Write what you know, they told me.

Every time I listen to a famous writer, I find myself wondering what I would tell people in an interview to explain what I write about. Or, more importantly, what part of my life could be used to make my writing more interesting? Deeper? More moving? What do I actually KNOW?

Truthfully, after a life of boring middle class white privilege, the cupboard seems pretty bare.

I could write about what it’s like living with MS (like everyone else with MS), or about being under 5 feet tall, or about surviving being beaten up every time after my Catholic education classes… but really, how interesting is that?

I suppose I could write about my scarred body- multiple surgeries, marks from pregnancies, my almost complete set of limb scars (only my left arm is untouched and now I am developing a twisted arthritic finger there). As a nurse I’ve found most of them fascinating; as a body, I suspect I’ve had enough.

Or I could write about relationships I’ve had. Maybe not. Most of those people are still living.

Or then there’s all the places I’ve lived, many of them odd. And then I think, as my son told me once, every time you move you bring you with you. Which makes me wonder if it’s me that’s odd, as vs the places.

What about you, readers? What would you write/talk about if interviewed? What would you highlight? What would you dig into for story ideas? What do you try to keep hidden that keeps creeping out into your work?

For me, I’m bad at intimacy, at even being a bosom buddy. Maybe it’s time to mine some of that, my awkwardness, the way I use humour to push everyone just a little bit away. While that may not be fascinating, it’s perhaps relatable… and I do know it, unfortunately, very well.

3 thoughts on “Write what you know, they told me.

  1. bgdumbleton

    There is no shortage of advice on writing – how to, when to, why to, what to. If the answer is write what what you know, clearly you know you.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bgdumbleton

      Exactly. It’s the “them that can do, them that can’t teach” truth that almost completely applies to the arts and finance unless the “teacher’s” greed knows no bounds. If a Margaret Atwood or a John Grisham or someone equally successful offers free advice on how to write, any writer would be a fool not to listen. Unless, it’s James Patterson who co-authors a book a week.

      Liked by 1 person

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