Nonfiction Book Author.
Short Story Writer.
We love to compartmentalize everything. And if having a name for the type of writing you do weren’t enough, people want to categorize even further.
Oh, you’re a freelance writer? So what do you write about?
Oh, you write nonfiction books? What subject?
You’re a novelist? What genre?
What kind of poetry do you write?
You do content marketing? What kinds of companies do you consult for?
And so on.
The truth is, at the end of the day, no matter what neat box you fit into (or even if you don’t fit into a box at all), we are all creative writers. All writers are creative writers. Yes, even if all you do is write nonfiction. Even if you do content marketing 24-7.
Being a writer of any kind is creative work. And all writing is creative writing. True, most people are referring to novels when they use the term, but creativity is inherent in the written word.
When I write an interview-based piece, it takes creativity to put together the best quotes I’ve gathered into a coherent narrative that speaks to readers. When I put my own experience into a piece and tie it up with expert quotes, it takes creativity to make it work. When I write blog posts and try to make them conversational, it takes creativity to take dry material and make it seem like I’d be talking to someone at a party about it.
The reason I’m so passionate about having this website out in the world is that I feel that creative writers (so, writers of all kinds) are being stifled by a culture of specialization.
Creative people were born to create. And creating requires big picture thinking, freedom of exploration, and the throwing away of rigid boxes. Let creatives create, and stop trying to convince the world that the only way a creative person can be successful is to pick a niche and stick to it.
Artists and writers of all stripes not only can be, but are more likely to be successful when they’re given the freedom to be who they want to be—and to create as they will. That goes for novelists, nonfiction writers, painters, and people who are all of the above.
So if you’re a creator, go create. Niching be darned.
Latest posts by marianamcdougall (see all)
- Writing for the Sake of Writing - August 9, 2021
- Should You Start a Writing Business in a Pandemic? - May 22, 2021
- COVID-19 Mind Map for Content Creation & Freelance Writing - January 18, 2021
- Where to Find Freelance Writing Gigs, Part 2 - December 31, 2019
- Self-Editing for Beginners - November 30, 2019
4 thoughts on “Yes, you’re a creative writer. And you don’t need a niche.”
Hi, thank you for this. I am just starting out as a freelance writer and I am interested in Content Marketing, Finance, Telehealth, and E-learning niches but I’m confused on how to set up my blogs to market myself. With what I have browsed so far, it seems like setting up a multi niche blog is a bad idea. Please what do you advise?
Thank you for your comment! To get an idea of how to set up a professional freelance writer’s website, please feel free to visit http://www.dreamsintogoalswriting.com. You’ll notice I don’t have a blog on that site. That’s because I generally reach out to potential clients with clips (links to articles/web pages I have written). You don’t necessarily need a blog to attract clients as a writer; technically you don’t even need a website. I’d focus on getting samples for now, and worry about the website later. Best of luck in your writing career!
P.S. One more thing to think about is that you can focus (for now) on content marketing in the niches of finance, telehealth, and e-learning. So you’re writing about various niches, but “selling yourself” as a content marketer.
I stumbled across this site and article out of frustration, and I’m glad I did. I’m 55, laid off due to COVID, and working toward creating my own income through writing. Everything I read about creating income, personal branding, etc. says you must find a niche, and niche down until it hurts. The problem is I love martial arts, having practiced and taught them for three decades, bodybuilding and fitness, parenting, learning about investing, and more.
I was getting ready to throw in the towel not being able to choose and stick to one topic, and this site, article, and advice to Nancy, made me realize I don’t have to. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for your kind message. It’s really unfortunate that you (and so many others) have lost their jobs during the pandemic. But it’s so wonderful that you’re using it as an opportunity to create a business that works for you. I’m so happy that my little website helped you, and I wish you the very best of luck in all your future endeavours! You will do wonderfully.