Write What You Know

I have heard it said many times, ”write what you know”. Great advice! I'm sure it works well 99.9999% of the time. I happen to think I fall into that category of 0.0001% where that may not be the case. The problem is I feel that I just don't know anything well enough to write about it. OK, that is not entirely true. I do know one thing, me. Surprisingly, not very well it turns out even after a life time of being around myself. I blame this on a really bad memory and a lack of interest. Mostly, a lack of interest. Besides, who would want to read about me? I have not done anything exceptional or compelling. No great or epic adventures. No great tales to share. I’m not experienced. Just very dull, very plain. Colored in various shades of vanilla and beige. Yup, I think that about sums it up.

Storytelling, well it's not high on my list of abilities. This wonderful attribute came naturally to both my father and father-in-law. Their tales and jokes were always very captivating. No matter if it was the 1st or 28th time you had heard one, you always loved it. All the while reciting them with a child’s innocent smile and twinkle in their eye. Obviously telling tales or jokes is not something that is inherited.

Oh I can write words, anyone can do that. Spelling them, let’s not go there today. Using and choosing them correctly, at the precise time and place, that ability is a gift. You have it , you don't or it can be developed to some extent. I'm hoping for the latter. I’ll be the the first to admit I may lack any ability, but I'm working on improving these limited skills in order to find out what talent I carry. Someday, maybe I'll even win a Pulitzer Prize. Ok, I'll settle for at least a Hill. For the uninformed, this is a major award given for outstanding writing appearing on the web site, Dthornhill.com, each year. I dream of this.

So the way I see it, there are three parts to the making of an interesting read. A compelling tale, joke or thought. Captivating storytelling and the ability to create simply good writing. None of which I currently possess. So to that end, I have a few rules for reading these columns, the first of which is the most important.


* Never ever take me seriously, ever.
* Laugh at any punch lines.
* Flash a fake little smile if think you found even the smallest bit of humor.
* Enjoy.

Doug Thornhill (dct)