I recently had a conversation with one of our pathologists at work. He and I have had several conversations – great conversations. He is a very good conversationalist. We usually talk about ideas and their impact. Heady stuff. Bless his heart for entertaining me.
During this last conversation I learned that he has written most of a novel and several short stories. He went on to describe several engaging plots – stuff I’d like to read. While he surprised me with this revelation of creative work, he did not surprise me with the subjects he has covered in his writing – military history, airplanes, boats, guns, medicine. You see, I have had several conversations with this guy and he knows a lot about these things – way more than I do, and I’ll bet more than you do too.
Here is what I told him. Here is what I believe. I told him that he is uniquely positioned, most qualified, to be writing the plots he outlined for me. In fact, he should be writing these plots. When you have developed knowledge in an area, and you have an urge to write, you need to do it. You are sort of ripping us (the reading public) off if you don’t. You can do humanity a service. So, why in the world wouldn’t you?
Write what you know. Seriously. It is what others will find most interesting. It is what you have to give. What you think is pedestrian, your old-hat is, in fact, your best material. And readers are waiting.