Writing from life’s experiences

“When a writer is born into a family, that family is doomed.” Czeslaw Milosz

Write what you know.

Generally that is good advice, especially for writers starting out on their writing journey. Draw on your life experiences and use those in your writing. Your life is what you know best, so it’s a good place to start. A big part of those experiences revolve around your immediate family, so write about them and draw on their experiences too. In your formative years as a writer, especially when you are young, this might be all you have to draw on for your inspiration.

I know that my early stories and novels I drew heavily upon my own experiences and those of my family. Much of this early writing may never see publication; it is part of your apprenticeship in the craft of writing.

As I developed my writing skills I was able to cast a wider net. Now I find I am able to let my imagination soar and take over more and more. I am now less reliant on personal experiences and more on imagination.

Writing exercises:

To help you develop your writing skills, try one or more of these ideas:

  • Start writing a journal about your every day activities.
  • Write a page or so about your favourite toy.
  • Describe the place you went for a holiday when you were young.
  • What happened on a camping trip when you were still at school.
  • Think about your least favourite relative; describe why you don’t like that person.
  • Write about the events leading up to an accident or tragedy in your family or friendship group.
  • Write about your favourite teacher at school.

Good writing.


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