WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
“write what you know.” ugh! this advice is so ubiquitous that writers – particularly this writer – can’t help but play it in a subconscious loop at all times of the day and night.
and with that glorious mantra must necessarily come the question, “but what do i know?
for the moment, we’ll set aside the concern that no one anywhere would ever want to read what i know and i’ll quickly create a list:
what i know:
- mental illness
- stage management
- events industry
- family law
- being tall
- wearing glasses
- having short hair
okay…maybe i’m grasping at straws there at the end.
[so… much to my surprise, upon writing this list i have realized that i know about some things that might make for interesting writing. hm.]
but now i have to ask: do i know enough about any of these things? am i willing to devote innumerable hours and immeasurable energy focusing on any of these things? wouldn’t i rather be eating, knitting, sleeping, travelling and being tall rather than writing about it?
plus, i have heard it said that the surest way to spoil the thing you love is to study it. does this apply to subjects of writing? will i suddently want to hand in my passport if i write about wanderlust? will i stop eating good food if… well, that’ll never happend, so i’m not even going to finish that question.
and yet, what else would i write about? i can’t credible write about being an astrophysicist. and it would take a lifetime of research (and school and money and time) to get just enough knowledge to write about an astrophysicist.
[also… i would like to acknowledge that this level of over-analyzing is my very own favorite way of procrastinating.]
so, i ask you: “write what you know.” to heed or not to heed?