Excuse Me, That Niche is Taken

By: Marilyn L. Davis

“You have the ability to shine and make a mark in some field.  Your job is to find your niche, excel and build a lasting legacy.” ~Roopleen

be creative 2

Have You Found Your Niche?

Raw material, including words, become ours with practice. Not a reproduction of another, but a new reflection and perspective of the individual writer. So, what choices do we have for our words as a writer? The current estimate of words in the English language is 1,013,913 as of January 1, 2012, cited by Global Language Monitor,  and with an estimated 14.7 new words created daily.

Therefore, I am not surprised that we all write differently even about the same subject or idea.

That is what amazes me about language.  We clearly do not use all of the thousands of words available to us, yet, a good writer can take those same common words and make them interesting, new and exciting. So, what makes our use of the same words distinct and unique for each of us?

For one thing, we write about our interests and often, those topics have a language that is individual to that subject. I may like flowers and can describe certain things about a tulip. I can even use this precise flower and correlate it to recovery; a subject that I write about often. 
___ 
However, my reference for tulips is about their tenacity and how that relates to recovery. Someone else might associate tulips and windmills and write a poem. But an authentic tulip aficionado would know:
  1. Commercial cultivation of the flower began in early Persia somewhere in the 10th century.
  2. The word tulip, in its English forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French: tulipe and tulipan.
  3. Growing tulips from offsets requires a year of growth.
  4. The Netherlands claims 1594 as the official date of the tulip flowering.
  5. Between 1634 and 1637, tulips were so popular, they became a form of currency in Europe.

I can find information about the tulip and include it in this article to make a point. Although it is accurate,  it is not authentic for me. It does not represent the language, cadence, tone or subjects that interest me.  More importantly, writers have to use words effectively and authentically to convey their voice and strengthen articles.  It is this combination of subject, tone and authenticity in our choice of words that contributes to our niche writing

burning lightbulb (2)

Writing takes time, energy and effort to be worthwhile. It takes reading to learn how to write effectively. It takes learning grammar, syntax, tenses, and all those things most of us have forgotten from high school English.

  1. Then it takes passion or enthusiasm and infatuation for the subject
  2. Then it takes learning more about our subject and researching
  3. Then it takes reading other opinions on the subject – pro and con
  4. Then it takes tentative articles
  5. Then it takes making mistakes
  6. Then it takes improving our craft
==
For some writers, it’s the adage of “practice makes perfect”  or a desire to remain true to their voice, topic, and style. When we isolate our niche and get better at the writing and more knowledgeable and interesting with the subject; we attract readers.
 —

Niche – Typecasting or Excelling at the Topic?

Some people believe that a niche will stereotype them. “Oh, another Marilyn Davis article about writing – read that already.”  It is our job as a writer to make the same subject just as interesting this time as it was the last time we wrote about that topic. We can do this as a writer because we are approaching the same subject but from a different perspective or angle this time. When we write from a new viewpoint or add a twist, our readers can then say, “Oh, another Marilyn Davis article about writing, but with a different point of view.”
 
I write about addiction and recovery, life lessons, and writing. I find that those three topics give me infinite room to explore feelings, thoughts, perceptions and beliefs. Some would say those three are limited. I would say they are expansive and allow me to do what I feel compelled to do, write.  Writing in those niches allows me to:
 ==
•    Inspire
•    Validate thoughts and feelings
•    Challenge the status quo
•    Take a proactive or reactive position
•    Reference life lessons
•    Reflect on the past, the future, the problem and the solution
•    Improve people’s lives
•    Simplify the writing process
•    Define and refine the art of the article
==

When You Find Your Niche

 wind- and metal heads192134_640
I know that feeling when you realize that you have crossed all the T’s, or the subject and verb agree, and the punctuation is correct.  Better still, there are times that the writing seems to flow effortlessly, and you finish the piece and smile. Relish that moment.  It can be eye-opening as well as satisfying. You may just be discovering your niche. “He excels best in his niche – originality loses its authenticity in one’s efforts to obtain originality.” ~Criss Jami
=
Taking those words to heart, I’ll also make a personal commitment
to the serious tulip writers. I will never again encroach on your niche.
Advertisements

Marilyn L. Davis

Marilyn is a recovering addict with 28 years in abstinence-based recovery. She opened and ran an award winning women's recovery home from 1990-2011. Closing the house gave her time to write for a larger audience at From Addict 2 Advocate, where she is the Editor-in-Chief. She is also the Assistant Editor at Two Drops of Ink, encouraging other writers to share their creativity and talents. She believes in the power of words and knows that how something is said is just as important as what is said. She is a charter member of the Cult of the Paper, which just means that she's been reading for a long time. Also, she is not embarrassed to profess her love of words, wit, and wonder. Her writing at Two Drops of Ink tends to be encouraging, full of alliterations, humor and as one fan put it, "Generous advice and common sense." She is also the author of Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery System (TIERS). She is the recipient of the Liberty Bell Award, given to non-attorneys and judges for their work within the Criminal Justice Systems and in 2008, Brenau University created the Marilyn Davis Community Service Learning Award, given to advocates in wellness, mental health and recovery.

6 comments

  1. Somehow I have come to think of Environmental Issues as well as certain Technology Topics as my niche, but I face difficulty in fine tuning writing on those topics on forums like “Two Drops of Ink” .

    Like

    • Hi, Ptrikha15, perhaps the technology topics might have application. Are you familiar with any programs, apps, or something similar that would help a writer? I think all of us who write online need either a grammar check or even something as simply as spell check. While some are free, there are others that aren’t. Again, we welcome submissions and combining technology and writing might just work here at Two Drops of Ink. Hope that helps.

      Like

    • Peeush,
      We accept essays on any topic. The only genres I will reject outright are romance and partisan political themes. Political philosophies, true romantic memoirs that are not overtly sexual are considered, but the point is that we will look at any writing to see if it has value and a good message.

      Liked by 1 person

Join the conversation. We welcome your thoughts and ideas!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s