Chasing the Tail of a Storyteller

There’s an age-old adage (try saying that 3x fast) that is mentioned by every writer and found in every book about writing that profusely advises every writer to… “write what you know.” Which seems like effective advice because, “duh, why not?

If you write what you know your writing will come across more naturally and you may even be able to write at a faster pace because you are more familiar with what it is you are writing about.

So, what is it that you are well-versed in that you could easily write about?

Hmph…well, I know about raising kids…and still learning, failing at marriage…although that’s about 40%-50% of the population, how to hold down steady employment…common sense I would think, astrology…after years of studying it, Japanese book binding…that’s a random piece of knowledge to know.

So far, writing what I know is looking a bit…dare I say, boring

BUT

Just like there are two sides to every coin…

Two ways to say pah-tay-do, or po-tah-to…

There’s a flipside to this adage – for all intents and purposes — it can stifle a writer’s ability to write creatively (key word).

My second favorite part (coming up with an idea is first) about writing is doing the research on a subject that I am unfamiliar with and familiarizing myself to the point where when I write about it the reader would be convinced, I knew first-hand what I was writing about whether I was writing from research or writing from experience.

Once you’ve studied and researched a subject (to death) and know the ends and outs of it – you’re finally able to put that adage to actual use and “write what you know.” Because of this I now know a lot about Greek mythology, comas, bride burning, Greek culture, boxing, and the list goes on and on.

So, my point is, “write what you know,” but researching a subject to write about can eventually be considered towards the “write what you know” adage.