So, I write women's commercial fiction. I like to think I know the genre pretty well - I've been reading it for years and years - and I haven't planned on going outside it as a writer (because I feel so comfortable in it).
Well, I'm currently writing a series, which I've never done before - very exciting! I just started writing the third book, a Christmas book. It didn't start out to be a religious book, but the further I get, I'm realizing the theme is turning in a particularly spiritual direction (unlike the previous two books). I'm letting the characters/plot lead me where they wish, at this point.
Now, for the "thinking outside the box" part: If the first two books in the series end up not getting published (a realistic possibility), I'm going to do something different. I'm going to take this third book, which is virtually a stand-alone book, and try to market it as Christian fiction - find an agent who specializes in that genre! I think it's a creative solution to a potential problem with any series (which is that if Book 1 doesn't sell, then logically, neither will Books 2, 3, 4, and so on...).
As you can tell, I'm excited about this prospect. But the most important thing for me is that, either way it falls (in regard to publishing), I'm still staying true to the original plot that "wants" to be told. I love thinking outside the box!