I know I'm no writing-god like Thor (I won't add Loki in here, because frankly, he's crazy) and I hide out in India a lot and avoid confrontation, S.H.I.E.L.D, and scary red-headed assassins (oh, hi, Black Widow)... but I DO know one thing.
Writers should read.
“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”Stephan King
See? Even Stephan King says so.
Reading is good for poking creativity into action, yes, but it's also good for...
Ohmypurplepants, research is so fun. It's amazing! And exciting! And you can learn so much! And...oh. Hang on. Getting excited here.
...returns after a brief Hulk-smash....
So, what was I saying? Research. (Yes, yes, I'll keep calm. Don't fuss, Captain America.) I'm not talking about good-old-fashioned-research-of-facts. I'm talking about research for your market.
For example (we all love examples): Say you're writing Young Adult Paranormal. Say, you don't read YA Paranormal. Well, you've read one or two books, and you have a feel for the genre, and you like it. And BOOM inspiration comes upon you while you yodel in the shower. A book. A grand and glorious book. You write it only to find...
52 other paranormals have already done it.
I've heard it said that you shouldn't read the genre you write, in case you "copy". That's baloney, mate. You need to know what's out there, what you're up against.
Even if you thought of that "great-and-soon-to-be-bestseller-idea" all by your onesome, and THEN read it'd already been done, guess what? The idea is redundant. If it's been done, it's done.
Whatever genre you write, be it dystopian or contemporary or steampunk, I suggest reading a LOT in that genre. Don't overwhelm yourself. But never leave yourself in the dark.
Now, go smash something.