Sue Miller goes on to say, “Surely the writer’s job is to make relevant the world she wishes to write about. How? By writing well and carefully and powerfully. By using humor, as Cheever did; or violence, as O’Conner did; or rue, as Chekhov did, to make the territory of her imagination compelling and somehow universal. And that hold true whether the territory of the imagination is close to the literal truth of her life or far from it.”
Even in college, I was being taught to write what I know. I don’t know if the professors meant to come across a certain way, but they told me that I had nothing interesting to write about because I hadn’t lived this godless life, full of passion, lust and adventure. I wanted to say, “What about imagination? What about the hours I spent making up stories with my Star Wars figures? What about all of the times my bike was a horse, or a space ship, or a motorcycle? My imagination is my life and I can experience anything I choose. I don’t have to fly in outer space to imagine what it was like for Luke. I doubt that George Lucas has been into space. And his purpose in writing Star Wars wasn’t to give the details of life in space. He was telling a story and making it believable for the readers/viewers. As long as the reader buys in to what you’re saying, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been to that place or experienced that thing. What ultimately matters is the story and what the reader takes away from that story.