…At least this one is.
From the moment I entered the writing program at my undergrad I had heard the rule “write what you know.” Some of the writing exercises even included writing down childhood experiences. And sure, some things on my list were useful. I learned about family death from an early age. I knew about friendships and being an only child. I knew what it was like to have parents sit down in the floor and play with you. But those same things were limiting. Did this mean that my characters could have siblings, or come from a broken home? What about someone whose social circle is limited, or whose parents weren’t available to play?
Needless to say, I don’t agree with this rule.
So, like all writing rebels (and this is probably the only case in which I can be considered a rebel), I go against it.
I write what I DON’T know.
I write about sibling relationships and divorce-in-progress. I write about the supernatural, and the futuristic. I write about falling in love for the first time, and falling into impossible situations (murder plot, anyone?)
The point is, I don’t want to write what I know. I don’t want to limit my writing to the experiences I’ve had the last 23 years. I want to write about the experiences I haven’t had. I want to find out what it’s like to have siblings and be in situations I hopefully won’t experience.
And I think, in the end, that’s why I love writing so much. I can live vicariously through my characters, enter other worlds without ever leaving my comfy bed.
So, I challenge you to write what you don’t know.
But most importantly, just write.
See ya next time,