We’ve all heard the old saw, “Write about what you know.”
In a general sense, that’s probably true, but there’s much more to writing than just sticking to those areas with which you are most familiar.
With my background, it’s easy for me to write about medicine, or psychiatry, or certain aspects of the army, or about courtrooms, or business matters–all of which are, or have been, part of my life. But I can’t limit myself to just those areas, easy as they may be to write about.
So the next logical question is, “If you’re going to write about what you know, what do you know?”
We all know much more than we may think we do. We’ve all had experiences in life.
Haven’t we all felt lust, or envy, or love, or anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness? And haven’t we all experienced loss, or a sense of triumph, large or small? Haven’t we all quested for something, or been scared, disappointed, or felt unsettled, worried, exhilirated, or encountered people of every stripe–those who are kind, gentle, caring, or mendacious, manipulative, even evil? Or people who are naive and childish, while others are braggadocious or intolerably overbearing?
We’ve all been to school, to parties, movies, concerts, business or professional meetings, and we’ve all had experiences as kids, as teens, as young adults, and we’ve encountered illness, threats, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or guilt, or shame. And at some point in our lives, we must deal with the death of a loved one, and eventually with the realization that we ourselves are mortal.
In other words, we all live life, and that’s what we know.