Write what you LOVE.

Write what you know is perhaps the most over used and overrated piece of advice ever given to writers. I am sure Mary Shelly knew a great deal about creating a monster from body parts and electricity. She had heard various legends and histories and tales in her travels but when it came to creating what some refer to as the very first science fiction story, she didn’t know.

What then should be the advice? Write what you love. You may twist and turn it but at the base level it is what you love and if you write what you love you will finish what you love and do your best job while doing so.

I’m not the only one that has this idea. Or course I’m not. English author Anne Perry, of the Thomas Pitt and William Monk series, in the Forward to Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel wrote:

Sometimes I am asked, “Is it true you should write what you know about?” I say, “No, write what you care about. If you don’t care, you’ll find out. But if you don’t care, why should anyone else?”

Considering her success I think I will take her advice and feel comfortable that I believe the same thing.

I recently interviewed John W. Howell author of My Girl. His novel includes a great deal about boats, the terminology and the actual mechanical parts of a boat. This is what John had to say when I asked what he had learned about himself during the writing of the thriller My Girl:

“The first thing I learned was I could, in fact, finish a book that was readable. Up to this point my efforts were not what I would describe as stellar. The second was I could write about a subject that I knew little about. People who don’t know me think I have been around boats. I really had to research all aspects of the book since none of the hardware and software related items were in my experience profile.”

Considering the great reviews John has received, I think he did some great research. From my own personal writing I’ve written just about every genre you can think of and for every age. It’s taken me almost 20 years to realize what it is I want to write, what I love. As soon as I did, I also found my writer’s voice.

When you find what you love, you will also find that voice. The two go hand in hand it there is something natural about it. Yes, you will need to do a lot of polishing but your flow of storytelling will come to you as if it had been there your entire life just waiting for you to ask for it. One of my new found loves is Romance. Not the normal bodice ripper type that I believe one lady author friend of mine referred to them as, but more character driven. And now I am combing a love of history with adventure and romance in a new book I am co-authoring.

Once I found that love things started happening. I’m not saying that always happens but I will tell you this, it definitely makes writing more enjoyable. And I am a lot more willing and able to revise and edit and revise and edit something I love than something I just could barely complete the first draft of to begin with.

If what you are doing is writing in a genre just because that’s what sells, well that’s up to you. I go where the enjoyment takes me. One year it might be Middle Grades stories about little girls and talking bears and the next it might be about a doctor dragging himself across North Africa. You just never know and that’s part of what makes writing such a great life to be in.

What loves do you write about? And yes, I know what you love may be what you know about.

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Author: Ronovan

Ronovan Hester is an author/poet/blogger, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. "5.0 out of 5 stars: Now, I want to warn you… this is not your typical pirate tale! It’s BETTER!" "5.0 out of 5 stars: Totally unpredictable and a real gem of a discovery - Highly Recommended" "5.0 out of 5 stars: An action packed journey to piracy and revenge – all in the name of the crown, queen and county – set in 1705." He shares his life of problems, triumphs, and writing through his blog RonovanWrites.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews and interviews known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

16 thoughts on “Write what you LOVE.”

  1. Great advice. I’m not a fan of ‘write what you know’. I write speculative fiction and if I’d stuck to that rule I wouldn’t have a story. I prefer ‘know what you write’. Do your research and take time to get to know your characters and settings. By doing that you can remain true to the world you create and your readers will believe it too.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with writing about what you love because that infuses a real passion and vitality into your writing. I went to the Sydney Writers’ Festival this year and did a workshop on structure with script-writer Mark Lamprell. He spoke about the hero’s journey as described by Joseph Campbell and using that to structure your work. I found that extremely helpful and it serves to progress the story along. It can seem a bit formulaic but for me it seemed to simplify and structure the jumble of pieces which went into my story…a motivational memoir.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have found that recently the ‘hero’ in my stories have similar qualities and ideals but are different people. But they are the same at the core. They are basically mimicking my own thoughts. In a way it’s really the easiest way to write. Words come so much easier when you really are into what you are writing.


      1. I wrote a series of dog stories or “books” for kids a few years ago which I have to get back to now that my writing has progressed. I did notice that these dog “heroes” were very much the underdog who through some twist of fate proved their worth. Our society is so focused on celebrities that we collectively often overlook the beauty to be found in everybody. Indeed, could well be found more abundantly in your average Joe. This passion definitely fuels my writing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, yes, and yes, because no one needs a book about an empty nester with too much time on her hands. Not unless she wakes up one morning and decides to kidnap the hot barista at her local Starbucks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unless you’re writing a technical or a professional book about what you write, fiction indeed should be about the stories, and the stories choose us probably because we love to tell them. Aimer, I think you have a novel there…Thanks Ronovan for another wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always struggle with that cliche (you have to admit, it’s’ become quite so). A year ago, almost to the day, I was finally able to jump over that hurdle. 😉 Now, I’m super-close to self-publishing my first book, an endeavor of love, not just what I know. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement today!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it should really be “know what you write” more than “write what you know”.
    What I write about is certainly more influenced by what I’m interested in than in what I have actual experience with, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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