I was talking with some writers, and they were mentioning how writing is fundamentally about "the human condition, our take on it, what we see in our world and experience. All stories, no matter the genre, are people stories. We're always writing about the human condition, our take on it, what we see in our world and experience. Every time you sit down to write you must answer to yourself the following question: how will what I'm writing today help me to illuminate and illustrate my observations about the human condition? If you don't understand the human condition you don't know why you are writing, and in that case writing is typically a waste of creative energy".
This is a big problem for me, because I don't really get the human condition to begin with. My entire life can be described as only viewing humanity from a distance as an outsider looking in. To start off, I am a high-functioning autistic, so my perspective is already warped. Growing up I had next to no circle of friends, and the few people I did hang around were abusive and toxic. The same was true of college, and even today I don't have people I have strong emotional connections to. Not because I am autistic, but because I got burned so many times I just taught myself to stop feeling. I work in a job that requires minimal social interaction. I have never had any romantic relationships besides one-sided crushes from afar that I never acted on. I'm not religious. I intentionally have next to no Internet presence: I do not use social media, I do not frequent forums, I do not belong to any fan communities, I have no Internet friends, etc. My parents were dysfunctional and a bit emotionally abusive, and while I've come to realize their behavior is not what a normal adult should behave like, I have little baseline for what people should behave like. I have no siblings, and I have no relatives that I see on a regular basis. I've learned to be hyper-independent because I've largely learned that other people are untrustworthy and can't be relied upon.
I'm not trying to spin a sob story, my broader point is that I have no point of context about "the human condition" because the lifelines for which one typically learns about the human condition are not present in my life. About my only guide for how people actually behave is anime and television, which most would agree is…not the most reliable perspective for understanding human behavior. Even when these works do try to ape human interaction, they often do so in a way that is played for drama or otherwise overly idealistic or cynical in keeping with the nature of a story.
The really big issue is that an author is generally expected to know more than the reader in order to maintain a sense of verisimilitude, and if your readers understand human emotions and "the human condition" better than you do as an author you're playing at a disadvantage. It's easy to write about things that people have no frame of reference for, but it's harder to write about something that theoretically most readers know something about.
Now, I'm not trying to play into stereotypes of autistic people being emotionless or clueless, saying "I don't understand humanity" is a bit hyperbolic. I understand human motivations quite well, and in fact because of my status as an outsider looking in I've often been able to pick up when people are lying to themselves or others about the real, often self-centered reasoning behind their motivations even when other people aren't. Honestly given what I've seen about humanity I kind of dislike people in general.
What I lack is a visceral understanding of how it feels to be in these positions rather than merely as a third-party observer, and the lived experiences that writers draw on in order to make their characters and storytelling feel real to the audience. E.g., struggling to write romantic interactions between characters because I've never dated or romantically interacted with someone. Or writing about a teenage character working a soul-sucking temp job at a fast-food restaurant because I've never worked such a job nor know someone who has. Or writing a story that I intended to have an uplifting message about human nature and not sabotaging it with my own nihlism and cynicism. Or drawing on real-life friendships to show emotional bonds between characters. Writing is fundamentally about having the character's emotions resonate with the readers, even if one is writing from a third-party perspective.
I've had people tell me that "well, if you struggle to understand humanity so much, why don't you just write alien characters or ones that are otherwise non-human", and use your perspective to inform that. However, the broader issue with that is even aliens and other non-human characters invariably have some sort of social structure because social interactions are what make fiction interesting (especially non-television, non-movie fiction since visual spectacle is limited). Vulcans in Star Trek may be hyper-logical and vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade are antisocial, but they still have a society. Not to mention every character can't behave this way.
Given this, how does one write a story about human interaction and "the human condition" (as pretty much all character-driven works of fiction are) when they have no baseline to compare it to or draw from?
Honestly given what I've seen about humanity I kind of dislike people in general.There's a market for that.