Write What You Know

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And write what you don’t know in hopes that one day you’ll learn.

Write what you know, write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about. – Cec Murphy

There are several topics I can think of off the top of my head that spark my curiosity.

For starters, I’d like to learn more about app development. I have a grand idea (that I’ll share in a future post) that would make a dorky but amusing app. It wouldn’t make me any money, and that’s not the idea. The goal is to say I did it. Those are all awesome things to write about. One could create an entire blog about the process and have tens or hundreds of posts throughout the course of the project.

Exploration is another good one. I just finished listening to The Martian by Andy Weir and loved every minute of it. What I enjoyed most wasn’t the premise or how amusing the characters were, but the style of writing. (Spoilers, maybe) The main character is stuck on Mars, and a lot of the story is told from his point of view. The only way to do that while still keeping it somewhat realistic is by way of mission logs. Every day, Mark Watney logs his activities and his thoughts in hopes that someone will read or listen to them. Why not take a similar approach to a blog about traveling? Instead of recapping a course of events after the fact, write them down as they happen? Have a ton of little posts that go into detail. Pretend you’re alone on Mars, if you have to.

A third idea is to write about something you are frankly afraid to know more about. If you’re religious, write about science that defies your beliefs. Inversely, if you’re an atheist, do the opposite. If at some point it becomes uncomfortable, write about that, too. You don’t have to convert at the end, but at least give yourself an opportunity to see things from the other side. Don’t be close-minded. I know too many people who are and subsequently can’t have deep, ponderous conversations with them. That makes me sad.

At no point does any new thing you write about have to be permanent. Once you start writing about politics, you don’t have to keep it up. Just do it for an election season. If doesn’t have to be news reporting, either. Opinion pieces are all the rage and likely to be consumed more by those who share a similar opinion.

Think about what you’re writing. Is it challenging you in any way? If the answer’s ‘no,’ perhaps you’ve become too comfortable in what you write about. Personally, I try to write more about technical topics that are of interest but I’m not necessarily an expert because it also helps me think about them more. I get an opportunity to do research and gives me a good outlet to express my findings.

The next time you’re thinking about what to write, think about what you know nothing about. Think about something you don’t like. Think about something you know nothing about that you don’t like. You’ll find something juicy in there, I promise.