When I write I try to write about what I know about.  Number one, it is easier to write about, and two, if you are just making things up about a certain period of time, then readers who do know about that time will find that you are only making that up.  For example if I tried to write a ten page paper on rocket science, not a single real rocket expert would read half of the paper.  If, however I wrote about the Civil War I might not do so badly, of course I don't claim to be a historian (though I would like that) I would not sound as bad as if I just made some thing up about rockets.
But of course at the right times we all have to write about stuff we don't know to much about, well at least if you are writing a fiction writing.  When you write a historical-fiction it is a requirement to look up as much as you can about that time period or country or culture.  If you don't, it might just end up as a fiction writing slightly based on real places and events.
Anyway, even if you don't know exactly what you are writing about, it's okay because you can't know everything.

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