Become a Writer Today

Why Non-fiction Writing Is So Powerful with Dr. Joan Smoller

May 09, 2022 Bryan Collins Season 2
Become a Writer Today
Why Non-fiction Writing Is So Powerful with Dr. Joan Smoller
Show Notes

Dr. Joan Smoller is a creative non-fiction writer, a writing coach, a former lecturer at NYU, and author of three books.

She’s also written for multiple high-profile publications in the United States, including the New York Times. In this interview, she talks about the power of non-fiction, how writers could use it to inspire social change and what non-fiction has done for her. 

Joan demonstrates that a writing career can be diverse. She has taught, instructed, edited, has prepared multimillion-dollar grant proposals, has written about topics like skin cancer, and has run a successful writing program. In other words, the genre or subject that you’re writing about today doesn’t necessarily have to be the genre or topic that you will pursue tomorrow.

Joan talks about advice she gives her students: the importance of writing every day and the value of freewriting. I was delighted when Joan mentioned free writing because I’ve used it on and off over the years. 

If you’re not familiar with freewriting, Joan describes how to apply it, and she also gives some tips which can help you get over a fear of self-judgment and what other people think.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How writing can be a lifesaver
  • Choosing to write about specific genres 
  • How writing has changed over the years
  • Common mental hurdles that writers have to overcome
  • The benefits of freewriting
  • What to do in order to get your non-fiction to succeed
  • Writing about difficult topics
  • Overcoming the fear of self-judgement 


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