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Excuse Me, That Niche is Taken

Updated on January 22, 2015
Raw material, including words, becomes yours with practice.  Not a reproduction of another, but a new reflection of you.
Raw material, including words, becomes yours with practice. Not a reproduction of another, but a new reflection of you. | Source

Write What Only You Can Say

“Every man has a specific skill... He excels best in his niche - originality loses its authenticity in one's efforts to obtain originality.” ― Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

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 common words and make them interesting.

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.

Write What's Honest for You

My references for tulips are how that particular flower relates to recovery, not specific to the tulip. While someone else might associate tulips and windmills and write a poem about this, an authentic tulip aficionado or devotee would know:

• Commercial cultivation of the flower began in early Persia probably somewhere in the 10th century

• The word tulip: English forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French: tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan

• Growing tulips from offsets requires a year or more of growth before plants are large enough to flower.

• 1594 is considered the official date of the tulip's first flowering in the Netherlands

• Between 1634 and 1637, the early enthusiasm for the new flowers triggered a speculative frenzy in Europe, now known as the tulip mania. Tulips would become so expensive that they became a form of currency.

• Tulips became popular garden plants in the east and west; symbolizing both paradise on earth and the brevity of life.

Words, used effectively and authentically convey our voice and strengthen our niche
Words, used effectively and authentically convey our voice and strengthen our niche | Source

Are You Still With Me?

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 even the normal words that I use or the subjects that interest me.“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ― Ernest Hemingway

It is this combination of subject, tone and authenticity in our choice of words that contributes to our niche writing.

Have you found your niche?

See results

Why a Niche?

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.

  • Then it takes passion or enthusiasm and infatuation for the subject
  • Then it takes learning more about our subject; researching
  • Then it takes reading other's opinions on the subject - pro and con
  • Then it takes tentative articles
  • Then it takes making mistakes
  • 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. But 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.”

See It and Imagine It Differently

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 it because this time we are approaching it from a completely different angle, rather like, "oh, another Marilyn Davis article about writing - but with a twist."

Develop Two or Three Niches

I write about addiction and recovery, life lessons, and writing. I find that those three areas give me infinite room to explore feelings, thoughts, perceptions and beliefs. Some would say those three areas 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 other’s thoughts and feelings
  • Challenge the status quo or the way things are currently
  • Take a proactive or reactive position
  • Reference life lessons
  • Reflect on the past, the future, the problem and the solution
  • Help people recover
  • Improve people's lives and writing

Find Your Niche

I know that feeling when you realize that you have crossed all the T’s, when the subject and verb agree, when the punctuation is correct, when your writing simply effortlessly flows and you finish it and smile. Relish that moment, you may just be discovering your niche.

Go for it. And a personal commitment to the serious tulip writers, I will never again encroach on your niche.

© 2013 Marilyn L Davis

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    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 20 months ago from North Carolina

      Love this. Very wise words from a very wise lady. Thank You.

      While I do not know I have discovered my niche, I continue to let the writing lead me wherever feels right. I surmise that my HP scores would be a lot better if I zoomed in and focused on more than just random poems and short stories, and who knows, maybe something will eventually click.

      Blessings and Have a Wonderful Day!

      Kim

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Peter; welcome back. Good to see you active here, again. ~Marilyn

    • pgiblett profile image

      Peter B. Giblett 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have now added a new generation hub on the site.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Peter; how true. Some sites just seem to feel like home, and others, well it can be a struggle to get seen. Speaking of seeing, good to see you here. ~Marilyn

    • pgiblett profile image

      Peter B. Giblett 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      In some respects finding your niche is about the places that you work in, e.g. the websites you use and contribute to.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That was really useful and interesting Marilyn. I may, or may not, have found my niche since I am not sure whether it is in more than one area. I have been trying different genres to see what I am suited for. I did not vote in your poll because I was ready to vote 'Maybe'. Other than that I liked your article and voted it thumbs up, shared it and pinned it.

      Kevin

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good afternoon, Kevin; I appreciate your quest. Finding our voice, our tone and what pieces flow for us is not an overnight thing. I wrote a 400,000 word recovery curriculum before I ever wrote an article. That's probably backwards, but it helped me see where I could write about addiction and recovery to a wider audience.

      Then I got interested in the grammar, syntax and structure of pieces. Again, something I probably ignore in high school and college. Ah well, the learning curve of the writer.

      You are on my list to read, and I appreciate your support, too. ~Marilyn

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Kristen; thanks for commenting and congratulations on finding your niches. Sounds like you gained insight from your poetry that propelled you to write the novel. Go for it. Keep me posted on progress, and I look forward to a cup of chai and some of your poetry later this weekend. ~Marilyn

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub on finding your niche. I believe I have a couple of niches under my belt in writing from poetry in the past to novel writing in the present and future. Great hub voted up, too!

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good evening, Glenn; I love the compliment. Thank you. I also like quotes. Sometimes they reinforce what I 'm writing about, and lets face it, someone more famous than I said it, too.

      Your passion comes through and probably keeps people coming back - niche or no niche. Passion, good writing and an interesting take on the subject are all good in my opinion. Keep at it. ~Marilyn

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      One word - Wow! You sure made your point clear, Marilyn. And you used good quotes in the right places to emphasize what you are saying. I followed along easily as you used the example with the Tulip. And that was well-done too.

      So, what have I learned? I never felt that I had a niche since my writing is broad-based on a variety of subjects. But you showed me that I actually do have a niche in the way I have handled things.

