I've been fascinated by various subjects for many years. In the last six months, my favorite interests and a new discovery came together to form my latest manuscript - a 42,000 word novel for young people aged 10 to 14. I don't claim to know everything about these subjects but I'm reading, experiencing and learning.
Therefore I'd like to add my own modification to the above advice.
Write about your passions!
When I wrote my latest manuscript, I didn't draw on great personal experience or first hand knowledge. I had to spend a month reading and researching the gaps in my knowledge - and there were plenty - before I started writing. I wanted to learn as much as possible, so I could write about what I know. The more I learned, the more passionate I became about these subjects. I'm still devouring these subjects through books, television and the internet.
Passion inspired me. I found things I didn't know and turned them into things I know, and I became passionate about them. What I lack in personal experience and first hand knowledge, I make up for with passion to learn and explore.
You can write about what you know but if you're not passionate about it, who cares?
To me, passion is the extra ingredient. Passion can help you turn what you don't know into what you know and then into a manuscript.
I'll share more about my passions and my latest manuscript over the coming months. Here is the first taste, a prophecy from the great Mayan ruler Lord Pacal Votan:
O children of the people of the book,
I come to you as the special witness of time
to remind you, especially on the day of truth,
that in your origin you are one,
and on the day of truth
you are to make yourselves one again.
Pacal Votan 603 - 683 AD