Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Not-So-Obvious Niche
Writing gurus advise that you specialize. Become an expert in nonfiction. Become talented and knowledgeable of your chosen genre in fiction.
Darn it, but you're new!
My novel is new to some FundsforWriters readers. The release date is February 2012 from Bell Bridge Books in case you haven't heard. The title is yet to be determined. We're in the thick of edits.
I started my writing career writing a mystery, not starting FundsforWriters. Took me two years to write it, and after having a NY Times Bestselling author read it, I was told to pat myself on the back and be glad I finished a novel, however . . . it wasn't ready. Crash - And - Burn.
But I was hell bent on being a writer. Well, I was already a writer, but I wanted to do writing for an income, for bylines, and, one day, for a career.
In the meantime, I counseled people about their finances, which often meant conversations about grants. Word spread that I might know something about the subject. Emails trickled in, and I graciously answered them. But they began consuming my writing time so precious to me since I held a nine-to-five that usually ran eight-to-seven.
As a short cut to emails, I started a newsletter that grew into FundsforWriters. Funny . . . people cared more about my editorials than my fiction. The kick-butt attitude seemed to be appealing online. When the readership grew to 1,000, I decided to change my niche from mystery writing to how-to motivational nonfiction.
No, FundsforWriters wasn't my dream, but it allowed me to be a writer where there was a market. Okay, I thought. I can go with this, but ONE DAY I'm going to write mysteries.
That was twelve years ago. Now I'm publishing my mystery. And I have a platform. And I feel more confident in my writing abilities.
A funny thing happened on the way to my mystery-writing dream. I got detoured by FundsforWriters, but amazingly, the path brought me back to my mystery-loving dream.
Don't force your dream. You'll regret it. I promise. Instead take your time with it. Need a niche? A following? A brand? Make yourself credible more quickly by choosing something that you're already good at. Build your world however you can. Surprisingly, you'll enjoy yourself as you do, because success is an aphrodisiac, you know. And once you're successful in one area, it's an easier stair-step to your real passion. And this time, you'll be better equipped to make it happen.
(**from TOTAL FundsforWriters, the paid newsletter subscription of FundsforWriters.com)