Saturday, April 5, 2008

You First: Define and Pronounce "Niche" (Please!)

Our theme question this week is "What's your niche?" Other members of the Writing Mother group might remember that I haven't really decided on a niche or niches yet. I consider myself a generalist at the moment. I do tend to gravitate toward certain topics, but I've written everything from advertorials about sand and gravel aggregates to navel-gazing essays about motherhood. And those two were just in the past couple of months.

So I'm going to answer the question by not answering it, because I really want to know how you define "niche" when it comes to writing. Are you a writer with a niche (or several)? If so, what are they? If not, what do you say when someone asks what you write? Do you think a niche means a particular topic (like "family"), or could it also mean a particular form of writing (e.g. "navel-gazing essays")?

And for fun, let me know how you pronounce it. :) When you say it, does it rhyme with itch or sheesh or wish? (Hint: All three ways are correct, apparently. See below.)

Leave me a comment with your thoughts on niches, and I'll bake you some cookies. And I'll eat them for you too, because I go above and beyond for Mama Needs a Book Contract readers. I'm helpful like that.

Compliments of Merriam Webster online:

Main Entry: 1niche
Pronunciation: \ˈnich also ˈnēsh or ˈnish\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from nicher to nest, from Vulgar Latin *nidicare, from Latin nidus nest — more at nest
Date: 1611
1 a: a recess in a wall especially for a statue b: something that resembles a niche
2 a: a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted b: a habitat supplying the factors necessary for the existence of an organism or species c: the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption d: a specialized market

And if you're feeling chatty, let me know whether you think having a niche has anything to do with having "vision" for your writing business.


Serenity Now! said...

My niche rhymes with sheesh!

Linda Sherwood said...

Mine rhymes with itch.

Carolyn Erickson said...

Well, I guess I'm going to have to bake TWO batches of cookies. Boy, am I going to be full.

I've been thinking this over a lot, and I do have a few topics I really like and write about with some frequency: parenting, housekeeping, and business (small business & sole proprietorship in particular). If you read through most of my posts here at MNABC, you'll see that those are the topics I usually cover...

But there are so many other delicious looking niches out there - how can anyone choose just a few? :D

Kai said...

Mine, I guess rhymes with 'clucking bells'...ROFL.
I don't think that limiting yourself to one 'diet' as a writer is a good idea, but there again, I'm so stuffed at the moment that I think I've grown a bit 'flabby' and need a diet now. I'm lazier than I was before I met my other half, and write in the obvious theme, usually the first one that occurs to me, and that's meant I've gotten into so much that I spend more time researching than writing. Which means I'm not a lean mean, 5k machine any more.
That might actually make quite a good theme. When writing is like food....