Write what you know. What you read. I've heard it so many times, that this is what good writers do. If you want to write science fiction, then read it. If you want to write romance, then read it. On and on. So many times that I feel guilty for not actually doing it.
I write YA. But I don't read it. Oh, I've read a few pieces, but for the most part I'm just not interested in the stories that are out there, and those that I am are just not written well. I read romance. I have since I was 14 years old and found an old Harlequin in a garage sale box my mum had in the basement. I've probably read well over two thousand romance novels and for my favorite authors, I've read their's multiple times.
But I can't write it.
Not because I don't know it or like it. But because I do. I love reading about characters falling in love and facing problems, only to over come them to have a happy ending. (Although, I have to admit that I am the last, absolute last, to suggest seeing a romance movie)
YA romance though, is entirely different. The characters are in an entirely different place than those in regular romance novels. And for me that appeals to my imagination. I've read so many romance novels that I'd feel as if anything I wrote would just be a convergence of those themes, and stories, and characters. By writing YA, a genre that I have read very little of, I'm able to keep it my own. I love reading the YA work on tNBW, but that's because I'm reading it not just for pleasure, but with a critical eye. I can critique and suggest and know that where their story is going is vastly different from mine.
So for me, I'm going to put this idea of 'write what you read' to the side for now, and keep my work separate from my pleasure.