Mark Twain reportedly said, “Write what you know.”
Others have echoed that sentiment, and others have dismissed it.
My favorite quote on the subject came from an interview with Georgia physician-author, Ferrol Sams, who repeated his college writing professor’s adage: “Don’t write a story about the streets of Paris if you’ve never been out of Valdosta.”
Writers, it is said, are defined by one thing: whether they write. I want to write, always have.
Started a few times, got discouraged or afraid of how others would respond, quit.
Had a pity party. Claimed I really wanted to write, but just didn’t have anything to write about that anyone else would want to read. Rationalized that I don’t know enough about anything to write coherently.
Whined. In blog posts. Promised to do better.
Encouraged others to write. Acted like I knew how to encourage others to write.And on and on.
Finally, I have come to a couple of conclusions about writing.
I can write what I know/ Or I can learn something else and write about it.
It doesn’t really matter if anyone else wants to read it. At first. If I keep on, they will want to read it eventually.
Practice may not make perfect, but if I don’t write, one thing’s for sure: I won’t be a writer.
So, I’ve never been to Paris. And the streets of Valdosta would probably seem as unfamiliar anyway. So here’s to learning and observing and gathering and sharing what I know.
Maybe you’ll come along…