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Write What You Know

I used to hate when people would say that a good writer writes what they know. What did I know? At 20, I went to work for a New York publishing house … that published directories of influential people. Not very exciting. Months later at 21, I left to write for a tiny newspaper in the Northwest corner of Connecticut. It never felt like I knew a lot.

In retrospect, I did. There was the post-grad freakout, which led me to jump careers after just a few months. There was the lack of belonging — not knowing where I really should be living, let alone where I wanted to (hindsight: New York). Friendships changed almost instantly post-college. In hindsight, I was sitting on dozens of ideas that I just couldn’t see.

Now, at 29, I have two kids, two dogs, a husband and a good career. I’m happy. And when I look for inspiration, I need only open my eyes and ears. When my daughter was a baby, I wrote about clothe diapering, breastfeeding and juggling children and a full-time job. When my son started preschool, I wrote about adjusting to school, snacks for preschool and important lessons for young kids. I write about the foods we eat, the places we go and the things we craft.

As it turns out, it’s completely true: if you write about what you know, then your words become passion and your sentences flow. Naturally, you write better and people respond more. It just works.

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