Write What ya Know ~I May as Well Quit #MFRWauthor #badwritingadvice

Published by Cathy Brockman on


It is time for week 8 in the 52week MFRW 52weekblog challenge. This week’s topic is The Worst Writing Advice I have ever received.  This was really hard one for me. I had thought a while. I almost decided to say I couldn’t think of anything when I remembered this tidbit… Write only what you know.

I am not a traveler. As a matter of fact, I am a recluse. I have held like four jobs in my life counting the two when I was a teenager. I have lived in three states two for about a year each.  The only holidays I had were as a child we went camping..pretty much to the same places every year.  So my life experience though I am 56 is slim.

If we only wrote what we knew there would be no science fiction. How many of us are aliens or rocket scientists or flew to the moon, lived on other planets. How many of us fought in world war 1 two or civil war… Or lived in the wild west so we could write historical? How many of us are pirates? Vampires? werewolves? Fairies? witches..mages demons? I think you get the point. If we all wrote only what we know some of the best books wouldn’t exist.

The internet opens up so many worlds for us. Good research lets us become one of the things I mentioned above so we can write amazing, realistic stories! So, yes this advice I threw right out the window! Does this mean I don’t use some things I do know to enhance my stories? sure I do. I have plenty of crafting, cooking and other things that do help to make my characters real, but this experience is limited and would mean no writing for me.

I think writing is like living a dream. If we can dream it up we can write about it.

What’s the worst writing advice you have ever had? Do you believe in write only what you know?


Let’s go see what the other author’s worst advice is?




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Misty · 02/23/2018 at 7:22 am

I hated that advice as well, until I sat back to ponder it a bit more. Now, I see it like this, rather it was the original meaning for the advice or not….what I now take as write whst you know for me means write about complicated people going through things as I love studying psychology. Put what I know or what I wish to learn into my characters. I write about families and teenage children. Yes, I’m aware not all are the same. I write about broken computers, awkward relationships…things I do understand and know. Maybe it wasn’t the actual intention of that advice to mean that, but that is how I choose to interpret it now. 🙂

    Cathy Brockman · 02/23/2018 at 12:50 pm

    That’s a great interpretation MIsty I do write things I know into my stories the way you worded it LOL.

      Misty · 02/23/2018 at 12:54 pm

      I bend mosy advice to suit me or I discard it. There is definitely a lot of ‘advice’ out there and write what you know messed me up for a long time. It was one of those that blocked me for a long timr until I modified it to fit my needs.

        Cathy Brockman · 02/23/2018 at 3:51 pm

        Yeah I have learned to take some advice with a grain of salt or to bend it to my needs lol.

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel · 02/23/2018 at 12:24 pm

I don’t believe in writing “only” what I know for the reasons you stated. I think we add what we know to our writing when we don’t realize we do it. Great post, Cathy.

    Cathy Brockman · 02/23/2018 at 12:47 pm

    That’s a great interpretation. That I can do.

Alina K. Field · 02/23/2018 at 12:33 pm

You are so right about this!

    Cathy Brockman · 02/23/2018 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks, Alina.

Meka James · 02/23/2018 at 9:03 pm

Very true. Some of the statements like this one, it makes me wonder how and why they got started.

    Cathy Brockman · 02/25/2018 at 8:11 pm

    Exactly If we didn’t go out there-there would be no paranormal stories, no Sci-fi, and no historicals.

Helen Henderson · 02/23/2018 at 9:45 pm

I totally agree that if we can dream it we can write it.

    Cathy Brockman · 02/25/2018 at 8:10 pm

    I we didn’t have dreams there wouldn’t be lots to write about LOL

Raine Balkera · 02/24/2018 at 9:44 pm

Great post! However, I always looked at that little nugget as ‘do your homework’, then write about Regency London or Tudor France. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    Cathy Brockman · 02/25/2018 at 8:09 pm

    That’s a great way to take the advice.I too do my homework. Its great we have the web at our fingertips.

Flossie Benton Rogers · 02/27/2018 at 12:00 am

Love your post! I never did cotton to that advice, at least taken at face value.

    Cathy Brockman · 03/01/2018 at 2:21 pm

    I ave now learned how to take that advice and turn it into m favor thanks to my commentors thanks LOL

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