WRITING TIP: Move beyond the familiar

freewritingWriters are often instructed to “write what you know,” but this can be a trap. What we know on the surface is far less interesting than what we discover when we move away from our familiar perspectives, stories and spins. Otherwise, we’re just fencing our curiosity and wisdom within the limits of what we already think we know. As Eudora Welty put it, “For the artist to be unwilling to move, mentally or spiritually or physically, out of the familiar is a sign that spiritual timidity or poverty or decay has come upon him; for what is familiar will then have turned into all that is tyrannical.”