Write about what you don’t know

Mickey Mellen
2 min readJun 13, 2024

As you may know, I’m writing on here every day to try to help myself. I share these learnings in the hope that they’re of benefit to you as well, but they’re largely to help me unpack new ideas and concepts that I learn about.

A recent episode of Adam Grant’s “ReThinking” podcast with guest Rebecca Solnit had some fascinating insights. When talking about writing, Rebecca said this:

“I’ve always hated the advice of “Write what you know”, which puts a fence around people.”

The advice she shared came from the angle of writing content for others, like a book. If and when I decide to write a book, it will be filled with things that I know. For now, though, not being focused on “what I know” is a wonderful thing for this blog.

There are certainly times when I write about what I know, but I try to largely use this as a place to share things that I don’t really know. Sometimes the act of writing will help me get to an answer, but often that “answer” is just one possible solution. Your comments and feedback (whether here, on social media, or via email) are always welcome, because I often learn quite a bit more from those.

The topics I share tend to be somewhat open to interpretation (like this one), so even when I “know” the topic it can still be eye-opening for me to hear other perspectives.

I’ll write what I know, I’ll write what I don’t know, and I’m hopeful you’ll reach out to me when my thought on the topic doesn’t line up with yours so that we can all get a little bit better.

Originally published at https://www.mickmel.com on June 13, 2024.



Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.