Write What You Know—If You Know Interesting Things


Author and former literary agent John Hodgman schools you on  the real rules of the writing game.


John Hodgman, best-known for personifying PCs in mid-00s Mac commercials, has a few words of advice for all the budding artists out there.

Unbeknownst to most of the general public, Hodgman is actually a successful author and humorist in his own right, when he isn’t stopping in to the Daily Show as a correspondent and “resident expert.” But for years, he was a literary agent, trying to forget his dream of becoming a writer because he was too afraid to try.

In a new segment for the website THNKR, Hodgman talks about his own most elaborate procrastination technique, the best advice you can give budding writers (hint: it isn’t “write what you know”), and the amount of “crazies” whose submissions found their way onto his desk.

It’s an incisive, funny clip, and just a taste of the great discussions you can find on the THNKR YouTube channel, which posts daily clips on young innovators, great books, how-tos, impassioned speeches and much more. You can also hear even more from John Hodgman on his three books of fictional trivia, the future of American humor and the merits of a well-placed bathroom joke.

Photo: THNKR, “John Hodgeman’s Advice for Writers”

About Lee McKinstry

Lee McKinstry is the Good Men Project A&E Editor and proud Cleveland native. Her favorite things include blue whales, early 90s lo-fi, poetry slams and debating gender politics over a root beer. She once came in second in a Slovakian log-throwing contest, and will hopefully sharpen her skills when she returns to Central Europe this fall as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in the Czech Republic. She can be reached for comment at lb.mckinstry@gmail.com, or on Twitter @LeeMcKinstry.

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