Here’s a pretty obvious thought for you: write about what you know.

It’s the advice that would be novelists always receive, and in fact it applies to anyone in the creative space.

Once in a while you get insights from the really good writers into how this applies to them. I remember Ricky Gervais giving the perfect illustration of this from when he was a budding writer at school, and clearly it has served him well from that moment on.

I recently finished reading an early crime thriller by American author Michael Connelly. It was his first book featuring the detective Harry Bosch. The Bosch series is now at about 20-plus and growing. At the end of the book, Connelly explained how his eponymous character came about, and it was essentially the melding of 3 or 4 important influences on him when he was growing up. As simple as that.

It’s the same for business of course. Write about you know. Otherwise, you’ll be found out. If you don’t know, find out and get the facts, so you do know what you’re talking about.

I find that when I’m researching something that’s new to me, so that I can write compellingly about it, the more people I speak to the better, up to a point. It’s like a reverse onion. With every new person you talk to, you get a new layer, a fresh perspective, a different angle on what you thought you knew, until you have as full a picture as you’re going to get without the decreasing marginal returns of going to more people.

Then you can write, because you know.

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