Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Know Better Things

I was commiserating with a friend recently about all of the really lousy writing I have come across in my days. One of the things I mentioned was that every amateur writer loves to write thinly veiled autobiography. That's when somebody writes fiction, but the characters are living out the life of the author. 

I started to think about why it was such a common occurrence, and I posited that it was based on the common advice of "write what you know." And what a person knows most intimately is themselves.

My friend brilliantly retorted, "know better things."

I really loved that comment. It made me laugh. But more importantly, it is a great corollary. Not everybody cares about what you know. To grow as a writer, you should task yourself not only with improving your ability to communicate, but also with increasing the range and depth of subjects you can write about. 

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