It is often said you should “write what you know”, but just how far you’re willing to go is sometimes a story in itself. LitKicks member Andeh posed the following question about writers and their subject matter.
Imagine you wrote a novel that had to do with people or places you knew; if you put it out, it could bring you fame or fortune — but also could potentially hurt or bring scandal to people or places you knew. In such a case, what would you do?
Is it more important for you to express your stories at any cost or would you never publish things very personal, to protect yourself or others?
For me, I wonder about this all the time. If I could publish a personal story about people I knew, I’d have to carefully think about it. Is it worth anything to get your art out there? Would you make yourself or others or even your hometown “suffer” for the art of writing? For the sake of art (and possible rewards that could come with it), is anything worth it?
We’d like to hear what you think about this dilemma. What would you do? Maybe you’ve been in this situation before — what decisions did you make and how did it play out?