Musings

Write What You Know: The Trap

pen-writing-notes-studyingWhen you start writing, you are invariably always given the advice ‘write what you know’. If you are stuck for inspiration, you should write about something you have done or experienced; some gadget that you love; some place you have been, etc etc etc. Is this good advice?

Well yes, generally it is. It makes life a lot easier to write what you know, as it is a good excuse not to go and do research. But what about writing about what you want to know? This is what I love doing most. I like to find out about things that I wouldn’t normally have learned without a little research. Maybe an adventure that should be had, a book that should be read, or a person from history that I haven’t even heard of before.

Writing what you know is all well and good, but it means that you will always know the same things, and ultimately you will always write about the same things. When you are stuck for ideas of things to write about, why not make a list of things you want to know.

Go and learn a new language, visit a new place, or read a new book. These will give you fresh ideas that will make your writing stand out, and it will definitely give you more inspiration.

So yes, write about what you know. But always make sure that you are expanding your knowledge rather than treading water and going round in circles!

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