Some people are only fantasy writers. Others are only sci-fi writers. These people may be highly talented at their genre, but their limitations are high as well. Reading other genres can aid in learning how to work with their tropes, but writing short (or longer) fiction does even better. My main interest in novel-writing is epic fantasy, although I've tried my hand at horror, whimsical fantasy, literary, mystery, historical fiction, comedy, military sci-fi, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, action, and alternate history flash fiction pieces and my only complete short story is secondary-world military/war action. Granted, I'm better at some genres than others, but I've at least tried and am getting better at writing several.
One example is my piece A Cat Lacking Curiosity. It was my first attempt to blend action and horror. It bombed, but I learned from it: a) I would have to practice a lot to figure out how to fix the two effectively, and b) if I ever tried it again there are certain things I'd have to do. One of those things is that there has to be a lot of build-up and the protagonist should not be developed in horrible info-dumps. I took some of the things I learned writing A Cat Lacking Curiosity into consideration when I wrote The Destroyers, which in my opinion was a lot better.
If anyone has a genre request for next week, please leave a comment. I'm open to any genre that is "school appropriate" (no, this blog has nothing to do with school, that's just the best comparison I could think of).