Welcome to the Dojo Wisdom for Writers Book Club! Every Wednesday, we meet to discuss one of the lessons in Dojo Wisdom for Writers. We’ll go in order, so it’s easy enough to follow along. Read the lesson, then read the blog post, then comment in the comments! Do feel free to comment on each other’s comments. I’ll answer questions as quickly as I can.
Lesson #9 – No knowledge is useless
This lesson sometimes seems a bit counter-intuitive, especially given how much information overload most of us are suffering from. So I’m not going to suggest that you value every piece of information exactly the same or that you should spend all your time reading blogs. But I do want to encourage people not to assume that they know what’s going to be relevant to their lives (and work) and what’s not. You have to be open.
In other words, don’t just read blogs about writing and publishing. Read blogs about plumbing and squirrels and witchcraft. Having knowledge about something outside the process of putting sentences together gives your work a richness if can otherwise never achieve.
Equally important is not to assume that you don’t already possess a lot of knowledge that will be helpful in your writing. Maybe you don’t know everything there is to know about publishing, but you may know a lot about raising children, or getting along with squabbling family members, or devising a profit-and-loss statement. All of that is knowledge that can be put to use in your work.
I always bring up the example of my martial arts training when I talk about this topic. I never thought I’d turn into the queen of martial arts writing, but the knowledge was there, and once I became intentional about using it, I had a lot of success in my writing. What are some things you may have thought weren’t particularly relevant to your writing career but which have turned out to be crucial?
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Catch a Falling Star (by Jessica Starre) and The Matchmaker Meets Her Match (by Jenny Jacobs), two of my favorite novels.