“Write what you know”

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One of the most common pieces of advice for aspiring author is to write about what you know.  When I first started doing rotations in the hospital as a medical student I knew it would be an interesting setting for a story.  Still, when I began writing Vague Pains all those years ago I still felt like an outsider in the hospital.  It was easier for me to write through the eyes of a patient (Henry in the book).  Over the years my perspective changed, so I added a doctor-in-training, and finally a practicing physician.  None of these character are fully autobiographical, but I did put a little of myself into all three. In a way the book is a conversation with myself in different stages of my life.

Hard to believe

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It’s hard to believe that after about 10 years of effort Vague Pains is almost in print.  Instead of developing my skills as an author by writing many different stories (like most sane writers) I just kept rewriting my first story.  I knew this was the one I wanted to tell.  By the time I got the the end, I would go back to the start and find things to improve.  At times it was a very painful process, but at least it was a sign I was growing as a writer.  I’m still growing as a writer (I hope!), but I finally feel that I was able to do justice to the story in my head.  I can’t wait to see it in print.