Reading outside the genre I write in has been helpful in informing my writing. I recommend it to anyone who wants to think outside the usual parameters of their chosen genre. What I recommend is not necessarily what will work for everyone. I believe that a writer should write whatever story needs to be told, regardless of whether it’s going to appeal to a certain demographic. I don’t like the idea of being “safe” with writing. Sometimes the best stuff is the thing that you write and then wonder “what the hell am I doing?” Like I said, my advice probably isn’t for everyone. A lot of people like to read what is expected, following a set of rules and reaching a predictable conclusion. I believe every writer needs to do this to some extent but there’s no reason why you can’t stray off the path and challenge people’s perceptions along the way.