Photo from rock exhibit at Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle, WA

According to Peter Rock in “The Telling That Shows,” in The Writer’s Notebook: craft essays from Tin House, “The telling is the voice of the story. The showing is the characters let loose.” Rock explains that effective telling depends on the writer’s expertise to add specific details to transform it.

The author lists five things he has expertise in, including grilling steak. It made me wonder what I might claim as expertise.

1. Planning a party.

2. Having plenty of delicious food.

3. Sharing.

4. Giving directions Oaxacan-style.

5. Using the Oxford Comma consistently.

My first inclination is to make a list of things I am not good at.


Annie Dillard once said, “Don’t write what you know. Write what only you know.”


What do you know?

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