What aspiring fantasy or sci-fi writer hasn't heard that advice and cringed? We don't want to write about *us* - our lives are so boring and mundane. Or are they?
Everything you do that seems deathly dull is probably unknown and new, even alien, to someone somewhere else. Even if it's not, as a writer you should be able to make it seem that way to your readers.
Pick up the challenge. Take a slice of your normal, dull, boring daily routine and write it the way you would a fic. Keep it true but make it interesting. Write yourself in third person, the hero/ine of the newest chart breaking novel about a student/office worker/mother/net geek/whatever. Write what *you* know best.
The trip home was sometimes boring. She'd walk to her bus stop, perhaps stopping for an energy bar on the way, and then wait. Once on the bus, she'd alternate reading with looking at the window at the same sights, or plotting stories in her head, until her stop.
This day promised something else. It had been snowing all afternoon, and she'd neglected to wear winter boots. Her balance never good, she had to take tiny steps in her new shoes so she didn't slip. And she had errands to run in that neighborhood - bricks of the Mexican coffee she couldn't find in her local stores and her weekly dose of superheroes.
Engrossed in trying to walk, she passed by the bodega where she normally bought her coffee. Shrugging, she made alternate plans.
She walked into the comic book shop. They were no longer bemused, if they ever were, at a middle-aged woman coming in for her DC fix, and even suggested books for her to read and discussed her favorite boys with her. This time, the new counter guy, the one who thought the world was coming to an end because she bought some Marvel trades, had a new beard, and the owner was behind the counter.
When she first started a pull-list, she could walk in and he'd hand her her comics, and then quickly ring them up and bag them, all the while yelling at his assistants and the lady she presumed was his mother. Now his right side was useless. She had to remind him who she was, even spelling her name out, and everything took time - the legacy of the stroke he'd suffered three years previous. He'd had the stroke the night she'd left her wallet in the store, and it had taken a week for things to settle enough for them to find it and get it back, after she'd cancelled everything.
He was back behind the counter in weeks, and she knew better than to help him, as did his new assistants. Her fingers itched to at least do the bagging, and she separated the charge slips because that could be done gracefully and she did it with everyone, but otherwise, she was patient. She admired his independence and his pride.
She picked up the coffee at the overpriced chain supermarket a block or two away and burdened with comic books and coffee and the little ceramic pomegranate her boss had brought her from Israel, she minced her way back up to the bus stop, thankful for shoes that were dry if not good for traction and the fact that she could walk in the new snow at all.