As some of you may already know, I write. I don't really consider myself an author - mostly because I've only ever finished one story and it was rubbish (as they're supposed to be, of course) - but I do consider myself a writer. Because I write.
I usually write a handful of pages a week - definitely not a high number, but it's a hobby to go along with my fulltime job and my other hobbies. And I like writing.
Lately, I've been giving some thought to the advice that you always hear given to first-time writers.
Write what you know.
Honestly, I've thought that advice was junk for years. I mean, if people only ever wrote what they knew, you'd never have fantasy stories, or sci-fi or steampunk and, really, you'd have a lot fewer romance novels, too.
But, you know, if you look at it a bit differently, it is good advice.
To me, write what you know should be changed to write what you're passionate about.
All my stories that I've worked on have a distinct amount of the unusual about them but I live in what can only be - sadly - called reality. I don't live in a world of ghosts or elves or superheroes, but I've written about each of them.
Write what you know is terribly limiting. But, if we'd change that to 'write what you're passionate about'…
I think passion comes through in writing. (I know it sure does in my own writing.) I think if an author truly loves the subject matter, it shows up. So, maybe you won't be the next J.K. Rowling, but if you write what you're passionate about, other people with the same passion will find your books and love them.
So, maybe write what you know isn't such bad advice. I mean, everyone knows what they're passionate about, after all.