Whadda ya know?

June 9, 2010

One of the most quoted pieces of advice for writers is, “write what you know.”  I hear it over and over.  I see articles written about it.  I understand that the statement is true, but still I keep wondering…what DO I know?

Whenever I’m not sure about something I make lists.  Lists are my friends and they are my way of keeping my part of the world organized and moving forward.  So I sat down determined to make a list about what I know.  A problem arose almost immediately.  Should I list only those things I could consider myself an “expert” in or was it okay to write down stuff I’ve only dabbled in?

I decided to start with anything in which I felt proficient.  This turned out to be a very, very short list.  So I started adding things that I knew enough about to carry my own in a discussion on the subject and then because that list was also very short, I added things I’d just barely tried or heard about.  Could these be considered things I “know”?  How far can I stretch that word “know”?

Feeling somewhat untalented, uneducated and under-lived, I added a word to my “know” list…“research.”  What can I research and get to know?  I felt empowered instantly!  If you don’t know what you’re talking about, people will recognize that.  But if you do your research…you may be able to fool at least some of the readers into thinking you know what you’re talking about.

Start a “know list” .  Your list may be much longer than mine and research won’t have to be added for what you can write about.  Me…I’m headed to the library…reference section.

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Taking a break……

June 8, 2010

I apologize.  I’ve been gone far too long from my “writers” blog.  I’ve been feeling rather low lately.  You know how emotional we creative types can be.  I’ve been working on my fiction pieces and just didn’t want to deal with  “reality” and non-fiction.

I’ve learned a lesson while I’ve been away though.  If you don’t continually hone your craft and work at it each and every day…your skills begin to deteriorate.  I was feeling much more confident in my non-fiction abilities a month ago, when I was posting to this blog every couple of days.  Now, I’m struggling to produce the words I want to convey.

A very dear friend of mine asked me about this blog the other day.  She wondered if I had abandoned it.  I guess I did for awhile.  I have another blog: http://debewinkler.blogspot.com, which is based on my personal experiences and is a lot easier and more fun to produce than this blog.  But this blog serves a purpose.  It supplies information for potential and current writers that they may not already be aware of.  This blog is geared more toward educating, rather than entertaining.  It also takes a great deal more research and work than…Can I Tell You Something.

I’m rededicating myself to the challenge of this blog.  Thank you dear readers for being patient with me, while I had my little pity party.  Keep reading.