by Alycia W. Morales, @AlyciaMorales
Have you ever wondered what you’re meant to do as a writer? I mean, there are so many options. Fiction. Nonfiction. Romance. Young Adult. Children’s Picture Books. Thrillers. Memoir. Devotions. Articles. Bible Studies. Blogging. Sometimes, it’s hard to know which one to pick, especially if you’re new to the writing world.
And then there’s the advice, some of which sounds contradictory. Stick to one thing. You can’t write fiction and non-fiction. Find your niche. Try your hand at multiple types of writing. What’s a writer supposed to do with all that?
First, I don’t recommend you write all over the board. A publisher isn’t likely to look at a writer who presents ten different one sheets in ten different genres. They’re going to want to know that you know your area of expertise.
Second, I don’t recommend you start with memoir. Again, a publisher isn’t likely to consider a new author pitching a memoir unless he or she can prove they have a huge platform.
Third, I do recommend you figure out what you’re most passionate about and write that.
Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers:
- What am I most passionate about? Asking yourself this question should reveal what topics you may be most qualified to write about or be able to generate the most ideas from.
- What is my expertise? Figuring out what you’re really good at will point you in the direction of how to present your material. If you’re great at teaching the Word of God and helping others dig deep to find spiritual revelation, you may want to consider writing Bible Studies. If you’re great at storytelling, consider writing fiction. Your expertise will also influence the topics you write about, just as our previous question did.
- Who do you relate to well? Do you get joy out of hanging around with a bunch of teenagers? Do you prefer hanging out with your spouse and other married couples? What about other writers? Who you like to hang out with may point you in the direction of who your audience should be. For the above examples, you may consider writing Young Adult novels, marriage books, or a blog for writers.
- What entertains you? This is a great question for fiction writers. If you find yourself engrossed in the latest murder mystery or suspense novel, watching crime shows, and wishing you could be an extra on NCIS so you could be Ducky’s corpse, guess which genre you should probably write. If you read through a new Love Inspired novel in a day and have finished the month’s releases in the first week, you may want to write romance. Love jetsetting around the world? Travel writer. Love trying new restaurants? How about starting a food critic blog? Whatever entertains you will hold your attention and your passion, which is important, as you don’t want to run out of ideas or inspiration.
- What can’t you seem to get away from? Sometimes we know we’re really good at one thing, even though we have an urge to write another. But for safety’s sake, we write what we’re good at and avoid succumbing to the urge. I would suggest taking a portion of your word count or your daily writing time and at least attempting to write that thing that won’t leave you alone. Then go back to your safe writing. You may be surprised and find that you’ve discovered a new passion for writing in that new area.
- What are other people recommending you write? Others seem to be able to pull things out of us that we never knew were there. If you have a group of friends who’ve been reading your writing for a length of time and they’ve started suggesting you try your hand at something, heed their advice. They may recognize something in you that you don’t.
Have you discovered which area of writing you would be good at? Hopefully these questions have helped you to do so. If you’ve been writing for a while, do you have any other suggestions for helping new writers figure out their niche? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Alycia W. Morales has been writing for a few years. She has blogged, written devotions, flash fiction, and short stories for compilation books. Currently, she’s working on a romance novel at the urging of her mentors. She also has a deep desire to write YA novels. Her writing has been published at christiandevotions.us, in Thriving Family magazine, and Splickety Love.
When she isn’t busy writing and editing, Alycia enjoys spending time with her husband and four kids. They enjoy hiking, watching movies, and playing board games.