I just found mine.
It wasn't really lost, in the sense that it was something I desperately missed. It was more like it was buried under the multitude of interests and ideas that crowd my sometimes-mushy brain (too much going on in there!)
It wasn't even something that I felt I needed. The experts, however, say otherwise. It took quite a bit of convincing, and reading a book to get me searching for my niche. And then, as is so often the case, I found it right under my nose.
Are you ready?
My niche is information about creating a writing life while writing your book or waiting for it to sell. Or, in short, creating a life devoted to writing. That has a nice ring to it. Right?
I know. Duh. Like I haven't been writing about just that already. But you'd be surprised how difficult it can be to decide what it is exactly that I do. Because, like many writers, I do many different things. I'm terrible at networking events because my 20-second elevator pitch goes something like this:
"And what do you do?" (Woman dressed in killer designer suit with beautifully lacquered nails.)
"Um, I'm a writer." (Me, in my usual writerly outfit of gypsy skirt and lots of jewelry.)
"What do you write?" (Killer woman.)
"Well, I ghostwrite. And I teach writing. And I coach writers. And I run a writing program. And I write this blog that talks about writing. And then there's my own writing, the novels and short stories."
I'm telling the last part of it to the woman's back–the suit cuts a gorgeous line from the rear, too–because I've lost her. She is off looking for someone who can tell her succinctly what he can do.
Since I'm not a big fan of networking events anyway, except for one I belong to in LA, I've managed to convince myself I don't really need a niche. I have now seen the error of my ways and will spend the next year repenting.
Actually, I'm really happy about this because identifying my niche gives me permission to do more of what I'm already doing. I'm going to continue writing posts about craft and creativity and how they apply to making a life devoted to writing.
One of my twitter friends, Mary, asked me to define "writing life" after I proudly tweeted about my niche. And so here goes. Creating a life devoted to writing can mean actually making a living writing, supplementing your income with writing, or just learning how to make contacts and attend events relating to writing, even if you don't need to earn a living from it. A life devoted to writing implies that you make time for it regularly–another thing I talk a lot (some would probably say too much). Creating a life devoted to writing means that the written word (and you practicing it) is front and center in your life.
So, there you have it, a niche, found. And now excuse me while I go practice my elevator pitch.