Write What You Know About

By on December 18, 2017

When I was little I liked to write. The thrill of creating a new world, with its own structure and rules was both freeing and satisfying. Blending words in a sentence that grew to a paragraph that became a chapter seemed like magic. But all of that only came after I had an idea. And that initial idea was often the hardest part of writing. My mom, however, gave me the best advice, which has stuck with me ever since, and that is to write what I know about.

Writing is so open-ended that its sheer limitlessness can be daunting at first. After all, every writer starts with the same blank page and it is a long process to craft that page into something amazing. But starting with what you know can help to fill that page and allow the story you want to tell have a solid foundation.

Writing what you know about isn’t just about facts and numbers. Here are some starting points when you want to write what you know.

Your history

Who were your parents, your grandparents? Where did they come from and more importantly, what were they looking to change in their lives? What were their struggles, their achievements, and their heartbreaks?

Your life so far

When you think about your childhood, what memories come to mind? What were your successes and what were your failures? Who were you surrounded by when you were a child? How has your life turned out compared to what you thought it would be?

Your life in the future

What do you still want to achieve and how will you get there? What will the world be like for your older self? What will happen to your children? What can you do now to determine your fate?

Your beliefs

Whether we are religious or not, we all have a set of beliefs, morals, and values. These shape our life and how we live it. Do you accept your beliefs for what they are, or do you struggle with them, trying to piece together the intricacies of your life?


Writing is a process and that initial step can often be the hardest to take. But if you start by writing what you know, the world you want to create, and the story you want to tell, can take shape more easily. Above all, believe that the words you want to share are inside of you waiting to come out.


About Ty Cohen

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