Honored to have shared my success story with a group of new writers at the 2015 Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Denver, I noted a prevailing question among attendees – how to find their writing “niche” and what that means. Not hard for me to understand at all. I left the 2014 workshop in San Diego with the very same questions in my head.
Quite a bit of thought went into that niche issue for a few months after the workshop.
Wrestling with the idea that I wasn’t quite sure what my writing niche was, I continued to get stories published on a variety of subjects. Yet somehow, that darn niche issue still nagged at me. I was convinced that finding my perfect niche would enable me to write even more stories. After all, I have writing colleagues totally into the history genre, horses, golf, solo traveling, or exotic beach destinations, and they’re all successful.
One day, while logging the acceptance of another story into my article submission database, I was hit with an epiphany. And I’d like to share it with you.
I’m all over the board in my writing. My published stories vary from mining ghost towns to alluring travel destinations. I write about unique dining experiences, treehouses, hiking, adventures for kids, and tell inspirational stories. And I love writing every one of these stories. It occurred to me that finding my “niche” was really about the facets of me- a reflection of life’s experiences.
Most of us are multi-faceted human beings. I’m a registered nurse with 32 years’ experience. Married to a retired naval officer, we’ve lived overseas and traveled to many parts of the globe. Though travel is still my favorite subject to write about, other varied interests include wine, fine dining, luxury resorts, family vacations, hiking, kayaking, and history. Based on life’s experiences, I happen to know something about these subjects.
Two local magazines who published my stories on travel and family fun have asked me to be a regular freelance contributor. But I continue to write other stories that inspire me and sell them to other publications.
For me, being multi-faceted opens doors for more writing opportunities. And staying open-minded has created even more opportunities to find that perfect story. As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for a story. And stories beget more stories.
I’m a sunset on the beach girl, but I’ve discovered spectacular sunsets in other places like Arizona. And while there, I just happened to come across a fascinating mining ghost town that begged me to tell its story.
I wasn’t a history buff until I lived in Europe. But, after touring the magnificent ruins of Italy and Greece, I was hooked. History is a lot like other topics. It has people, places, and things that tell a story. Who walked here? Who’s buried here? What was life like for them? And I go digging for that story!
My husband had a military career, but I’m a people person, not interested in the weapons of war. But there are those venerable veterans, and oh do they have stories worth sharing. When you start pulling a thread, there’s no telling where it might lead.
If you have a true passion, by all means, follow it. Writing about what you love is by far the easiest. But, if you also enjoy nature, history, cooking, personal interest stories, that’s ok too. Perhaps they’re all your niche. In the words of William Wordsworth “Fill your paper with the breathing of your heart.”