Write What You Know


You’ve heard this saying before, if you haven’t where have you been? Just about every seasoned writer gives that advice to up and coming writers. Well I’m about to flip the script on you. That is right I am officially telling you to NOT write what you know.

If you always write what you know how are you suppose to evolve in your writing skills? I am not talking about genres, you can stick to only writing thrillers or chick lit I am talking about plot. If all you know about is milking cows how many different novels can you make on that subject? See what I’m saying? You will get bored after writing about the same damb thing.

Challenge yourself!

Read other writer’s work on a topic that in your head you feel you will never write about. You will be surprised to know that you enjoyed reading it and may be more surprised when you want to write about it in your next novel. And if you are scared to tackle anything else then a) go to church and b) expect a short writing career.

You can write a novel where the main character is a lawyer and you are a pediatrician in real life. It is called research people! You can write about being in an abusive relationship even if you have never been in one fortunately.

Don’t become the redundant writer. Get your lazy ass up and do something different, I dare you. Writing what you know is the most stupidest rule ever! I am for sure all the writers who preach this started out not knowing about certain subjects, plots, career goals for their characters and much more. Umless they came out of their mama’s womb with a pad of paper and a pen along with perfect writing structure.

I started out writing urban lit, only hitting drugs but as I got older in age and in writing skill I realized there is a hell of a lot more than selling and taking drugs in the hood. I became more diverse. Now I’m doing relationships, murder, supernatural, etc. I challenge myself and if I don’t know about human trafficking (which is in a current novel I am working on) I Google it, find organizations that have dealt with victims of the trafficking and anything else I have to do so I do not come off being fake. I enjoy it and you never know what relationships may come out of your research.

What has been the best advice you have been given as a writer? How about worse? I hope the advice I just laid out for you will fit in your best advice category and maybe yours will be added to mine.

Peace and luv!

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6 thoughts on “Write What You Know

  1. […] Write What You Know (diamondpublicationz.wordpress.com) […]

  2. ahamin says:

    I’m with you on this one… I’ve never followed that advice before.Even when you read from famous authors some (like James Patterson) will mention asking doctors, soldiers or policemen about information for his or her novel.
    It also stimulate your brain, helps you connect things together and make your plot grow not just bigger, but better.

    • Funny you should say James Patterson, I just got done reading his novel Guilty Wives which was awesome by the way and at the end he gave credit to the people in the gov and police force, etc for putting up with him while writing the novel. If he had not did the research and interviews I know his book and other authors would not be as successful. So I am glad that you agree with me. Have a good one!

  3. This is GREAT advice – I saw Kurt Vonnegut speak when I was in college, and he gave similar advice – it’s not about you, it’s about transporting the reader – so write about the space aliens! Nice post. Cheers.

    Brian Felsen
    President, BookBaby

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