I’m not prone to hyperbole (ok, maybe I can be a bit dramatic on occasion), but I would be willing to claim that all freelance writers with more than a few days of experience in the medium have heard the same advice:
If you want to be successful, pick a niche!
And for many, many writers this has been great advice. They’ve chosen their niche to write in–possibly through trial and error and even more possibly because they have a true passion for one subject–and it works. Clients bang down the door and throw copious amounts of money at them to write about that topic.
And that is awesome!
HOWEVER…I am what I jokingly call myself: a trout.
Now, I know I probably just threw some of you completely off course with that, but hear me out.
Have you ever heard of or seen fly-fishing? It’s that activity where someone wearing funny rubber pants stands in the middle of a river or stream and repeatedly casts a fishing line out and back. (I find it fascinating, myself, and have it on my bucket list to do! But I digress.) Trout is one of the fish being fished by fly-fishermen. The reason fly-fishermen fish the way they do is that trout, among other fish, are attracted to the shiny pieces on the fly (basically the bait, but made of metal and feathers and various other materials) and the ripple the fly causes when it hits the water and disappears repeatedly.
What I’m saying is that trout are very curious and have short attention spans. And THAT is why I refer to myself as a trout.
Whew! Who knew this post would turn into a mini fly-fishing lesson?? Sorry about that.
Moving on. 🙂
One of the reasons I have been a writer my entire life is that I have been a learner my entire life. I’m a student of the world and am fascinated by far too many different things to focus on only one. So every time I try to force myself to pick a niche in which to write, I feel suffocated and shackled.
My inspiration flees.
My motivation wanes.
My interest becomes…disinterested.
Look, here’s my point: if you’re a freelance writer and you have a niche that you love to immerse yourself into then go for it. There’s nothing wrong with approaching your writing business from that angle.
But if you’re struggling to write or struggling to find clients maybe you should consider letting go of the niche idea and just write. Take on projects you wouldn’t have considered previously because they didn’t fit into that niche. Just write because you love to write and you’re good at it. You’ll find your market!
(As an aside, you can also dip your toe into the sport of fly-fishing now, AMIRIGHT??)
Until next time friends…