I’ve taken several writing courses in the past. I faithfully read blogs and newsletters pertinent to writing. I have even had contest entries critiqued from time to time by Submission Editors. Still, I get conflicting opinions about what a writer should write about. Many tell me to write about what I know. That is quite a span over years of learning so much. No, I’m not saying I know everything but I have experienced a lot of life-learning, adventurous, disappointing, uplifting and in between experiences. I’ve traveled and learned intricate and fascinating details of most of the USA, especially the western and southwestern states. Each offered something unique to that area that I have stored in my mind and imagination to last a lifetime. Which brings me to my next point.
Now that I’m writing in earnest I have found that one should write whatever is in one’s imagination, whether the subject is known firsthand or not. Let’s face it: few of us will ever experience, much less know what it is like to live in wooded areas overrun with trolls and bubbling creeks where a princess finds her prince but it sure feeds the imagination. Children love stories like that. The child in each of us love them also.
Some of us will experience living in poverty-laden parts of the world. I have been blessed with the bounty of America but if I decide to write about the realistic poverty in America or another country I could do so. It would take interview after interview with those who have seen it for themselves as well as research on the internet and visits to a library. After the research my imagination would allow me to get a better picture when putting it all together. A story like that works best if seen from the view of the interviewee.
To conclude for now, I’m convinced that for me revving up my imagination works well in my writing. That’s not to say I don’t draw on what I know from living my own life. It’s a wide open world for writers so I try to take advantage of every possible subject that makes for a good reading.