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Write what you don’t know and what you do

You’ve heard the writing adage, “write what you know.” Writing about what you know has a benefit of giving your writing a sense of authority — the level of detail and accuracy that makes readers feel confident and immersed in the story or ideas.

But I especially like to write about what I don’t know. For one thing, I’m a learning junkie, so I get to feed my curiosity while I write. And when it comes to some forms of writing, we don’t know what we know until we engage in writing, which is an act of discovery.

Think about how you can blend what you know with what you don’t know.

Think of your experiences and knowledge as an element or starting point. A place you know well might be your setting, but everything that happens could be brand new. Use what you know, the details and images, as a way to free your imagination. Then trust your creative powers to invent something new.

Here are two advantages to embracing the unknown: You’ll widen your writing possibilities. You aren’t limiting yourself. Think of yourself as a writing explorer. You’ll bring a fresh perspective. You might see something in an original, creative way that reveals a new spin, plot twist, or original idea.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Sharon Espinosa #

    i, too love to research. I’m almost through writing my first novel . Of course there is the editing and re editing plus all the other steps needed to obtain a publshed novel. The next novel, i’m planning to write requires me to do a lot of research. Pimarily, so I get inside the head of some of my characters mainly the antagonist. I’m looking forward to this new adventure.

    I agree with you completely. If i wrote what I knew, I’d stick to writing about nursing and patients. This is not a bad idea, but I want to side step this for a while. I worked as a nurse for over thrity years.

    Thanks for you blog.

    July 31, 2013

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