Edie here. Today I'm excited to introduce the newest member of The Write Conversation blogging team. Linda Gilden has guested her several time and I know you all already love her as much as I do. Now she'll be a regular monthly contributor. so be sure and show her some love!
Write What You Know
by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden
|One of the first pieces advice writers here is, "Write what you know."|
by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden
One of the first pieces of advice beginning writers receive is to “write what you know.” But once the honeymoon of your writing career is over, how do you expand what you know?
The obvious types of research – reading, interviewing, visiting key sites, personal experiences, etc. – will definitely expand your storehouse of factual material. But perhaps you need to explore new territory and actually step into the subject of your article, gleaning first-hand experience as a means of research?
When you write what you know, you can provide your reader with insider information. You have “been there, done that” and your confidence will assure your reader that you can be trusted. Your writing will come alive with your excitement of having experienced the setting or activity yourself. Becoming a temporary expert not only strengthens your writing but also will broaden the base from which you write.
Years ago I wrote for a national sports ministry. When I was asked to write the new soccer handbook, there was a problem. Even though my children had played soccer, I was always the mom in the stands who sometime had to be reminded which goal was our goal and often cheered at the wrong time or for the wrong team. So when I began to write the handbook, my son’s high school friends who were on the soccer team stopped by in the afternoons to demonstrate the different soccer kicks and moves. One would get on either side of me, hold my elbows, and another would pick my foot up in the correct position for the kick of the day! I learned to write about soccer moves not on the field but in the middle of my den. But as I learned I was able to bring life to the handbook.
Others have had similar experiences. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, worked low-paying, entry-level jobs in three areas of the country to understand how women forced into the job market by welfare reform could survive. Phillip Reed, Consumer Advice Editor at Edmunds.com, decided to write about the car business so he got a job as a car salesman. This allowed him an “inside look” at the car business and the life of a car salesman. Yvonne Lehman took violin lessons to understand the feeling of her character in her story, “Name that Tune.”
So write what you know? That’s always a good place to start. But when you have exhausted your first-hand knowledge, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn a new skill. Then, write what you know (and just learned).
Now it’s your turn. How have you added to your own experience of what you know? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
#Writing what you know, a goodstarting point but not the end of the road – via @LindaGilden on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
#Writing what you know can also mean learning new things - via @LindaGilden on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
To find out more about Linda, her writing, and her ministry, visit www.lindagilden.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter @LindaGilden and Facebook at Author Linda Gilden.
Linda Gilden is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She finds great joy in time spent with her family. Her favorite activity is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing children!