I read this PW Q&A with Kevin Henkes today. Henkes briefly talks about using life experiences in his stories, saying, "Whenever I’m writing a book, small details from my life always creep in."
I know that's true for me — and I believe that it's true for every writer, whether you write for kids or adults, focus on fiction or nonfiction, create ad copy or textbooks. I'm not talking about always literally dropping your experiences into your work (although, certainly, writers successfully do that every day), but about the myriad emotions, colors, dialogues, people, thoughts, relationships, perceptions, and mundane activities that inform the ability to describe ANYTHING. No place else to get all that but from life.
I guess my reaction hinged on the fact that people constantly ask writers the "Does your life show up in your stories?" question. Which is natural. I'm as interested as everyone else in each writer's answer. But I can't even think of a circumstance in which it wouldn't.