Out of your bubble.
“Get out of your bubble.” I say that to lots of people who come to me for writing advice. What I mean when I say “get out of your bubble” is that I believe you shouldn’t only consume things from the genre you love. For example, I love science fiction and fantasy and superheroes, but they are not the only stories I am interested in. I also enjoy horror, thrillers, mysteries, romance, and drama. I cast a wide net of interests because exposure to many genres can only help you become a better writer.
If you stay solely within your favored genre, you start falling into bad habits. You start relying on tricks and tropes that other genre fans will easily “get.” You start forgetting how to frame stories and characters outside the framework of a sci-fi or fantasy story. You begin to close yourself off from new experiences and new ways of approaching stories. You may want to write that interstellar alien romance story you’ve always been dreaming of telling, but try a few classic romances (without aliens) to give you some much-needed perspective on how to approach a love story.
Hayao Miyazaki once said that the problem with the anime industry is that it’s full of otaku (people who obsessively love anime), and one of the reasons his films have such wide-reaching appeal is that he spends time watching other people and having new experiences. He knows not only the value of getting out of one’s bubble, but the consequences of limiting yourself to only the genre you love. Creativity stagnates, lessons go unlearned, and compelling characters go uncreated.
Get out of your bubble. Get out of your comfort zone. Every new experience is a learning experience, and with every lesson learned you grow as a creator and a person.