Writer’s Eye: Versatility in Writing

I was recently considering the idea of limits. Restrictions drive me crazy, and I’m often driven by the inherent motivation of what people tell me I “can’t” do.
What I want to talk about here are writers. Writers are arguably some of the most creative thinkers in society- they have to be by virtue of their career, which is (usually) born from their imagination. However, their creativity is seemingly stifled by the unwritten law of being an author: stick to your genre.
Genre writing, as it is most widely known, has been the primary practice of authors since time before time. And I’ve always wondered why more writers never seem willing to expand, and dip their fingers in the many avenues of writing that are available? I’m not talking about an author who can write both children’s and adult books- rather, I’m talking about an author who is willing to be a historian and a fiction writer- willing to be an expert and a romantic on paper.
I have pondered this question for over a year, and the answer I finally arrived at recently kind of shocked me. For a long time, I considered genre writing (that is, something that was not new for you, or for readers) to be a “stagnent session of intellectual masturbation”. What I have found however, is that for readers, the opposite holds true. When shopping for books, a reader is instantly attracted to an author he or she is familiar with. And that was the crucial element I was missing.
Looking at the possibilities of writing in multiple genres seems exciting for a writer- or a writer slash poet slash historian slash romantic, but in actuality, it creates a great deal of confusion- readers (who usually enjoy things written to the conformity of genre) would be off put and confused if writers were not “set” in their particular sub specialties. Sales would suffer. Writers would get hungry. Cannibalism and high book prices would ensue.
I do, however, still wish that established writers could dabble in other fields. My suggestion?
Use a pen name! Samuel Clemens knows all about the success one might find down that particular fox hole.