The received wisdom given to writers for as long as I can remember is “write what you know.” I haven’t a clue where on earth that might have come from. I have read that Hemingway’s advice was . . .
“From all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive.”
That makes more sense to me then “write what you know.” So does Nikki Giovanni’s comment …
I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”
In this video Danny Strong makes the same point in his own colorful way.
If you are viewing this post in an email, you will have to link through to the site for view the video.
Photo credit: Danny Strong courtesy of the Annual Peabody Awards under CC SA 2.0 license