Niche: A cranny, crevice or hollow. A situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, ability, or nature.

When I first started purposefully writing in 2005, I wanted to write fiction. But the idea that wouldn’t leave me alone until I had it on paper was a non-fiction compilation of observations about the similarities between the game of football and a faith-filled life. Result? Pigskin Parables: Reflections of a Football Widow. Appealing to a niche of Christian readers who love football or love someone who does.

In the process of writing that book, I joined the Christian Writers Guild and enrolled in their Apprentice Course. A little education on writing couldn’t hurt, right? The curriculum covered a wide variety of topics including articles (had 12 published), children’s books (wrote one), non-fiction (the outline for Making Lemonade: Parents Transforming Special Needs), screen plays (one idea turned into a plotline in a later novel), and fiction (one category length romance novel). As you can see, I took a lot of what I learned and applied it right away. For even more niches of audiences.

For finishing my first complete novel, I rewarded myself by joining American Christian Fiction Writers and took my fiction eduction to the next level. I took advantage of their free online courses and found a critique group. That valuable feedback led to combining my first novel attempt and my screenplay idea into a full length women’s fiction manuscript. I entered Serving Up Love in the 2009 ACFW Genesis contest and was the runner-up out of 62 entries. Woohoo! Then I learned that breaking into women’s fiction as a new author is virtually impossible. Bummer.

However, I also learned a lot about building a platform. So, I started blogging about the topics on my heart. Life is hard, but God is good. The journey may have unexpected twists and turns, but you aren’t alone. Lessons I was learning along the way. And readers commented on how much they liked my devotionals. Devotionals? Hmmm. Maybe I’d give that writing niche some thought later.

In the meantime, I rolled up my imaginary shirtsleeves and started in on another novel. This one a general fiction title with a strong romance thread. I entered it in the 2011 ACFW Genesis contest and made the Semi-Finals. I pitched it to an editor at a conference (who is still considering it) and queried several agents (one who is looking at it). So, the jury is still out on whether that genre switch was successful or not.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post. What’s my writing niche? What category of writer am I? Wish I had a clear answer, but I’m getting closer. I blog about faith, family, and fiction. I write devotions for several other outlets and in ebook compilations. I write and speak to encourage other parents raising kids with special needs.

And I write novels about ordinary people facing challeges and growing along the way. Now, whether I tell those stories as women’s fiction, general fiction, or in the romance genre still remains to be seen. (This fall, I’m trying my hand at a traditional romance with alternating points of view between the hero and heroine and have them meet as early in the book as possible.)

Who knew that finding my niche would be so difficult?

What about you? Was it easy to find your niche or are you still looking? How did you know when you’d found it? Or did it find you?

Finding My Niche
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One thought on “Finding My Niche

  • August 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm
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