I've heard a lot about the debate of "writing what you know" vs. "writing what you can imagine" and I fall firmly into the camp of writing what I can imagine.
Well, primarily because I write fantasy and some of it is pretty frightening, as you will see in my next book - Summer's End. Do I want to be whisked into another world via a carnival where an evil magician is in control and creepy twins try to kill me? Let me think ... uh, yeah - I don't think so. I would lose what little control I am currently able to maintain over my bladder and that's not something anyone wants or needs to see.
What this boils down to is that writing only that which I had personally lived would be pretty limiting for me. Does that mean I object to this method for others? Of course not. What ever works, dude - as Nike is fond of saying: Just do it. Nothing annoys me more than being told what or how to do something, so I try to refrain from issuing edicts on methodology for others, although I do reserve the right to boss my kids around. Not only will society thank me later when my spawn have become productive members of society, it helps me manage stress; just sitting here and thinking about ordering one of them to clean the bathroom makes me feel better.
I'm always interested to hear how other writers feel about this issue, so chime in. I promise not to ask you to clean anything, but that'll be mostly because my kids have probably already taken care of it, under duress.