Let me just mention a few words that normally would elicit a negative response from me--steampunk, noir, horror. I can't even begin to explain why I've never really been interested in these genres, but it may have something to do with my being a total scary cat! Yes, I am a huge Stephen King fan but I have never really enjoyed any other author who writes horror. These stories has always been that red lipstick I have been afraid to try on. I am more of a clear gloss girl.
What has changed my mind? The brilliant writing of Charles Benoit, Jonathan Maberry and Cassandra Clare. Ever since I have "found" these authors, I just can't get enough of their respective sub-genre categories. Through this change in my reading habits, my writing has evolved from that of contemporary to a darker, more noir feel. I now want to try new things, wear new lipstick colors.
The dark corners of my mind now bare lit torches. I see things clearer than ever before and I am not so hung up on what category a book is, rather I am concerned with what the book is about and the feelings it illicits from me. I think we can all learn from all writers and the stories they tell, no matter what the section of the bookstore it can be found (or which make-up counter we find it).
The point is, don't be afraid of trying new books, new writing styles, new lipstick or lipgloss colors. The only way a writer can grow is if you evolve.