I think the old adage “write what you know” needs some tweaking, re-wording, and rearranging.
Perhaps it should be – Write what you’re passionate about. I like it. Brief. To the point.
I think that starting from a point of passion is the best place to start a story. Or rather writing about what you are passionate about is the best place to begin writing a story. Research is something I can do to know more about a subject, but I can’t always get passionate about those things that I research.
Take penguins for example, I’m not that emotionally involved in understanding penguins, I have no passion for them. But I can do research to learn more about penguins. Doesn’t mean that I can write a great story about them.
Passion and emotion must (for me) collide inside my writer’s brain in order for me to write a story that I think other people will want to read.
If you are looking for inspiration for a story, look for your passions. Dig into your emotional well and see what happens. You may surprise yourself.