Don’t Fall for the Write What You Know BS
So, I just realized that we don’t have the word WRITING in our podcast, which makes us not niche enough and is a total branding f-up.
A little too late now.
Anyway, our concept is that we’re just these random married people who give writing tips and life tips via the filter of our two adorable rescue dogs and our own quirky weirdness.
We figured if people found us? So be it.
But if we had done a tiny bit of research we would have probably named the podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN WRITERS or something to get the damn writing word in here.
There’s a weird danger of not thinking quite enough about who your listeners are and this is true for your readers, too, right? But there’s also a weird danger in taking writing advice like WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW and think it’s an edict that Shaun can only write about tall, white, CIS, ex-cops from Florida who now live in Maine or that Carrie can only write about short, quirky authors from New Hampshire who have no clue who they really are.
So, we’re going to break down that phrase for you.
Write what you know doesn’t mean only write about someone exactly like yourself.
Write what you know means:
- Write about settings that you can accurately describe well so readers can feel them and experience them, too.
- Write dialogue that you can hear in your head coming from characters who have different speech patterns and mannerisms.
- Write about emotions that you feel or can understand.
If I only wrote what I knew, I’d never write a book about pixies almost causing an apocalypse or a cheerleader who has alien DNA or murder mysteries.
Nobody wants to read every single author’s autobiography masquerading as fiction.
And then there’s the more philosophical aspect going on. How do we write what we know when we aren’t sure what it is that we know? What is it to know? Maybe a lot of us writers write in order to know. Similarly, maybe a lot of us humans and dogs live in order to know.
WRITING TIP OF THE POD
Immerse yourself in the details, emotion, and setting of the story so that the reader can trust the world that you’ve created.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Don’t limit what you know. Move beyond your local fire hydrant and smell the world.
BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!
Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.
Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.
LET’S HANG OUT!
HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?
MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?
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HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED
Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!
Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!
And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.
And Carrie has new books out! Yay!
It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.
TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!