Write What You Know

One of the most misunderstood pieces of writing advice is ‘write what you know’.

When I’m out talking to people, it usually crops up, often followed by, “I’ve worked all my life in a shop/factory/field/whatever – nobody’s going to be interested in what I know.”

That’s really sad.

Because the advice isn’t about ‘out there’ – the things you’ve done, how you’ve spent your days. It’s about ‘in there’, in your head.

How you see the world through the filter of your experiences. More importantly, what you’ve learned about human beings. About love, hate, jealousy, greed…

Your view is by definition unique. And everything you’ve learned by observing through the prism of your life – about the nature of people and the way the world works – has the capacity to illuminate someone else’s life.

Look inside. Write what you know. Everything else is just research.

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