What you know vs what you care about

“Write what you know.”

Some days, that advice is a hindrance.

I have—at least for now—no interest in writing a novel about what it’s like to be  living in Sydney, Australia, in 2012. It might be what I “know” but I have no passion for it.

My ambitions exceed my ability, and perhaps I’ll never complete the project, but I’m working on something that requires me to imagine being a different gender and living in another country, in another era. Only a passionate interest in the subject and people I have in mind keeps me going when I have other responsibilities, worries, distractions and doubts. Perhaps I’d do a better job if I stuck to “what I know”, but I’d never persevere with it. I may be a fool but I’d rather be a fool with a passion than a confident writer who doesn’t care about the subject at hand.

I admire the pluckiness of a young writer who flatly rejected the advice to stick to familiar ground. Ashleigh Mounser has won The Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year award for 2012 and I hope her imagination takes her far. Congratulations on your courage, Ashleigh!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s