I’m away from home for a long weekend so brought not one but three notepads with me. I’m glad I did as the words are flowing (as is the gin!) when we’re not out adventuring and I’m now on notepad number 2.

The featured image on this post is a little bit of inspiration for a chapter in LWL3 I’m currently writing. It’s not where we are now but where we were a few weeks ago on our summer holiday.

It got me thinking about the old “write what you know” advice that always gets bandied about when you write. It’s good advice, and advice I’m certainly taking to heart at the moment, but it’s not advice any writer can strictly stick to. 

The joy of writing is partly about being able to imagine situations outside of the boundaries of the ordinary lives lived by those who write and those who read. Readers don’t want to pick up a book and always find it full of the usual 9-to-5 experiences they themselves have every day, and writers don’t always want to write about the ordinary and mundane. Both want adventures and escapism, interesting tales and stories that grip you and won’t let go so you have to keep the pages turning to find out what happens next.

You can’t always write about you know – I’m sure crime writers who build their stories around murders don’t experience it themselves to really get a feel for the antagonist’s motivations! – but sometimes it can be fun to use experiences you’ve had and build on them in ways you only can in fiction.

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