They say write what you know, so:
List of Things I Know
I know a lot of things, but I really don’t want to write about them. If you really think about it, it’s the stupidest advice. Write what you know. Why would you want to do that? Haven’t you all got problems of your own?
I mean, sure. I could start out in the middle, Holden Caulfield detached or maybe pull a nice little surprise and start out at the actual beginning with when and where I was born, all chronological and proper. Retro. Yeah, and the critics’ll say that it’s an innovative utilisation of a classical device, and it’ll be all the rage for a while. Neoclassicism version 2.0 or something like that.
Back to the point.
If you started writing what you know you’d end up getting bogged down in the details. Because you know so much about it. Human condition. Get someone talking about something they know about and they never stop. They hang onto it, tooth and claw, like it’ll stave off the uncertainty that creeps up their thighs. A little twist of rope they have to hold on to. Yeah. And while they’re battling the tides of human desolation you’re left wanting to stab yourself in the knee with your own salad fork.
Never get someone talking about something they know about.
The thing about bullshit is that eventually people run out of it, stammer to a halt, change the subject.
Write what you know.
If that held true then we’d have a hundred millions novels about writers, and instead of romantic cliché (wandering husbands) you’d have authorial ones (wandering plotlines).
If that held true then Indiana Jones would have locked himself up in his attic until he finished that 30,000-word novella about the Temple of Doom, and his only brush with death would be that one time he skidded in the cat’s milkbowl one sleepy Monday morning.
If that held true.
All writing would be like this.
Yeah. So. Enough of following orders.
Trust me, it’s easier this way.