Something I read the other day, at work when I was bored, led me to this blog post. It had to do with writing what you know and professions.
In my nine novels, okay, eight, one was a YA so they weren’t into professions yet, I have had nurses, reflecting my own, and I’ve had lawyers, and police people, and professors, library staff, want-to-be-actress, legal assistant, banker, and some of these people wanted to be something else, but mostly writers and photographers and I think that those desires spill from me. Why not make someone else successful at those even if I can’t be?
Do your research. Draw on your experiences. Yeah, some things might be over exaggerated thanks to TV and what they believe is real but does it really matter in those minor details? Not really. Pay attention next time you go to the doctor. Maybe you know someone who is in a profession you’re interested in giving your protagonist. Most of us have seen a lawyer at some point whether it’s for custody and divorce, buying a home or drawing up a will.
So don’t be afraid to use a profession because you don’t know anything about it. The internet is a wealth of information. Just make sure you look in the right places. Residencies to become a family doctor are three years in Canada, two years in the US… I learned that this week because of a patient. I work with a doctor and I know lawyers and police officers, not that I have used them for research, yet!
Sure, write what you know, but that’s so restrictive! Reach out! Explore! Maybe you’ll even take on a new profession!