About Writing


I caught a sore throat. As in the, “wake up at 5am unable to speak or swallow because of the agonizing pain” variety.

And, at 5am, my husband made me a potent cup of honey and lemon tea, which helped quite a bit. He’s told me in the past that cussing really does help numb pain, so the first thing I said after regaining my voice was an expletive. 😀

I’ve been listlessly wallowing for about three days now. It’s not strep — just very swollen and raw — so all I can do is wait it out with ibuprofen.

Which led me to browsing through the old pictures I had uploaded to my blog, when I came across the quote above.

Here is the post with my original thoughts about it.

My opinion hasn’t changed, but I figure that I can elaborate some more.

The advice to “write from experience,” doesn’t mean to tell about the time you accidentally shoplifted Road Warrior at the mall. It means to write about the broader themes that you are familiar with. Like friendship, loneliness, romance, betrayal, etc.

For example, I have six kids irl, and I write a lot about pregnancy and motherhood in my stories. None of my fiction is autobiographical, but the themes are reflective of my real world experiences.

A few years back I read an article written by a woman who began her career as a midwife before she had her first baby, and how experiencing natural childbirth firsthand changed the way she interacted with her clients. As I recall, she hadn’t expected it to be so different on the other side, and personally understanding what other women were going through helped her be a better midwife.

You can’t simply empathize with natural childbirth to know what its like; you have to experience it.

You can’t empathize your way through writing about things like love, betrayal, fear, hope, etc, and produce a story that’s relatable to people who have experienced it. You need to know what the heck you’re talking about.

And if your experiences are so limited that you can only produce one book from them, then maybe you should put down the electronic devices and go live a little.

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