Day 20


Portrait-Blog_Pinterest2I found it ironic that the other day I posted about how we tell students to write about what they know.  The very next day, I receive an email about this blog post in my mailbox.

The post poses an argument that writers should write what they don’t know.  The author states that when we only write about what we do know, we limit ourselves.  When we write from what we don’t know, we are allowed to see the world from other people’s point of view.  Writing from what we don’t know also allows us to never run out of stories.

As  I thought about this, I remembered what I like to read:  espionage stories, forensic mysteries, lawyer mysteries, etc.  I only know two of my favorite authors who actually wrote from their lives when they wrote their books.  The rest of the authors I love to read had to write from what they don’t know.  They had to research, talk to people, and even shadow people, when possible.  (I can just see my friend, Brandon, a Secret Service agent, telling David Baldacci, I’m getting ready to shoot someone attacking President Obama today.  Want to come along and take notes for your book?  Maybe you can use my gun and try shooting him, too.”  NOT!)

So today, try writing from something you don’t know. See how it feels to stretch yourself. Notice what you do to add details to your writing.  Notice how you make your writing ring true. Think about how you can share those strategies with your students.

Happy writing!

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One Response to Day 20

  1. themagicviolinist says:

    Hi there! 🙂 I’m so glad you read and enjoyed my article. I love that you went into it with an open mind. I definitely think there’s something to be said for writing what you’re familiar with as well as what you don’t know. I guess it all depends on the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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