The Advantage to Writing What You Know

For the last 3 years in November I have participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). But what this year’s experience is teaching me is how much easier it is to write what you know.

In the first 2 years, of NaNoWriMo, I slogged my way through science fiction or fantasy novels – genre fiction where I had to create everything from characters to cultures. It wasn’t easy going, and I didn’t meet my 50,000 word goal either time.

But this year I’m writing about students’ rights in schools, a topic I have covered repeatedly on the blog for Schmidt Law Services, PLLC. Even though now I have facts and figures to contend with, the writing itself is far easier. Why? Because I am writing from what I know.

Everyone is an expert in something, whether it be the bankruptcy code or craft beers. By tapping in to and building up that expertise, you can create something more robust and interesting to your readers than you ever could on a foreign issue.

I see this in my ghost-blogging too. When I first bring on a new client, the articles take far longer to research and the topics can be somewhat safe. But as I become more familiar with the client’s perspective, opinions, and subject matter, I become braver and the writing becomes easier.

If you are just delving into the world of professional writing, either through a blog or a book, write from what you know. Develop your writing skills in familiar waters before diving in to the heavy duty research involved in a new intellectual area. The writing will be faster, easier, and better than if you start from scratch.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist, specializing in providing custom content for legal websites. If you want Lisa to help you write a blog or a book, contact Legal Linguist for an appointment today.

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