Write what you know?Posted: October 12, 2011
We have all heard that we should write what we know. Certainly it’s easier to stick to subjects we already know about or to create characters who are like ourselves. But it’s boring. Not only that, I think there’s a danger of becoming stuck in one place, like a weaver who uses only one color. So I suggest we stretch out and write about what we WANT TO KNOW. Do some research, use your imagination, bring in threads of many colors and combine them with what you already know to create something beautiful and unique.
I have two prompts for you today. First, I want you to put yourself in the mind of someone completely different from yourself and write a page from that point of view.
The second prompt is: “toothbrush”. Huh, you say? But think about it. If you’re writing poetry, it doesn’t literally have to be a toothbrush. If you’re a fiction writer, what is your character thinking as she brushes her teeth? If you’re writing nonfiction, compare toothbrushes from the past to what they are now, consider memories associated with toothbrushes, or go totally factual with an article on how to buy and effectively use a toothbrush. Do whatever you want with it. Fifteen minutes, toothbrush. Try it.