In this short but insightful emotional writing speech, author Nathan Englander examines a popular piece of writing advice. Englander says that the most helpful and most misunderstood tip when it comes to writing is "write what you know."
Englander encourages people not to look at this piece of advice from an experience standpoint. Many people grow up in the suburbs, and live ordinary lives. This doesn't make for interesting writing. Instead, Englander says that people should think about this in terms of emotions that they've felt. If you've felt deep sadness, write about it. If you've felt love and happiness, write about that. When this well-known writing tip is thought of in terms of emotions, it becomes less discouraging for aspiring writers.