The best writers I know are the ones I might call the professional students and/or the professional educators. Writing requires a vast store of knowledge.
For example, I am in the process of reading a book that was recommended via the reviews. In fact, it has newspaper reviews calling it a best seller. So far, not only am I not impressed with the writing, but find the historic perspective extremely weak. In addition, there are too many repetitive sexual scenes---way too many trite ones, and the author uses the words, hot, heat, heated, and burning over and over. It's turning into a gigantic bore in my opinion. I'm at the point where I'm skipping ahead and picking up parts of the story here and there to see if it changes. I'm not feeling hopeful.
All successful authors say you should write about what you know. How can you know anything if you have not enjoyed your education and relished every opportunity placed before you to attend a seminar, workshop, conference, or evening class even after your formal education has ended?
I know several writers who did not get college degrees, but do well. I think it is because they are continually educating themselves about their favorite subjects, writing techniques, styles, etc., and ask for feedback.
Here's something else. Use your talents thoughtfully. Every actor has discussed his or her history of reading for different roles. Many say they were very choosy. Why do you think an actor would turn down a role? They do it because they know in their heart of hearts, it's something that doesn't suit them.
If you hear that "young adult" novels are all the rage, and have no idea how to get into the mind of a millennial, then I would say, find another genre. If I asked you, what type of story you would like to read, and you said "science fiction" I would tell you, "It's not in my wheelhouse."
I recommend the book: "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" by Thomas C Foster. Here are a few summarized ideas of his. ...."-There is no such thing as a completely original piece of literature, all works of literature can be traced to another.-...It means that subconsciously, their works are affected by that of others."
So I set a different goal. I think what I have accomplished is a completely unique writing style. I know exactly what the average writer would say about my writing because I listen to them every week in a group. It's very much like a focus group and I know that not all people will like my style of writing. I hear them say certain things repeatedly. But I also know that it would be nearly impossible to plagiarize my work. My writing style is so unique that it is much like a fingerprint. As a result of reading this important understanding of Foster's, I decided that I wanted my stories to be presented differently.
That has been my challenge. Fortunately, I have a broad education ...attending many colleges and universities over the years, and ghost writing for "professors" who had very strong feelings about how they wanted to be read.