Post Share: Write What You Know

The Writer's Journal


Write What You Know…

It’s a phrase attributed to Mark Twain but I’m not sure what he meant by it. I don’t want to speculate on his thoughts. I just want to take the phrase and dissect it. See what its insides look like, dig for any value, sift through the interpretations.

How can we write what we know? In non-fiction, this seems like a valuable approach. We don’t want to learn how to be happy from angry people. It doesn’t make sense to write about building things if all you have ever built is a sandwich. We certainly don’t want to hear financial advice from a person in debt. You get the idea.

Yet, in fiction, it seems like we must write what we don’t know. How boring would fiction be if we didn’t? We’d be severely limited by writing about our singular existence. Isn’t the point…

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