Yes. It seems very simple, but writing about things about which you have deep knowledge produces better results than a very thin scholarship about things only half understood. I like the phrase "the center of your epistemic strength" because we know most things very badly, in general.
I like Edwin Denby's thinking about dance criticism. You have to divide it into two tasks: seeing the dance, and then writing about it. But both tasks imply knowledge of dance in general. You could imagine someone who is good at observing things, but has never seen a ballet. Or someone who knows about dance, has good perceptions, but is not a particularly good writer. But you need all three elements to be good at the job.