Write What You Know

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘Write What You Know’? It’s given to all rookie writers so they can get confused and then start writing about their breakfast cereal. Because seriously, who doesn’t know everything about their weetbix?

Or so I thought. I’m writing a series at the moment that follows a couple from the day they meet to the day they die. It’s going to be an epic four or five book series. It’s my long term project. Check back in five years and I might have finished it.

So the series starts in Europe, with my leads Emma and Linc having a gap year before they enter the real world. I have infused so many of the experiences I had when wandering around Europe over the years and it’s been so much fun. As they wander through a street or museum, it’s the same path I took a few years ago.

Being able to write what I know has allowed me to not only relive some of the greatest times of my life, but to lend an air of authenticity to the book. I can show you exactly what my characters see and hear but it actually happened. Plus a touch of dramatic flair, of course.

So writing what you know isn’t such bad advice after all. For anyone who wants to be a writer, I strongly suggest you take it on board. But remember, it’s not about literally writing what you know about, it’s being able to use your experiences to bring a book alive.

And, as Benjamin Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”

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