In college I took a film class on Western's and Horror, my two least favorite genres. When the instructor juxtaposed Carrie, Psycho and Videodrome against Shane, Unforgiven and The Ballad of Little Joe, I was well out of my comfort zone. This happened again when I chose a class on popular culture and found myself learning about the origins of Punk and Rap music. Was I converted? Did I find myself dying my hair hot pink and saying, yo yo sista? Do I now thirst for Zombies and John Wayne?
Rest assured I have retained my own tastes, I'm still me. I am a different me, more open to other points of view and I celebrate the diversity that is our human race. I love that when I look around I don't see homogenized versions of myself. My writing is better for it, at least I think so.
So, today I challenge you to choose your next book from out of your normal genre of choice. If you've never read a romance, read one. Try some steampunk. (I just learned what this is!)
How far will you step out of your comfort zone?