30 Days of Writing: Day 11

One of my favorite authors is Jack London. I enjoy his novels, short stories, and the characters he creates.

I’ve always loved the mountains, the cold, the wild side of things. I’m constantly planning my next camping trip, or hiking trip, or excursion up some mountain.

London has the ability to capture that in his writing and take me there. It is great writing because he lived it and experienced it first hand.

I’ve heard several writers say that to be a good writer you have to write about what you know. In essence, you are writing about yourself and your own personal experiences. Therefor, it’s often said to make sure you are living a life worth writing about.

This is something we are seeing less and less. Few writers are living these epic adventures and writing about them.

A couple of notable examples from current times would be John Krakauer and Christopher McDougall. However, their accounts tend to be first-hand experiences related to the reader while London took his experiences and wrote fiction from them.

Fiction tends to be the more interesting narrative. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, Born to Run, and the other books from these authors. They are fascinating stories that I’ve read several times and will read several more.

Non-fiction just doesn’t feel the same as quality fiction though. With a fictional story, be it Call of the Wild or The Sea Wolf, we are immersed in a world that we get to imagine. Non-fiction just seems to be a bit more grounded.

These days, outdoor adventures are more likely to be documented and shared on Instagram than in a book. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times. Or maybe I’m just not in the loop on good fiction writers. Either is likely.

I’m currently getting ready for summer vacation. While I won’t get to spend as much time as I would like in the pockets of wilderness around me, I plan on making the most of it when I can. I will do my best to have some experiences worth reading about.

And if I can’t find what I want to read, maybe I’ll just have to write it.

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