You may have heard the old adage to write what you know. There may be some controversy on this on this subject, but I still think it is good advice. Drawing upon universal experiences of emotions, senses, and losses can help create a rapport with your reader. For example, whatever scares the pants off you, just might do the same to your readers. And your readers can probably also relate to sensory details like walking in the rain. In addition, you can even take ordinary situations or regular people from your life and then tweak them into something entirely new. The point is that writing what you know is a good starting point for your story, the rest comes from your imagination.
Another reason to "keep it real" is that I find it important to keep up with life while writing. I don't want to focus too much on my writing that I miss out on too many activities. Thus, I'd advice not to block out life unless maybe your are on a roll or a deadline. Life will help keep you grounded and you might get some new ideas for your writing or figure out a way to fix a problem. And in my case, I have three little ones that need me and I don't want to miss out on that. Life happens when you are writing. Don't miss it.
So, this year for my New Year's Resolution, I'm keeping it real. I'm going to write what I know and I am going to go out and live my life. At least that is the plan. Here's to a happy and healthy new year full of great stories!!! Go out and find them, life them, and write them. I look forward seeing where your words take you!!!