Writing what I know

They say writers are supposed to write what they know. Well I call myself a writer, but all I’ve ever known are neighborhood midnight patrols, mommy minivans and parties with streamers hanging from the ceiling. To be frank I don’t think anyone wants to hear the riveting story of how my mother’s minivan was broken into or how going on a road trip to Florida with my family was the highlight of my summer.

Those are the things I know. But how unriveting can a girl really get? Only I can guess.

They also say you aren’t living if you don’t do things that scare you every day. And I don’t think that trying a new drink at Starbucks or taking an alternate route to class in the morning is exactly defying the laws of the human capacity.

No. Those are things that end up in a cutesy locked diary hidden underneath the pillow of a girl who sleeps in pink sparkly pajamas and whose biggest dream in life is to marry rich and settle down by the time she’s 23.

Congratulations to those young ladies, but I am just not one of them. And while my literary work may not compare to that of Hemmingway, Steinbeck or Fitzgerald, it will still speak to someone. Even if that someone turns out to be one single person. I think I would be happy. Of course two or three or a couple hundred would be better, but beggars can't be choosers right?

But writing about suburban life and how detrimentally boring my history class is isn’t going to earn me the title of “famous author” or “brilliant thoughts, she really touches the readers.” In order to produce a piece of work so relevant and captivating, but honest all at the same time is going to take a little bit of adventure on my part. A writer can’t write the next greatest American novel by staring out of the window of a stuffy apartment bedroom. There are only so many ways to describe the rogue squirrel getting smashed by the SUV on the road down below.

I need to see things beyond the walls of the classrooms I torture myself in. I need to experience things beyond that of getting chewed out by my professor for turning in my homework using Cambria instead of Times New Roman.  I need to expand my horizons beyond that of warm coffee shop walls and Friday nights spent with a Mike’s Hard and a horror film. It’s about time this little girl put on some big girl pants and took the world by storm.

And yes, I know right now adventure seems sophisticated and exciting, and I am fully aware of the ramifications of an empty bank account from too many plane tickets. But it’s worth a shot to experience something beyond my suburban upbringing.

But with that being said, adventure and experience don’t only come from flying halfway across the world.  They come from soaking up every little bit of knowledge that is in my own backyard. They come from taking every opportunity that is presented to me. 

They come from trying a new drink at Starbucks to realize it’s disgusting and writing a letter to the corporate office expressing my discontent and shame because how could Starbucks create a drink that tasted that awful!?

They come from taking a new route to class and meeting someone new when waiting to cross the street only to find out we would be the best of friends. 


Adventures and exciting things don’t just happen in places that I'm not in. They happen right in front of my nose. It is just up to me to open my eyes to those things. And with all of those experiences and adventures waiting to be had, there is no way I could be a boring writer. Who knows, there may be a story in there somewhere...

1 comment

  1. Helen Fielding did ok with books about life as a urban girl :) Don't diminish what you know. You know more than you think.

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