Write What You Love Vs Write What You Know

By on December 28, 2017
Write What You Love Vs Write What You Know - Writer's Life.org

When it comes to writing fiction, the sky is the limit, or is it?!

So many of us get confused by writing advice, and it’s no wonder. Much of it can be contradictory and to understand which pieces of advice to follow can be tricky.

This has never nee truer when it comes to the age-old advice of writing what you know. Writer’s are often told that writing what we know is the best way to write convincingly, reliably, to ensure the reader believes in us and our writing voice.

However, the argument against this is, well, writing what we know can feel a little dull!

The problem with being told to write what you know is that many things you know are just the things that you do on a daily basis, and the danger of writing about these things is that they neither inspire or interest you, nor do they inspire or interest your readers! Great stories are dramatic and action-packed, and while characters need to be relatable and ordinary in some ways, their journeys are not so.

At the same time, if you completely ignore this advice and only write what you think might impress others, or just to sell books, you risk sounding vague and unconvincing. If you aren’t passionate about your writing that’s going to come across, no matter how hard you try to disguise it with big storylines and larger than life characters.

Besides, what’s popular now might have had its time in the spotlight by the time your book is finished, and then you’ll have wasted all that time and effort for nothing.

Often, by taking the advice to write what you love, you do end up writing what you know regardless.

It’s just the very best of what you know rather than the day to day. Writing about what you love is writing about what you are most passionate about, what fills you with emotion and gets you going. You’ll, therefore, be more enthused by your writing project, and more likely to be able to write it quicker and better, as well as feeling a far deeper sense of accomplishment and satisfaction once you complete it.

Writing what you love will also make it easier for you after you’ve finished your book. If you need to promote and market it yourself, if you genuinely believe in it and are passionate about sharing your writing with the world, you’ll be more dedicated to promotion and more likely to find creative and effective ways to do so. Your passion will naturally shine through, and potential readers will pick up on this.

At the end of the day, some pieces of writing advice can be beneficial, while others can feel foreign and unnatural to you, and it’s up to the individual writer to decide which writing pieces of advice work for them.

Nothing is set in stone, that’s the beauty of writing - and as long as you are trying to improve, to learn and are continuing to write then you can’t go too far wrong!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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