I know most of us writers would much rather curl up with a cup of tea and a notebook rather than step foot outside. I rarely go anywhere during summers unless the outing is scheduled and necessary (like mountain bike practice). It’s not that I dislike hanging out with people (I like that a lot), it just doesn’t occur to me. If I can spend my time writing, isn’t that more productive than going for a hike or out for coffee?
How will we know what to write about if we lock ourselves from the world? If we don’t connect with friends, how will we know how to describe the light that flares in someone’s eye when they talk about something they love? If we never bike or run or whatever until we feel sick, how can we make our readers’ throats burn when our protagonists do the same? If we never sleep under the stars, how can we know what it’s like to wake up afterwards?
Just like all writing rules, you don’t need to follow the “write what you know” one. Your writing will come alive, however, if you describe the details (like a friend’s passion, a burning throat, or waking up outside) accurately and uniquely. You can do that best by experiencing the sensations, figuring out how they look or feel to you, and writing those words down.
Half-truths convince people easier than full out lies. Every villain knows that. In the same way, if we get the details of our stories right, readers will better swallow the more fantastical parts.
There will always be some times that we’ll feel like Mr. Norrell:
It won’t be every time though, I guarantee it. So pour your tea into a traveling mug and go outside!