Write What You Know…Sort Of

In writing, the well-known trick is to write what you know, but many writers get sidetracked by this and confuse what they know with what they think they should know. A writer may indeed know what it feels like to be a Russian spy posing as a Norwegian chef in the U.K. whose vital mission is to decode a message that will save the lives of countless human beings–including their secret lover.

4 thoughts on “Write What You Know…Sort Of

  • October 1, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I’ve always been confused by the write what you know thing. But, then again, if what you know best is storytelling (or to use the words of Galaxy Quest lying) then a writer would indeed know what it feels like to be a Russian spy posing as a Norwegian card counting blackjack player at an casino on the river who happenstanced into a drag show and didn’t know the lady he was getting into was not who she appeared to be.

  • October 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Sounds like you know a thing or two about lying, er…storytelling….

  • November 19, 2011 at 6:36 am

    If you can write at all (have hands or someone to dictate it to if you have no hands) then I believe your best bet is to be a combination of earnest, sad, funny, cold, forgiving, to the point, obtuse, endearing and nostalgic. You know, alive.

  • November 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

    And you do so well at being alive, Bud.

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