate about? What is burning inside that has to come out? You don’t have to turn to fiction to write that book. Look at the great-ideas people in our history and see how many made a difference through writing nonfiction.

If you feel God is calling you to expand your ministry of writing to include nonfiction, pay attention to the disciplines writers apply to their fiction:
● Am I writing only from my emotions?
● Where is the substantiation for what I am writing?
● Where is the careful thought?

I’ve read manuscripts in which the writer hammers hard at something terrible he believes is happening in our country. It must be changed, he writes. But then I examine the basis for what that writer has stated—and I find it isn’t true. A bit of research shows that the “facts” the author is so upset about were based on propaganda, not fact. His information came from commentators who don’t mind publishing what is known as “managed news.” A writer who hasn’t researched the source of his material will soon be dismissed as silly, or worse, as a liar.

But if your idea is based on truth, often a nonfiction article or book can be far more powerful than what you might communicate on that same subject through fiction.

Writing for People Who Think
Christian apologist and author Ravi Zacharias tells us, “Let my people think.” Where are the new writers who will think, who will research, analyze, and study—and then write articles and books that will turn others around in their own thinking?

How many people may come to saving faith because of the nonfiction book you will write? And how many believers who need to become serious, thinking Christians will find the help they need in your strong, clear nonfiction writing?

People need what God has put into your heart to write. The time for writing nonfiction is now.

Photo: Roger PalmsRoger Palms, a long-time Guild mentor, is the former editor of Decision magazine and the author of 15 books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.

Photo credit: Winnond


  1. Sherri Cullison says

    This article plucked at my heartstrings which is exactly what I needed. Too often we ponder a subject to write about rather than writing to…..the reader, that is. Words of wisdom are those that suggest choosing a person you think would benefit and writing to that person. Thank you for drawing out of myself that focal point.

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