An Author’s Perspective: Write What You Know Or What You Feel?

By: Stephen Bentley



Stephen Bentley

If you have thought about writing a book, I hope what follows encourages you to do it, ‘Write what you know’ is an adage, an old one and possibly older than me. 

I started writing books years ago. I guess another appropriate adage is ‘you are never too old to learn or to start.’ 

Undercover Operation Julie The Inside StoryI have written an Amazon UK bestseller about my undercover cop days. I started that book about thirty years back but only got around to seriously writing it in 2015 after I had retired from work completely.

I also write crime fiction about an undercover cop. There’s a surprise. I have no idea who coined the phrase ‘write what you know.’ But I think whoever coined it was right to a degree. However, it is an often a misunderstood saying. We aren’t all blessed with such a vivid imagination we can write a novel with ease. If you are like me, getting on in years, I’m sure you have a wealth of stories at your disposal. They can be either personal experiences or stories you have heard from others. There is no copyright on ideas. 

Your story is as valid as mine and would, I am sure, make for a great book. Many memoirists write their book and then never write another word. It’s a pity because I am sure many of them could write fictional books based on their real-life experiences. That is what I call ‘the transition.’ It’s a transition from writing a great memoir into fiction writing. My new genre is crime fiction, but it can be anything you choose that’s appropriate for you, your life-experiences, and your preferences. 

Writing what you know could be dreary. It’s better expressed as ‘writing what you feel,’ based on your life experiences. It is only then your writing springs to life and resonates with the reader. 

Editor:You can read about Stephen on his website and his blogs in HuffingtonPost

You can buy the above book directly from Amazon by clicking on above image or by going to the Home page of - top right of page and click on image or link.

Posted in Books on Feb 01, 2019


Share and comment!

More from Books

Visit our sponsors

Not all CBD oils are the same.

We offer a full spectrum, genuine 'golden' CBD oil which has the unwanted plant matter and chlorophyll removed, leaving a better tasting and more effective extract, packed full of active cannabinoids.

We ensure our products have a high CBD content, giving better value for money. Our oil is as close to natural as we can get it and is vegan friendly.

We don't make medical claims but it you're yet to discover CBD then do some research and find out why so many people around the world are turning to it for their wellbeing.

Buy from

Creative Writing Manual

Amazon review: a wonderful book, full of practical, useful tips.

If you're thinking about doing some creative writing this winter,

our 5* handbook will inspire you and give you confidence.

Available to buy from Amazon

Successful Singing Clarity Spray 

Clarity - an all natural voice spray

Available in great tasting Elderberry or Honey and Lemon flavours.

Directions for use:

Shake before use. Spray into mouth. Use as often as required... Suitable for vegetarian use.


Water, Glycerine, Aloe Vera, Flavour of choice (Elderberry Juice or Honey* Lemon juice)

Rose Cider Vinegar* and natural flavours* (extracts of liquorice, ginger, sage, thyme, rosehip, elderflower)

*organic ingredients used.

Made in the UK.

Give your voice clarity

Available to buy from Amazon in flavours Elderberry and Honey and Lemon

The Final Reckoning by Margaret James

What if you had to return to the place that made you fall apart?

Teenager Lindsay witnesses the aftermath of an awful murder. 

Years later she returns to face up to the terrible memories

 that still haunt her.

Can confronting the past allow Lindsay to heal?

Order this gripping thriller from Amazon.

Advertise with ReviewSpot?