I like this slightly different take on the ‘write what you know’ idea:
Rather than write about what you know…write about what you see. Assume that you know very little and that you’ll never know much until you learn how to see.Sigrid Nuñez, The Friend
I think really noticing, and making notes on what you observe is one of the most reliable ways to avoid cliche.
4 thoughts on “On Writing: Sigrid Nuñez – Write What You See”
I really like this, Annabel!
It’s great, isn’ it? Do you keep a notebook or record your observations in any way?
I’ve lost my writing mojo, sadly. But maybe keeping such a notebook would help. I always mean to keep a notebook – and do from time to time until I fall out of the habit. Are you a notebook keeper; and if you are, what kinds of notes do you make?
Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that. It happens though. I lost mine for most of last year. I used to keep a notebook quite religiously for years. Now I don’t. I like to think I’ve trained myself to make mental notes. But probably that is just a lie I tell myself! I think i used to see things, overhear things, think profound thoughts…! who knows? You’ve actually motivated me to perhaps have a look at some of my old notebooks and maybe even do a post about it. Hope you get your mojo back before too long.