Posted in Tips for Young Writers

Live a Little

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘write what you know’. If we all took that advice literally there’d be no end to the mundane stories and books out there. Instead we take that advice to mean that we should use out experiences and feelings to inform our work.

Let me give you an example. In my novel All My Father’s Secrets the protagonist discovers his father has a secret second family and that he has two younger half-siblings. This is not something that has happened to me personally but I can draw on times when I have felt betrayed (say by a friend or colleague) and use those experiences to imagine what Sam would feel in that situation.

The point here is, the more experiences you have the more you’ll have to draw on for your writing and, naturally, the older you get the more experiences you’ll have. It will also make you a more rounded person – the more we see and experience the more we can empathise with others.

So, if you’re 16 or 18 or 25 (I know, you think 25 is old. Wait till you hit 32) and you feel that you’re writing is missing something, don’t worry, life will change that. And in the meantime, book a holiday, take a class, fall in love, fall in lust, embrace life, take a chance on something, take a chance on yourself and most importantly, keep writing.


I'm an educator, mum and wife living in beautiful Victoria, Australia. I make learning resources for passionate, but time-poor, teachers in need of a better work-life balance. I'm a voracious reader, love a good curry, and believe life is always better with chocolate.

5 thoughts on “Live a Little

  1. I took that literally and so I write my everyday experiences, sometimes I feel too old (32) to be keeping an online journal but I do it anyway. Just a few months old though.

    1. I don’t think 32 is too old to keep an online journal (or any journal for that matter). My grandmother lived to be 97 and I think she is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known, I wish she had journalled.

      What inspired you to keep an online journal? Are you doing it to share with others or to leave a legacy or is it for your own pleasure?

      1. I have kept a hard-copy journal for years, when I read my experiences they sound like Stories to me, so I really wanted to share them. I dint know how at first until a friend introduced me to blogging.
        I want them out their for the future me and everyone else.

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