If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you!
I read the quote above while waiting in my doctor's office lab for a blood test. There were other quotes fixed to the wall but this one reached out to me. Why?
We're all striving to be better writers. Not just occasionally but on a regular basis. We want to grow from that fledgling wannabe to a regularly published writer. Most of us do, anyway. I grant that there are people who write for the sheer pleasure of writing. They never show their work to anyone else; it's for their own private files. And that's fine but more are heading for publication than aren't.
One way we can achieve our goal is to challenge ourselves with new and different types of writing. Or perhaps a more in-depth writing in the genre we feel comfortable with. If you write sweet romances of 1000 words and have been successful, why not move on to writing one that is 3,000 words? A little more intricate plotting, space to add more detail and develop characters.
If you have never written a novel for teens but have written short stores for that age group, why not give it a try? Do you love to read sci-fi but have only written contemporary or historical stories? Branch out and see what you can do with a sci-fi story.
If you've written nonfiction exclusively but have never attempted creative nonfiction, maybe now is the time to give that a spin. Delve back into your family history for a special story to write--one that is true but uses fiction techniques in the writing.
Have you steered clear of poetry because it scared you or you felt you weren't up to it? Experiment with writing poems of different types. Set a goal and work toward it. You can be both a prose and poetry writer.
If we have some success in what we write, it's nice and safe to stay with whatever category that might be. I've done this and I can keep doing this--that's what your inner self is telling you. Why not reach out and try whatever is the next rung on the ladder? Who knows? You might come up with something great and could even change into a new kind of writer.
Be a writer who accepts challenges and is willing to let them change you into a better writer than you've ever been before.
I challenge each of you to try one piece of writing that is different from what you normall write.