When you’ve got kids in the house you’re going to hear a lot of the song “Try Everything” from Zootopia. It’s my kids’ favorite part of the movie, and quite frankly, it’s a damn good song.

And the lyrics hold a lot of truth. Simply, “Try everything.”

This applies to writers as much as it does to young adults about to take off in the world.

Too often as writers we label ourselves early on. Like, “I’m going to be a Christian writer and write inspirational things.” Or, “I’m going to write children’s books forever.” Or only horror, or only sci-fi.

I think it’s good to stretch ourselves. If Jim Carrey only stuck with comedy we would have never had The Majestic. J.K. Rowling mastered the young readers genre, but she still branched out and tried her hand in adult fiction with A Casual Vacancy. Not everyone loved it, but she gets credit for trying.

One of my favorite John Grisham books isn’t about the law at all. It’s about baseball (Calico Joe).

So as writers, I challenge you to expand yourselves. Try out a genre or topic you never thought you’d be capable of, because honestly, you never know.

Imagine if Dr. Seuss didn’t bother delving deep into the world of rhyming and whacky words. Or what if Leonardo DiCaprio decided to just stick with sitcoms?

The world would be a little different, wouldn’t it? And maybe, just maybe, the world could be even more different if you decide to stretch yourself into worlds unfamiliar…

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