So yesterday I asked you who first advised gonnabe writers to "Write what you know'? As expected, nobody guessed. That's because, though the aphorism is thrust upon us with all the force of Authority, nobody ever actually cites the original authority.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his journal, in May of 1849, he wrote:
Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.
And, incidentally . . . those teachers who took "write what you know" and used it as a club to drub you about the head and shoulders for writing fantasy or science fiction? They were completely wrong and deserve no more than a D-minus and possibly quite less.
Above: There he is, the man himself. Ironically his remark is usually misquoted as "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." This is why the original can be so hard to find.