Writing Rules, Which Ones?

Writing About Writing


Writing Rule: Write what you know.

Writing Rule: Write what you want to read.

Okay, which one do I follow?

What if you don’t like to read what you know? I deliberately read about activities I have not done, nor ever intend to. Take the time to learn to play Scrabble at a national level? No, thank you. Take the time to read Word Freak and let author Stephan Fatsis do the heavy lifting? Sure.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t read what I know: horses, firefighting, living in the South. I’m doing it. Why would I want to read about it? YMMV

Furthermore, writing what I know quickly turns into writing what I only think I know. When I wrote about the history of a horse show, I was surprised to find that much of the information lodged in my brain was misremembered, exaggerated, or flat out wrong. I had to check and doublecheck every little factoid.

When I set out to write an article on mosquito eradication, I know only what the expert I interview tells me. All my data is current and correct.

What writing rules have tripped you up?

[Writing Rules Graphic]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Writing

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