Welcome, all, to my first attempt at the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This may be the most “challenging” endeavor I’ve ever taken so far in my writing career. As most of you know, bloggers all over the world create posts on a topic based on a letter of the alphabet. This is Day 1, so all topics start with the letter “A.” For my first post, I’m talking about advice that has been passed down to me. And while there are many tidbits, many of which I don’t remember, one profusely sticks out:
“Write what you know.”
Mark Twain’s quote is the go-to quote about what to write by writers and non-writers alike. Last week, The Write Practice and a Facebook group, 10-Minute Novelists, broke it down. They discussed why this advice is so quoted to writers and does it really hold any merit.
Personally, I hate when people use this quote to solicit advice. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad, but it’s used too often. I think they’re under the assumption that writer’s block can easily be conquered. That’s not always the case. There is also the assumption that writing what you know makes for good reading material. That can be true, sometimes. Writing is about tapping into the creative side, using what you know to create stories readers will enjoy.
So, writing what you know isn’t bad advice, it’s not the best advice.