Be Daring — Write about What You Don’t Know!

You know how everyone tells you to write about what you know?

That’s a big fat lie that, if you have believed till now, you must erase from your system.

I’ve read many articles lately that suggest writers write about what they “know best,” as it is safer that way.

Well, if that’s what you think, I’m not judging you. In fact, I believed it, too. But now, I’ve come to a different conclusion: be daring! Dare to write about things you don’t know perfectly, or which you didn’t experience personally; write about things that might disturb the others, write harsh truths and soft apologies.

Writing has a life of its own — only be experimenting and trying one can learn something.

I think that, as a writer, one cannot evolve unless he attempts to write about problems that he cares about, although he wasn’t the subject of it.

I find the statement ridiculous now because only by trying to understand and write about a subject you don’t know well you can evolve. During my writing process, it happened several times that I wanted to insert paragraphs about things I didn’t know, but my character should have known. It’s alright — some research did the job. Indeed, it takes some time; it’s not like I click on the first link I see available and that’s it, but in the end, it was worth the struggle (not to mention I knew something new, too).

That brings me to my second point: every writer wants to have interesting characters, which are different from his previous works. At some point, you’ll want to write about a nurse, an accountant, a producer or a cinema star. I doubt you know indeed how their lives would look like (unless you know so many typologies of people that it’s not a problem for you to find out, in which case, would you mind giving me a call and let me know how you met all of them? Haha.), but it doesn’t have to stop you from writing them in a realistic manner.

Research. Research. Research.

Let’s make it clear: I don’t say that writing about what you know best is wrong; but if you write only about what you know, it might become boring for both you and the reader. Improvement comes from challenges, not from the comfort zone.

It’s hard, and I know it. But if you wish to be a good, life-time writer, it’s an insignificant obstacle and nothing more.

Be daring!

Rebecca Radd Signature