I've heard the phrase "write what you know" several times. Should people only write what they know? What if someone wants to write about an actual place that he or she has never visited? Or what if someone wants to write historical fiction, but hasn't lived through that time period or has any connections with that culture (Shogun by James Clavell comes to mind). Wouldn't a better expression be "write what you have learned" since things that you don't know can be taught thus enabling someone to write about it. I mean, given the endless resources the internet has to offer it would seem that writing about a specific time or place is much easier, and you don't necessarily have to "know" it. Although it might be advantageous, I don't think "write what you know" is really an axiom that writers should follow to the extent of not trying at all.