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.

4 comments:

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.
Hum.
That might actually make quite a good theme. When writing is like food....