Ernest Hemingway and Blood

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Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Read that again if you need, it’s important. So much truth is expressed in those two sentences. Good writing is often a purging of the soul; a glimpse into the heart of a author and what she finds important. However, statements like this lend themselves to the idea of only writing “what you know.” Personally while I believe many authors do this brilliantly, just as many writers are able to craft masterpieces purely from the depths of their imagination and perhaps a bit of research. Which then begs the question – is writing from one’s imagination writing what you know? I tend to say no, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic…

I write both ways; what I know and my imagination. In my latest book Sleeping in the Morgue, the protagonist has many things in common with my personality; but I’ve never lived in a mortuary, worked with dead bodies, killed people for money (or any other reason), amongst many other differences. So, does that mean I wrote “what I know” or used my “imagination?” I say both.

How do you write? How do you think some of your favorite authors work?

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