In an essay called "Gone So Long," James Sallis gives some advice for writers that you don't often see. He says: "Write about the things that hurt you, write about the things you don't understand." This sounds easy, but I'll tell you it's not. Especially the first part, the "hurt" part. I've tried, in a slightly different way.
In writing horror, I always heard, "Write about what scares you," but I've always struggled in doing so because those things are so personal. I'm not personally afraid of vampires and werewolves, or invasions from outer space. I'm afraid of losing my son, of losing my health. I'm not particularly afraid to die; I'm afraid to suffer.
What hurts and scares you also defines you. These things are at your core, and they do not want to be dredged up. They will fight you tooth and nail. But Jim's advice is good. I believe that. I believe I should do precisely what he says.
Damn it's hard.