THE BLOG

Write What You Know

10/06/2013 14:13 BST | Updated 09/08/2013 10:12 BST

The problem with blogging is that it's so much harder than essay writing. Yes, I know. "But how can it be when you can write anything?" Well, that's exactly the point. There's just so much to write about. When your possible topic can be taken from an infinite number of other topics, that's... Well, that's rather a lot of choice and it's hard to figure out where exactly one should focus their attentions.

As such, this particular blog will in fact focus on blogging. Because it's easier to write about what you know and since I am writing a blog, I think it's fair to say that I must know a bit about that. And if not, well, by the time you realise, this blog will be over and that will amount to a blog post. So by rambling my thoughts, I will have somehow written a blog about blogging without actually writing anything about blogging in the process. But by doing so, I will have blogged. It's a rather bewildering paradox when we really focus on it. Catch my drift? If not, read on. It's sure to make sense by the end. Maybe.

"Write what you know" is a classic piece of advice dished out by entertainers and authors to their adoring fans, desperate to know how they can one day end up like them. The problem with it though, is that when you get down to the nitty gritty of it all, what we know may not be all that interesting. Most of what I know is known by the vast majority of others around me, so why bother reading that? And if you didn't know what I know, then by reading it, you will then know what I know and why would you write about that? I've already written about it so knowing what I know is in fact useless to you and you may as well write something about not knowing what you know. But you can't do that because you don't know it yet. I feel like we're getting somewhere here.

So how can we solve this problem? By not writing at all. If we don't write at all then we won't be writing about what we do know (which has already been written about anyway) and we certainly won't write about what we don't know because we can't. We don't know it. But that doesn't help us because we want to be writers! And writers write, right? Thus, we can solve the problem of writing what we know by writing about something we don't know. Because we know that we don't know it so we can write about that. I feel like I'm losing you. Just hold on a second, we'll get there.

Thus, we begin to write about something we don't know - because we know it - and everyone else laps it up because now they know it too. The problem is that these readers don't just want to read, they want to write also. So they come to us for advice. And they ask, "What do I write about?" Now, we don't know what to write about but through our struggle we can at least admit that writing about something we didn't know worked out pretty well for us, because we knew about it. And we knew about it because we knew that we didn't know. Our spluttering reply therefore is to simply, "Write what you know", and hope they realise that what they know is largely irrelevant to the entire process but by knowing it, their career will improve.

There we go then. Another successful blog post. It's all very simple really, isn't it?

Just write what you know.