Writing What You Know (Day 49)

Can we really write anything that we don’t know? It is possible to convey anything about an experience we have never had? Can a writer effectively imagine the unlived aspects of life by extrapolating from what she has lived?

I have always wrestled with these burning questions, always carried them about like a cross on my agonizing, uphill creative journey. My ideas felt so expansive, but my own life was so narrow, so limited. If I can only write what I know, then my prose will always be as narrow as my boring life, and I know I am better than that. I didn’t really want to kill him, but how could I possibly go any farther as a writer if I didn’t know what it was like to put a knife into a man?

Leave a Reply