"Write what you know." Of course as a novelist I'm often writing scenes that I have never experienced in my life. For example, in my June 2012 book NAVY RULES I have the hero emergency-landing a B-17. I've never landed any plane, much less a WWII bomber. But I have flown in a Navy plane or two, and I've been in an aircraft when it's had an emergency. I've felt the emotions of this situation. Even if I'd never served in the U.S. Navy myself, I know from commercial flights the fear and anxiety that severe turbulence or the smell of electrical fumes can trigger.
For me, honesty in my writing is being true to my characters. It's about not using cliched or transparent literary devices to "get" my reader to laugh or cry.
So it is with life. Living a life of honesty can be tough, especially in light of the constant media barrage of wars, politics, tough economic times. On a more personal level, honesty with family members is often the most difficult. Telling a teen that while they have straight A's you still don't trust them (or their underdeveloped brains) with a questionable group of "friends." Telling your spouse that you love them, and yes, you're happy but need to do something different to "shake things up," even if that something is merely getting a new 'do or tattoo. Telling your parent it's time to move out of the only home they've had for the past fifty years.
Writing and life dovetail for me in ways I never imagined when I started a serious path to publication. I find that as I learn to create and write down characters with more honesty, I'm learning to live that way in my own life, too. It's not easy but the results are worth it. Give me an old-fashioned homemade cookie over a stale, "pretty," store-bought, over-frosted concoction any day.