Niche The Thing

India Ink with Watercolor

For months I have been wracking my brain on how to niche the thing I do. This thing I do is so common it hurts. I write. A trillion people write.

This idea of niching creates a dilemma. The dilemma of how to make myself stand out when all I see in the mirror is plain ol’ me. Nobody special. Just little ol’ me with those imperfections I zero in on every morning. And the woes of uncovering a niche are almost too much. What should I offer, and who’ll pay for it? 

I’m really good at doing ordinary things that go nowhere.

For one example, I paint some of my sketches with watercolor, so one day, I decided to make notecards with my artwork printed on them. A passion of mine, no doubt. A passion I could (maybe?) make a little dough on the side. But alas, it wasn’t. The idea was way too common and easier to buy at Walmart or the Dollar Store.

Then I came across this article on LinkedIn that Content Writing Jobs posted on a favored book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, by Cal Newport, 2012.

Here is the link, in case you’re interested but please wait until you’re finished here for all those with the tendency toward ADHD. It’s a 25-minute read, but it’s power-packed.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You Summary (Review & Book Notes) (

The article makes a point to start with what you are good at. I’ve been writing for years and I’m constantly perfecting my craft by studying it, reading about it, and practicing. I enjoy it. I enjoy communicating to my readers something I’ve gained from experience (usually the hard way), or something I’ve learned that may be insightful.

I communicate with the written word in a casual, conversational tone with a slant toward storytelling to connect to my audience. I try to create something meaningful and inspiring because it’s my personality-it’s who I am.

Over the years, I’ve developed my writing skills (because I like to write) but took a safe approach with my future in mind and went into teaching for security.

But this summer, I took the plunge into the frigid waters of freelance writing and walked away from teaching. It is sink or swim time. Scary and exciting.

So far, my writing has been deeply submerged. I don’t give it enough oxygen to rise to the surface on purpose because of the “I’m not good enough yet” syndrome.

My takeaway from the article is this one skill I’ve worked so hard on may be the ticket to my profitable niche, even if there are a trillion other writers. After all, why work so hard at perfecting something if it’s not profitable?

With this in mind, I need a clear message; the right words put into a beautifully crafted sentence or two that will help me stand out from the crowd so my clients will know exactly how I can honestly help them and I’m off to the races.

Helping me out in this endeavor will be my newly hired coach, Jaime Blair, who will assist me in shattering my glass ceiling and make me look in the mirror at my Perfections instead of the other stuff, and encourage me it’s good to allow my writing to surface for air—and no more wracking my brain, either.

I can start with this one skill and it’s okay. Perhaps, for now, I can say, “I communicate with the written word in a casual, conversational tone with a slant toward storytelling to connect to the audience.”

Perhaps you do something you feel is way too common to make a difference so you keep it submerged. I say, let it come up air.

Love, Sharon

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