Know What You Write, Write What You Know

Article written by – Caryn M. Day-Suarez

Some people think that writers just sit down at the computer or laptop and can just whip out countless pages of pros or chapters at one sitting.

Knowing many writers, as I do, and being one myself, however, I know this is quite well, not how it usually goes. I love to write fiction, and poetry and articles, but when I need something to “get me going”, I write about what I know about myself – me.

source – birminghamtimes.com

In doing this I have published a memoir book that got me an opportunity to touch my book club idol, Oprah Winfrey, back in 2000, it got me the chance to see my story turned into a movie script and place in Project Greenlight a few years back, it got me invited to book clubs, libraries, women’s groups, churches, bookstores, places to speak.

It opened doors just being an expert on the one topic I knew for sure, which again was me, my family, my friends, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s at a time when things in this country were quite different than they are today on so many levels.

So how do you start?

We all have a story. We all have a memory of a special Christmas, or having a baby, or the house burned down, or Aunt Clara’s beehive hairdo, red lipstick and a cigarette hanging onto her lip, we all have something to tell that the rest of us can relate too or would be interested in hearing about.

Start there.

source: grassrootsfitness.ie

Write about one event, one incident in your life, and let us see it through your eyes, smell it, hear it, taste it, put us there with you in this scene and then let it grow.

Before you know it you have a great short story, an article, something someone can read in an airline magazine and you can get paid for sharing this story, a piece of yourself.

It can be funny, or sad, or just a remembrance of a time gone by, inspirational, scary, all you have to do is tell us your story. Make us feel like we are sitting with you having some tea, coffee or cocoa and you are just telling us something about you. Just start typing.

If you are going to tell us a story however, about let’s say the past, about something that happened in the 60’s, make sure you remember to research that era.

If you are going to tell us where and what you were doing the day JFK was killed, make sure you have the date and year right, where he was, where you were.

Obviously if you were on the phone you cannot say you dropped your cell phone in shock and dismay, chances are you did not have one then and this blows the story for the rest of us.

So check your time period facts when you tell us a story from the past and make sure they are correct.

Take us there and let us not only see the story unfold before us but put us, the readers, in it with you.

Picture Author – Roberta Tocco

We want to feel the wind and roar of that tornado as you ran to your basement, we want to hear the sound of it crashing upon you like a locomotive, we want to taste the rain that came with it, the smell of fear, take us there with you we want to go along for the ride.

We want to know what it was like so we can feel for you and your ordeal.

Just don’t tell us, show us.

Before you know it, you have a short story, an article, if nothing else it has given you a great writing exercise to practice and you can return to what you did want to write.

Yet let me leave you with this happy thought – nonfiction sells.

Nonfiction short stories have been made into movies, (Broke Back Mountain comes to mind – yes it was a short story). Start a series of stories for the family to read, the grandkids to remember you by.

That is what I started my first book for.

I wrote it for the nieces and nephews I had that were scattered all over the country and why their six aunts and uncles were also scattered too.

Write it for yourself.

If you have something to get off your chest this is the way to do it, and it is both healing and may help others. Just do it.

Like the Nike ads say. Just do it, because you know it. Just know what you write and the rest will come easily, because we all have some stories to tell.

For more information about Caryn M Day Suarez see her website at http://CDSPublicity.com. Her books are available on amazon.com, BN.com and as e-books.

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