they say you should write what you know, stay put in a neighborhood where you are the expert.
i hope there’s not a parallel here to the well-known statistic that the majority of car accidents happen within a mile of your home. that’s enough to make me write about things i know nothing about just to avoid whatever the writing equivalent of a car accident is – carpal tunnel? stunted imagination? i’m not sure, but that’s not the point. statistics (and apparently over-stretched metaphors) are not my expertise.
but what is? that’s the question i keep wrestling with as i embark on a writing routine. what do i have to say that is unique and untapped and all those other good/overused writing words. i get a headache just thinking about it and am stumped to the point of creative paralysis by the expectations.
i understand and agree with the premise – i know nothing about aquatic biology so shouldn’t be writing a textbook on the subject. that makes sense. but isn’t there something wonderful about an outsider’s view, about the new perspective a novice on the subject might bring? if i’ve seen a giant squid then i can only describe what i’ve seen to be true. but if i haven’t, hmmm… then the sky (or the ocean) is the limit. right? maybe.
for now, i’ll plan on extending my expertise neighborhood to bikeable distances. think six degrees of separation. the truth of the matter is i don’t feel like much of an expert at anything, so stretching the limits of “write what you know” is my only plausible option. here’s to hoping it stretches and challenges me, makes me an expert at something, and that maybe i meet some new neighbors in the process. welcome to the ‘hood.