The process of word play, or repeating and ruminating upon our chosen theme, writing niche, is a kind of mental mind mapping, clustering or webbing. I came up with this technique because although I understood the psychology behind mind mapping, clustering and webbing, I don’t particularly enjoy doing them. Not wanting to lose out on the benefits of these techniques, I tried to do it verbally. It felt more comfortable and I could do it anywhere and anytime – even if I had no pen and paper.
Repeating the word or words in my head or aloud, several times during the day had the same effect as creating the maps, clusters or webs. Repeating or focusing on a word or concept verbally also enabled the mind to freely spin-off ideas associated with it.
Let’s consider Elizabeth S Tyree’s response to the exercise. Focusing on the concept of writing niche, she associated it to: writing anywhere and everywhere, on a couch or over-sized ottoman, and YA fantasy. But in the end, she wonders, “Or maybe the only reason any of those places work is the large pouch of colored pens and the journals I carry around. Maybe those are my niches.”
In my exploration of the concept of a writing niche, I ended up recognizing my journals as writing niches as well. I tend to agree with Elizabeth, that the journals and the accompanying pens are, in her case, the triggers for the writing muse to appear – not so much the place or the dentist’s chair. When a daily routine is established, the mind begins to remember and record the triggers. In this case, the notebook and the colored pens trigger her mind to write anywhere, anytime. When she opens the journal, the mind knows it’s time to write – she opens her writing niche and occupies it. Never mind if she’s sitting on the dentist’s chair.
And then there’s the writing niche – the most common definition of the concept – the genre and the genre within the genre that you are comfortable writing about. For Elizabeth, it’s fiction and YA fantasy in particular.
In Choosing the genre you will focus on, you can go over your books and see which genre outnumbers all else. You can observe yourself and determine what stories, books, and magazines interest you most. What topics, stories, subjects can you write about with ease? Which ones bring a sense of fulfillment or simply make you feel good? Those are the clues you need to consider to find the genre you are most comfortable in and when you do find it, that’s your writing niche as well.