Write about what you know about is an old writing maxim that I’ve quoted in the past. There will come a time though when your personal experience and knowledge will run dry or, the lack of, will cause you to falter in progressing further. This is normally when you would head over to the library or launch your internet browser.
Here’s a novel concept; why wait to hit that wall? As writers we usually tend to be introverts, preferring our writing to do the talking for us. Most of us aren’t really that outgoing preferring the imaginary worlds in our books to the tribulations of the real. But in order to do justice to our writing we must open ourselves to experiences, yes, even unpleasant ones. We need to become sponges, soaking up every sight, sound and smell from the most mundane to the completely bizzare.
Today, was my first proper day on my MA program. We had the honour of being taught by Professor Tunde Zack-Williams, a renowned scholar, who will be lecturing us all week, alongside Wajid Khan, a local councillor from Burnley who has been called on for advice at European level. Today’s lectures were about Governance in light of Globalisation and neoliberalism. It was eye-opening and mind-stretching stuff for sure, but every now and then I found myself distracted by my imagination as it was exposed to new concepts and a higher level of understanding of the topic, sending my mind spiraling into how it could add depth to my stories and open up a new dimension of complexity.
The point I’m trying to make is that don’t close yourself off to any source of information. It’s all relevant. Even if it is just for background information for your world building, nothing goes to waste.