Originally Posted by JoelArnold
I agree with a lot of what has been said. I also take "write what you know" to mean put your own spin on things based on your own unique experiences and point of view. You could give a hundred people a very specific topic and incident to write about, and if they all wrote from their perspective, you'd get a hundred very different stories.
There was a Disney film about art that illustrated that point very well. Four of the studio's artists (back in the 50's-60's) went out on their day off and painted a tree and though they were all looking at the same tree each of them came up with a different painting.