Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Don't Write What You Know

"Write What You Know" is the tritest advice ever exhorted in conventional creative writing classes. How boring. How restrictive. How cruel. How utterly ridiculous. It's a surefire way to reinforce the cultural status quo. It traps us in an ouroboros of classic and popular fiction built to exclude Other. It limits scope and imagination. It sets up failure at conception.
Gah.
Don't write what you know. Write what interests you. Write that which provokes your curiosity and pushes your boundaries of comfort and knowledge. Get into the minds of people you're not, understand their desires and their conflicts. Expand your empathy by creating circumstances in which you would never find yourself. Explore environments that are the antithesis of yours. Challenge the concepts of normal and acceptable. Grow as a writer and you grow as an individual.

Feed your weird.  

5 comments:

  1. Gah indeed. If I were to write what I know, I'd end up with a boring medical documentary that wouldn't do anybody any good.

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    1. LOL! I'm pretty sure no one wants to read a 100k novel on my struggles with dog hair.

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    2. LOL, Lexi! And good points, KAK, on how "writing what you know" only reinforces what already is.

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  2. As an intensely boring person who would bore all readers who ever read if they were forced to read a story about me, I adore this post. And embrace my weird. :)

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    1. Ha! Ain't it great to be part of the Thrilling Lives of Other People club? ~fist bump~

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