The one thing we know is that writers tend to be voracious readers. You always see writers with another book in their hand. The odds are they started writing because of that passion for reading. Unfortunately, one skill many writers fail to do is to read for research.
Let me first say, I am not talking about researching so you have the right facts in your novel. I am talking about researching as literary analysis. This type of research is done to determine what is making the book tick, what works, what doesn't work, as well as new things you see happening in the industry, especially with your own genre.
For many writers, this is difficult. They grab their favorite authors and read just for the enjoyment. We all love to do this. But, to be truly successful as an author, you need to always have a portion of your brain focused on the things you see authors doing. Are you seeing patterns. Are there approaches (not in the plot but the structural approach) that might be something new that could get you over a roadblock with your own writing?
I do hear a lot of writers say they do not read books in their own genre. They often use the excuse that they don't want to taint their own work. Unfortunately, this is a mistake on a couple of levels. The first is if your favorite genre is not the one you are writing in, you are missing out on being able to use that voice and those characteristics that you know so well. Secondly, if you are not following the trends and traits that might make your novel successful.
I cannot stress this enough. Read for research! You will learn so much!