I’m putting the finishing touches on a project right at the moment, so we’ll be taking a break from interviewing agents and authors for a bit. I thought that this week, I’d write a post about an issue I’m dealing with right now as a writer. I hope you enjoy it!
As a writer, I’ve struggled to find my niche, my writer-ly “home”. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who has this issue. If you discuss this problem with another writer, in all likelihood they’ll tell you to write what you love to read.
But now we’ve come to my problem. If you’re like me, you love to read everything. And I mean I read EVERYTHING. My favorite genres to read are literary fiction, women’s fiction, romance, YA, and MG, but I also read thrillers, mysteries, and a little horror. I read a lot of the classics, too. I love everything and read voraciously. To some extent, I love to write everything as well. So how do I know what I should be writing? In what genre will my writer’s voice ring the truest and produce the most compelling story?
I hate to say it, but there is no easy answer to this question. It’s really become a trial and error process at this point for me. I write a story, let it sit for a while, and then I go over it. I look to see if the voice rings true, if it sounds believable. I look to see if the plot is strong, if it compels me to read to the end. And I think about whether or not I enjoyed writing the book. I’ve even started to keep track of my word count per minute as I’m writing, on the assumption that the faster I write, the more “in the zone” I am.
But I think that ultimately, if you’re struggling to find your niche, you might not be able to find it on you own. In the end you’ll need the feedback of industry professionals, like your agent or editor to tell you what works. And above all, you’ll need to find a genre and voice that resonates with your readers. They will be your purest judges.
What about you? Have you struggled to find your niche as a writer? Have you found it? Do you have any tips or suggestions for other writers that are struggling with this problem?