Monday, March 9, 2015

Area to Focus in and Becoming a Niche Writer—Come Again?

I'm impetuous and often fling myself head first with passionate abandon. I rarely let the full framework of idea fall into place. I dove into blogging like a salmon does the steam of it's birth to spawn. Three days in to my plan and now I worry that like a spawning salmon, I'm only heading enthusiastically to my own demise.

Writing is so natural for me. It feels like returning home. In a world where there are countless books and web posts about how to find your voice, how to keep the ideas flowing, and how to stay passionate in writing. All these posts are alien to my experience as a writer. I've never been 'out of ideas' or lacked a clear strong personality in my work. I don't lack the ability to spin imagery or metaphor. 'Surely', I thought, 'if these are the main struggles to keeping a blog, then it should be simple for me.'

From there I build a basic plan on what to call the blog, what to write, and how to market me. It felt good, like popping a pimple. All the bitter puss runs through the page, leaving oily ink stains. My problem is: destroying the pimple doesn't get rid of the underlying skin condition and creating a blog doesn't mean that I have contacts, clients, readers, or focus for my writing.

My blog right now is like the Jersey Shore Reality TV show. We're following me around my daily life and hoping that I create some TV gold. It's strange that I hate this premise of almost all reality TV, but still enjoy reading/writing blogs of the same premise. Is this proof positive that everything has more depth in writing vs video?

To me, I have a focus: my career status. I'm sharing what I currently do and some secrets of the food service industry I've picked up. I have a lot to share about guests I've served over the years, bosses and hierarchy structures, co-workers with their messy lives, and what my training tells me regarding how other establishments are functioning. Hospitality and retail industries are multi-billion dollar markets. I have seen the cogs as they turn smoothly, but I've also been present as they break down. I have very strong opinions on how is best to run a business, how to treat the staff, and how ideally client customer interactions should go.

My second focus, the less bitter one, follows me looking into the prospects of becoming a freelance writer. This side of writing is more open ended. It provides me an opportunity to discuss what I'm trying and how my experiences go. I can talk about my own skills and what I've learned.

While I'm new to freelancing, I'm not a new writer and I'm familiar with many varied styles. Specifically in my networking focuses I want to find other aspiring writers whom I can give tips to make amazing ideas read cleanly and compellingly. I love digging into others writing, after all, who doesn't like being a critic? Unlike a lot of critics not only can I tell someone the very moment my interest was piqued or lost, I can say why and I can offer feedback to build on that bit. Editting and critiquing is one of the few areas where a skill like that can be helpful instead of exhausting or annoying.

Writing about my freelance writing adventures also gives me a platform to discuss what suggestions other writers have made. This whole conversation for example, is inspired by this post on how to land clients with a blog  by Elna. She suggests that the best way to get clients through blogging is to “focus on your niche”.

I was concerned that perhaps my blog and writing doesn't meet the niche requirements. Perhaps in my enthusiasm, I had made my blog's reach too broad or too narrow. Does my writing fit into a category, and if so what? I panicked. It won't be the first or the last time. I'm impetuous after all and will back slide into my fearful, insecure self as naturally as I draw breathe. If only I could push it out of my brain on the next exhale.