Niche and the Lack Thereof

First of all, I confess freely that part of the reason this post has the title it does is because niche is simply a lovely word. Sound it out, say it a few times- doesn’t it just sound like a cozy corner beckoning, or a chair before a fire, all prepared for you to curl up and settle in?

I did actually have bigger plans than inducing happy dreams of comfort and slumber in you, though. I’m thinking niche in terms of your career or hobby- whichever place your tuck your art form into. Does everyone just have one that seems right? Do they come naturally, or only after years of writing, or drawing, or singing, or what have you?

From what I’ve seen, most of the creative universe seems to settle in fairly quickly. Writers seem to just know they always write first person or third, fantasy or suspense, YA or adult. Artists seem to know their mediums- clay, graphite or oil- and their style, be it Art Deco or pointillism. Singers and dancers, even actors, know their range, style, and preferred venue.

When I was first thinking about this post I thought I would share the happy news that I seem to have found a settling-in of some fantasy and some historical fiction- but alas as the days move, so do my ideas. I scribble down each bit of inspiration that wiggles through my mind and, while most of them do fit a sort of fantasy-like land or into a historical setting, others take me for a turn into middle grade detective stories or new adult tales of reunion and buried pasts. And yes, I do also stand in front of the canned peaches for five minutes on a given shopping trip wondering if I should buy halves or slices, the kind I always get or off brand, and if I should really go for mixed fruit instead.

You see my quandary.

So, tell me: is niche important, or is flexibility, following the elusive muse, the key? If you’ve settled comfortably into one place or another, what sort of journey brought you there? Do you think you’ll stay?


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