to heed or not to heed


“write what you know.”  ugh!  this advice is so ubiquitous that writers – particularly this writer – can’t help but play it in a subconscious loop at all times of the day and night.

and with that glorious mantra must necessarily come the question, “but what do i know?

for the moment, we’ll set aside the concern that no one anywhere would ever want to read what i know and i’ll quickly create a list:

what i know:

  • knitting
  • food
  • mental illness
  • insomnia
  • stage management
  • events industry
  • family law
  • travel
  • being tall
  • wearing glasses
  • having short hair

okay…maybe i’m grasping at straws there at the end.

[so… much to my surprise, upon writing this list i have realized that i know about some things that might make for interesting writing. hm.]

but now i have to ask: do i know enough about any of these things?  am i willing to devote innumerable hours and immeasurable energy focusing on any of these things?  wouldn’t i rather be eating, knitting, sleeping, travelling and being tall rather than writing about it?

plus, i have heard it said that the surest way to spoil the thing you love is to study it.  does this apply to subjects of writing?  will i suddently want to hand in my passport if i write about wanderlust?  will i stop eating good food if… well, that’ll never happend, so i’m not even going to finish that question.

and yet, what else would i write about?  i can’t credible write about being an astrophysicist.  and it would take a lifetime of research (and school and money and time) to get just enough knowledge to write about an astrophysicist.

[also… i would like to acknowledge that this level of over-analyzing is my very own favorite way of procrastinating.]

so, i ask you: “write what you know.”  to heed or not to heed?


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