      Writers who have no single topic can create a niche by being known as one who has passion about their subjects by displaying that they had done their research; by offering alternative opinions; and so on - as you had explained. That's what I got out of it.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, ChitrangadaSharan; thank you for your comment about your observation about a writer's mind. Yes, I think we all have many thoughts running through our brains on any given day. I just try to write them all down; see which ones inspire me, and then write. However, I only publish the ones in my niches. Wait, I take that back. See, that's how a writer's minds works. Just had another fleeting thought that might develop into something. ~Marilyn

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is a wonderful hub and well written!

      I do not want to be restricted to only one particular topic. I have many interests and I keep on changing my niche. In other words, I have more than one niche writing topics. I want to write about whatever is going on in my mind and a writer's mind is always filled with ideas--isn't it?

      Wonderful hub, voted up and thanks for following me!

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Venkatachari M; thank you for the comment, although I don't know that everyone needs a niche. If you are writing about what you value and writing well, there's no rule that says you can't write about various subjects. Your content seems to indicate that you have many interests and write well in each. Keep it up and may today be the day you shout, "eureka", not just for a niche as you said, but for good content. ~Marilyn

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very informative and awesome hub. I still do not know what is my niche. I simply write and want to write something. May be one day I can find it and shout "eureka"!!!

      Thanks for sharing valuable advice. Voted up and awesome.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good afternoon, Jodah; thank you for the comment and your rationale for, not wanting a niche. In my addiction niche, there is not a lot of room for assonance, metonymy, onomatopoeia, simile, and synecdoche. We addicts look for loop holes to avoid our problem, so most of the information needs to be straightforward.

      I must confess, I have "poet envy" with all of your choices, styles, and topics. Poetry for me is a beautiful way for a writer to express themselves, so I'm bookmarking your pages for next weekend with a good cup of coffee and some quiet time. ~Marilyn

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi MD, when I started writing and in fact until recently I would have said poetry was my niche and perhaps it still is, though now I have started writing articles and short stories probably 80% of my hubs are poetry. That being said I write about very diverse subjects and in that sense I don't think I have a niche and really don't want to be restricted by subject matter. Perhaps that is why I write poetry. Very interesting and well written hub here. Voted up.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good afternoon, Joyfulcrown; I assumed you did have a niche with all of the great hubs on minerals, rocks, jewelry and such. Not everyone can make them interesting, and you have. Think about it.

      There's marked for me to read this weekend when I get back into the swing of things at Hub. Hope to learn more.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 2 years ago

      Thank you for such an informative hub. I have lots to think about regarding a niche.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, rdsparrowriter; continue writing and I think your

      niche(s) will reveal themselves. We start noticing that we write with authority and passion about particular subjects, and then we begin to see that we home in on those subjects and topics with better articles. Thanks for the comment, and again, just keep writing.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

      I have to find mine I guess... Interesting article .

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, maramerce; I thought when I was reading your comment, that most of us would probably like to read about surviving. Seriously, surviving a performance - how do you overcome stage fright? How do you survive and still write because writing is what you are passionate about? I do not pretend to have answers for everyone else, however, I have read some of your articles here and you do write well. Maybe looking at survival as a skill could be similar to me looking at recovery as something that would benefit others. ~Marilyn

    • maramerce profile image

      maramerce 3 years ago from United States

      My only niche is surviving, but I don't get paid to do that. I'm best at writing and thinking I would say, second at singing and communicating, and then performing in a sense. However, all the things I am good at are things that don't pay well in the practical world. I always get stuck doing work I hate having to develop skills I don't have and don't necessarily want. Story of my life so it goes.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Eddy; finding our niche is comforting to me. I have that go-to place and as long as I am being authentic and creative, I find new ways to write about those topics. I must confess though, that I have some envy for those who write poetry, I just cannot do it, so I thank you for writing them. ~Marilyn

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      I have also found my niche and how heartwarming that is. Loved this gem and looking forward to so many more by you.

      Lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good afternoon, Gypsy Scribe; it certainly sounds like you have multiple opportunities to discover your go-to place. Although I like my chosen three, there are still times that I write on topics that I can only loosely describe as life lessons, yet one of those received many comments on another site and seemed to help others with the issue.

      I would encourage you to look at all of your options as you discussed and see where that list directs you. Sounds like you have a good plan for your writing. ~Marilyn

    • Gypsy Scribe profile image

      Anthony Davis 3 years ago from Tennessee

      I have several things that interest me. And to be honest I'm not sure which of them I would consider my niche. As there are individual subjects I can go on forever about (and do write about) I am also at home writing short stories. Perhaps I just haven't really listed those topics on paper. It would be a good idea to take a closer look at what I know and excel at.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Billy; I was just writing about you in a comment. You are the personification of my article. You make your niche new each time, staying true to your voice and subject, yet you do not simply rehash "writing better." You bring another perspective to your helpful guides for writers. Thank you for reading and commenting; I value your input. ~Marilyn

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Kukata; thank you. There have been many people who have inspired me. billybuc is right here on Hub and is one of the most informative and helpful people; his articles are a how-tos for anyone who wants to write better. I think we are all fortunate to have his wisdom available and I would encourage you to check out his hubs as well. ~Marilyn

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It took me about a year to find my niche, but once I found it, it was very obvious. I have written on this subject several times....very important to find the niche that best compliments your voice.

    • Kukata Kali profile image

      Kukata Kali 3 years ago

      I'm going to think on this. Thank you for the inspiration~ Voted up :)

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image
      Author

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Christin; I appreciate that you took the time to read the article and comment. Thank you for the encouraging words as well. Here's to shining writing for us both today - like your reference :) ~Marilyn

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

      I agree, writing in a niche or two gives us authority as authors and it also makes our writing shine, because that passion comes through the words on the page. Great hub voted up.

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