Monday, April 7, 2008

I've got an itch....

and a copy of that book by Kelly James-Enger that tells me I can make more money if I had a niche too. The title makes it seem easy: Ready, Aim, Specialize! I bought the book (and I've read it). Does that count for anything?

My writing background includes over 15 years as a reporter. During that time, I did everything, and I do mean everything: hard-news, features, advances, obits, page layout, proofreading, generating ideas, and I even sold a few ads. Clearly, I'm not good at developing niches, but I keep trying.

I have now narrowed down my focus to three key topics: weight/body issues, online communication, and writing about writing.

I didn't realize I had done that until I wrote it down just now, but it is true. The majority of my writing right now has to do with weight, specifically I'm working on my nonfiction memoir, Fat Man's Daughter.

I keep thinking about pitching articles about online communication, and I have great ideas, but I have not yet done this. I really need to do this.

And I write about writing and teaching writing. Next week I'm even speaking at a conference about a writing issue (although it is related to teaching writing too).

One of my dream writing jobs would be a columnist for a daily newspaper. The kind of columnist who finds interesting people with great stories that I can tell to readers. That's right. When I grow up, I want to be Susan Ager of the Detroit Free Press.

By the way, the cover of Kelly's book said today's 10 hottest markets are health; business and finance; parenting; travel; essays; diet, nutrition and food; technology; fitness and sports; profiles and features; and home and garden.

Of the top 10 markets mentioned by Kelly, I have written something in every single one of those categories. Plus, reviewing these categories doesn't help me narrow my niche. It just reminds me how much I absolutely love essay writing, and home improvement stuff. Plus, if I write about parenting and finance, I can get interview experts who can help me too....


Carolyn Erickson said...

I would love to write about writing, I just don't have those 15 years of reporting and teaching behind me. :) Someday. Someday!!

Kai said...

:) I think that someitmes, its just not 'right' to lock into one, or a handful of niches - it really depends on skill, persistence and the pleasure that the writer is getting out of it. I like being diverse and 'scattered' - it gives me more chance to reach 'more' people when it comes to my fiction, and I like writing diverse fiction, because the world is diverse, so why can't mine be ;)?