I am a very stubborn person, I get that from my family, thank you very much! (Yes that’s a tinge of sarcasm there.)
Sometimes stubbornness gets a bad rap, it doesn’t necessarily have to always be expressed in a negative connotation, does it? Can’t we just label stubbornness as persistence and be done with it? So there are times because of my stubbornness that I may be more wrong than right but don’t ever expect me to admit to it, and I mean never!!!!!! So I find myself in a state of shock in admitting some writerly advice hundreds and hundreds of times over not only write what you know (which is pretty good advice by the way, but sometimes you can’t learn something new if you don’t ignore that advise some times), but there’s that one other piece of writerly advise that is uttered just as often as the other which is simply this . . .
“Find your niche” and I would literally cringe every time I would hear that muttered, I kid you not, every time, the concept to me made sense but not for me, I was better than that I wouldn’t have to specialize in anything. I always felt that finding your niche would become too limiting of an approach to writing considering the broad level of interest that I share among varied disciplines, besides wouldn’t it become excessively boring not to write about something you continually are exposed to instead of something new. I’m sure I had more than just that one reason to ignore the advice, stubbornness can produce ill logic quite easily.
But I have been bombarded with change lately, some of mine own doing, and some of others doing or better described as outside sources, and in the midst of those changes while doing research I once again came across the nugget of advice and this time I didn’t argue, I didn’t cringe or even begin to tense up. For whatever reason I just accepted it as being fact, how or why I can’t say for sure, perhaps it was the context that the statement was made in, perhaps it was the dire reexamination of goals I’ve been faced with, or maybe just maybe I was just finally ready to truly hear it.
I find this teaches me two things:
The first which seems to be still unfolding, after all to learn something is a process, and at times not always an easy one. Adaptability, the ability to change your own personal stance on a matter or approach that is applied to become more focused can be a good thing, how to apply it more consistently in the midst of a stubborn life I’m not so sure how to do, I believe that is part of the learning process involved. So I feel that not only has this concept will benefit me in my writing life, I know that it will benefit me in my personal life too in that it will allow me to live a more focused life.
The second is that a niche may not be quite as limiting as I would think, but more importantly is that it doesn’t have to be a single niche, it could be two or three but no more than four . . . So I have chosen four and a half specialties to focus my writing, my research, and my life around. I truly believe that this will set me down a road of success, not only giving me more success, but also more focus which is nothing but a positive. After all a focused writer is what I need to be right now.
If you’re a writer you might want to consider that advice once again, especially if you are like I was and cringe at the thought, how bad can a specialization in your writing really be? Think about it, learn it, apply it, and you will make leap and bounds in progression on becoming the writer you were intended to be, that is what I hope this has done for me .