Write What You Know or Write What You Love?

When they say write what you know, do you feel energized or stuck?

Sometimes the things we know best aren’t really the things we want to write about as authors. Take me for instance, I worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for 10 years and always knew I wanted to be a published author. I, at first, considered writing a Self Help book because I was trying to follow the old adage of writing what I know. Maybe it would have been a very helpful self-help book and a best seller but it just wasn’t my passion (helping people is my passion but not writing a self-help book).

Anyway, I then changed professions slightly and became a High School Guidance Counselor. This fit in better with my family life and I enjoyed having summers off with my daughter. Again, I could write a book about the 7 Sure-Fire Ways of Getting Your Child into the College They Want but it’s not my passion. I love helping kids get into the college of their dreams, mind you, but not writing about it.

I was lost as to how to write what I know. So, I just mucked around for a while.

One day a kind friend encouraged me to write what I love. Ah—there you go! It’s all about the passion, not the head knowledge. Well, at least for me it is. And lo and behold a book idea came to me one night or early morning just as I was waking up called The Lilac Princess. I wrote as fast and as furious as I could and completed the essential story in a couple of hours. Let me just say I write children’s books—they’re not super long.

What was really incredible to me about this is that the story just flowed out of me. Not only that but it has a very positive message embedded in a fun magical adventure story—the message of forgiveness. I found my way to help people (the little ones we call children). I had gotten unstuck! All because of one simple change—moving from writing what I know, to writing what I love.

You can get unstuck too. 

Think about what really excites you, what makes you happy, and what you enjoy reading yourself. Make a list of all the things that you are passionate about. I’m sure a fabulous story will bubble up from inside you that has been buried there because you were trying to do something that just didn’t fit for you.

Find your passion, find your story! Do it today.

Please share with me your ideas, insights, and passions.

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at www.wandaluthmanwordpress.com and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wluthman.


Melinda Brasher said...

I'm definitely in the "write what you love" camp. But...if what you love is current police drama or brain surgery, you'd better also do your research and get a beta reader who knows what they're talking about. :)

Karen Cioffi said...

Melinda, I'm also in the 'write what you love' camp to a degree. I love writing for children, but within that genre I write about things I know and things I don't know. I do a lot of research!

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