I Am Not A Niche
I am not a niche, so why does my writing require one?
As a writer, I am many things.
I am a teacher.
I am a teacher who writers.
I am a teacher of writing.
I am a mother of four and a writer.
I am an ultra runner and a writer.
I am a wife and a writer.
I am a reader and a writer.
I have interests galore and roles which influence my writing.
Worrying about an email list and promotion has been the topic of conversation between a writer friend and I. It has spanned days. We love our craft and we also love money. We have both been told we need a niche to be successful. It has been told we need a niche to increase followers and subscribers and it makes it easier. I am not sure this idea is true.
I am a poet and essayist.
I am a blogger and a short story writer.
I am a novel writer.
Why should I only have to focus on one of these things to be successful?
The answer is — I don’t.
I am also a yogi and a yoga teacher. I bend and am flexible with my physical form so the mental form is going to follow. Reflection is one of the superpowers I possess.
As a writer, one of the types of essays I receive the most feedback for are my Weekend Coffee Share posts. It is a reflection of my week written in a conversational tone and the sentence stem, “If we were having coffee”.
I also get a lot of feedback from my poems. These are two genres of posts that are the easiest to write for me. The Weekend Coffee Share posts give a glimpse into the life I lead. In some ways it seems odd for people to be fascinated by this post, but I read those types of posts myself from others and adore them. The poems are insights into my emotions as cryptic as that may be. They are real and raw. The exact reasons I read myself. There is an honesty like no where else.
I was a poet before I was a writer of any other genre. I continue to write poetry because I love it and it brings me joy.
As a short story writer I write speculative fiction and realistic fiction. I play with form and flash. I write and listen for the musicality of it because I play the violin too. They all go together to make me the writer I am.
I am a published and paid author.
I am a short story writer.
I am a teacher and a coach of teachers.
As the teacher of writing many students have come through my classroom and have written more than they’ve ever written for anyone else. Students find their voice when they are with me because I allow the space for it. I have magic with children. They learn to write from their heart. They write beautiful things posted in the hallway that cause other teachers to pause when they see the name.
The words from their mouths are “How did you pull this out of this student?” They are perplexed.
I see students as writers and creative beings. Many have never been recognized as such before. We form a writing group in my classroom because they know I am a writer too.
I’ve coached and taught workshops to countless teachers about how to bring the art of writing into their classrooms. They have in turn influenced children I have never met.
I’ve influenced other teacher writers through posts about my writing process. I share writing prompts I use myself or with children. They are the same ones because they are for writers.
The interests of my life have influence over my writing. My main character Brooklyn in my current WIP for National Novel Writing Month was in a scene about happiness because of a podcast I heard last week with Neil Pasricha. My niche is not self-improvement or self development, but yet it finds my way into my writing.
I am a writer, it is an action I am supposed to take.
If writers don’t use the influence of their life to craft their pieces then what are we doing? Writers live for the twist of phrase connections of ideas that no one else thought to put together. Reasons this writing life is so exciting.
Reading is a huge influence on every writer I know. I am not a niche reader. I honestly do not know anyone who is. The input of my life improves my daily living and my writing.
I will no longer apologize for not having a niche.
My niche starting today is me. Tammy L. Breitweiser and all the facets that combine to make her who she is. No more apologies.