Write About What You Know

When I attended journalism school at Syracuse University, my professors always taught me to write about what I know. I remember writing a wonderful piece while I studied abroad in England about a equine-related company. I have always loved horses and for most of my life I’ve been an equestrian. I found it easy to fill the story with color and feeling.

That’s why personal essays often seem the easiest form of nonfiction. They come from personal experience. Memoir, too, can feel as if it simply flows from the source of one’s being.

That said, we know many things. We may know how to bake a pie, how to clean a saddle, how to find boys dance tights, how to survive divorce, how to  become healthy after cancer treatment, how to fix a broken toilet.

If you want to break into magazine journalism or to write for e-zines, think of the many topics you might propose. You are, indeed, an expert on something–or many things. If you want to begin creating information products such as e-books, make a list of the problems you can solve for other people that you have solved for yourself. If you have the solution, you are the expert.

As a writer, you possess an endless  number of things to write about if you simply call upon your own knowledge base. Today, start writing about what you know. Start making your knowledge work for you. Begin letting your knowledge earn it’s keep.

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