How to Find Your Niche

     
 

How do you define your blog? How do you frame your concepts? How do you know what stuff you would and wouldn't talk about in your blog?

There are a number of ways that can encourage your writing and hone your skills and clarify your voice and thoughts. These bullet points helped me through the writing-identity crises when I couldn't for the world know what the hell I was going to be write about.

Write what you like.
Chances are that you know a lot about the stuff that you like, so your topic(s) would have substance and depth and personality in it, and you probably don't need to spend so much time on research. We all look at things differently. We might all like the same game, but for different reasons and each of us have our point of views, our own ways of telling the story.

Like what you write.
Being a writer when you prefer cooking by nature is certainly doable but out of context, like celebrating 4th of July in December. Wheras if you write because you actually love writing, it doesn't really matter what others might say about your craft because you've satisfied your first audience: You. 

Not liking your own writing doubles the chances for disappointment. And whether or not you're good at hiding it, your other audiences will smell the dislike and insincerity. Murphy's Law, man.

Enjoying it is the first reason why you should write, and that joy will show in your writings, even if you're just repeating vowels. A loooooooooooooooot.

Know a little about everything.
Read, browse, listen, watch, touch, taste. Google, wiki, howstuffwork.com your free thoughts. Involve your senses in everyday learning process. Indulge. Do you know why zakah is only 2.5% of income? Did I tell you about a teacher who raised a family on $4 (yes, four dollars only) a MONTH? Do you know what the area behind a man's balls is called? Experiment with your thoughts, and just get out of the box, something new is waiting for you to discover it, everyday.

Know everything about something.
If you've clicked every link, read every book, debated in every forum and have known every-possible-thing about something, it's called expertise. We all got our areas of expertise because the way the world works nowadays limits our ability to diversify our knowledge. That's sad. The good news is that  the way the world works today also allows us to converse and exchange information, so your expertise can teach me a thing or two about something, and my expertise can improve the quality of your life by a gram or two. Which is great. Don't worry about experience or good looks, it's the grey matter in your head that I'm attracted to.

Knowing a little more than most people makes you the Google of that particular subject. And people will ask, and it'll make you the center of attention if you can be interesting while you tell it. And I mean by interesting is being down-to-earth and enthusiastic and courteous. So get off the ivory tower, you jerk.

Talk about it…
Talking is reflecting. People talk because they need mirrors, they need to test their ideas out there in the real world. What do you think about becoming the first African-American president? When the world said "Hell yea!", he must've thought that it's a good idea too.

You can only know the validity of your ideas when you test it in the open. You can only know how people would react to your book, if you got it published. Putting your ideas out there makes you courageous; learning from it allows you to grow. Plus, it makes you look cool for a while, no matter how bruised.

…with the right folks.
Yes, be a hardcore Marxist if you must, but not with your 3 year-old cousins. It's waste of breath. So mind your audience. Find someone who might mentor and give you feedback. Someone like OmArie and the Timekeeper. People who'd provide the toughest criticism and most sincere opinions. People you look up to and have a better understanding of how the world works. I have my prejudices about the selection process, but generally if they don't come in cheap, they're not there for the right reasons.

Fuck the niches.
When all fails, the hell with it. If you have been doing all of the above and you haven't been able to frame your niche or concept or theme or genre, then maybe it's not the time to limit yourself. Maybe you just need to write some more for a while, and keep it personal, until something stands out. Don't fuss about appearances and enjoy the journey; you'll be surprised how many surprises you'll find when you are unframed with a destination.


So tell me, what gets you into writing?

 
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