We hear it so much as writers: What is your niche? (Sometimes it’s called a “brand” or a “platform” but for the purpose of my A to Z Challenge posts – I chose niche!)
According to Meriam-Webster’s dictionary niche is defined as: a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted <finally found her niche>
Sounds about right. So what is my niche? I thought it was writing. In fact, I quit my job because I was SO sure it was writing and I didn’t want to waste any additional time on things that were NOT my niche. However, lately, I’m not even sure I should be writing at all.
I’ve had massive writer’s block for almost a month. I feel in my heart that I am supposed to be writing a book about depression and finding hope in the Bible, but I do not know where to start. Well… actually, I have several starting places, but I keep getting tripped up by other things. I believe God has called me to do this, but I also feel like there has been not foresight with which to start.
I’ve started a bit – fits and starts – but nothing seems right. So I let it go for a few days. I mull it over, pray about it and work on other things. (Check out my post on Monday about that particular issue.)
Am I best suited for writing and editing? I think so. In fact, I found an error recently in a friend’s published novel that “tons of readers” had not even noticed. It wasn’t a huge problem – just a character’s gender issue (male or female), but no one else noticed it. She’s had a lot of readers and a lot of reviews (not that I would leave a bad review for that issue – it was obviously an easily overlooked mistake), but no one had mentioned it. It took me so out of the story that I had to go back three times and reread the section. I guess that makes me someone who has an attention to detail that is essential for a writer and editor.
But the work has been hard to come by and I’ve gotten overwhelmed and frustrated. Perhaps this “niche” is not mine after all. Perhaps these are not the skills God wants me to pursue.
In reality, I’ve had many “niches” in life: graphic designer, secretary, customer service, insurance agent… I felt they were all my “niches” at one point. Maybe I’m wrong again. What if my true niche is still out there waiting to be discovered? What if I have multiple niches? Is that even possible? Would that mean we aren’t suited for the niche we think we are, or that we’re suited for more than one? And how do I focus on my nichiest…niche?
After all, I’ve been publishing this blog for over five years now… I think it might be my niche. I’ve been published traditionally too. And I’ve been paid for my editing.
When it comes to writing you have to pick a more specific niche (or at least that’s what everyone tells you). I’m not sure I know mine. I’ve had devotionals published as well as secular articles. I’ve written this blog, I’ve written non-fiction and fiction… I’ve written poems. I’ve had success in different writing areas, but does being successful mean that’s always your niche?
I know many people that are obviously adept at doing something and yet they aren’t truly “successful” at it. I know writers that have wonderful works of prose that sit on a shelf somewhere and singers who never get the record deal.
Does that mean it’s not their niche? I can’t even fathom that. They are so skilled at what they do – it’s obvious it’s their niche.
It’s a lot to think about and consider. So much that I think it might be the cause of my writer’s block. But today I’m putting pen (or cursor I guess) to paper (or screen…) and exploring this niche that I believe I’m “best fitted.”
How about you? What’s your niche and why? Do you ever doubt it? Or what makes you embrace and claim it as your own?