Write What You Know

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, “write what you know.” Seems simple enough…

So, what do you know? Are you a stay-at-home mom, a business professional, a performer, or a dreamer? Or, maybe you are all of those all rolled into one. What experiences can you draw from to make an interesting story?

Some people may look at their lives and think they’ve not done anything worth writing about, but even “Seinfeld” was a show which claimed to be about nothing at all and yet was probably one of the most entertaining sitcoms ever.

The most wonderful thing about writing is that we can create any adventure we choose. Our characters are our “puppets” that we can manipulate by pulling their strings. Of course, the more I write, the more I find that my characters start telling me what they want to do!  They often disagree with the direction I intended to take them in.

Even so, when we create, we have to know something about what we’re creating. Details are important. Emotions are crucial.

I watched a movie once about a writer, (can’t recall the name of the movie), but he gave some advice that has stuck with me over the years. In teaching an apprentice, he told him that if he intended to “kill off” a character in his story, that it was imperative that the reader feel something when that event takes place. Is the reader happy that the person died, or grief-stricken? If the reader feels nothing, or basically couldn’t care less, then the writer didn’t do his or her job. If you’ve never experienced a loss, then writing an effective story line about it would be very difficult.

This goes back to…write what you know.

No, I have not done everything I write about in my books, but that’s where research and professionals come in. Lots of notes! Still, the best writing you can do, comes from the heart, and the majority of the  emotional experiences in my stories have been personally experienced. Each day that you live your life you have something new to draw from.

Currently, I am the caretaker of my mother-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. In caring for her, I’ve not only discovered the turmoils she’s enduring dealing with the disease, but I’ve also found emotions and moods I didn’t know I possessed. There are good days and bad days, but every day is a learning experience. One day I know that this will appear in my writing in some form or fashion.

Okay…so I feel like I’ve been around the world with this post! I hope I’ve made sense! Blogging is one of my newest learning experiences!

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