23 Apr

I’ve been wondering about niches lately.

I discovered the word ‘niche’ when I was in the fourth grade, I think (about when I discovered the word ‘clique’), and I”ve been fascinated with it ever since.  Not even just because it looks like it should be French and be pronounced ‘neesh’.  The concept of a person’s own particular corner of the universe is appealing.  Your niche.  Yours.  Beautiful, non-material possession that defines you.  It’s a really tempting concept.

It’s a difficult thing to find, though.  It’s very easy to just claim it.  Stand up and say, “I am a SERIOUS person.” or “I am a FASHIONABLE person.” but all that saying may not make it so.  It’s much more challenging to let your niche find you.  Much more frustrating, as well.

Generally, I’m most concerned with niches when it comes to writing.  Writing makes me happy in a very basic, functional way, the way that food makes somebody happy, or hot showers, or breathing.  But in order to succeed in the world of writing, one needs to carve out a place for themselves there.  This involves defining oneself within a niche and growing there, becoming as proficient at it as possible.  And when thinking about my own writing niche I’ve got…


My life?  Everyone’s got a life, and sadly, most people don’t care much about others’ lives.

Humor? Lots of folks are funny.  Many are funnier than I am.

So what do I have to work with here?  What can I do that interests people?  What do I know that people want to know?
I know there is something.  I just have to find it.

How about all of you?  Have you found your niches, in your professional or personal life?  How did you discover it?


Posted by on April 23, 2009 in Life


Tags: , ,

10 responses to “niches

  1. Sal

    April 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Hate to say it, but I had to go a looooong way to find my niche. Got a degree in creative writing, working in publishing and marketing for 10 years and hated it, decided to change paths and study biology, did well but was miserable, started a style and body image blog, and found out what I needed to do.

    I wanted to write novels, but I suck at fiction. Did a lot of poetry, some journalism … always shied away from essay. But I’m good at essay. And I had to find that out the hard way.

    Just keep writing, beautiful. Your niche WILL present itself when you and it are both good and ready.

    Sorry if that was super depressing.

    • saturdayjane

      April 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

      That wasn’t depressing at all. 🙂 It’s nice to hear from someone who knows where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. Sounds like you went on quite a trip.

  2. Vanessa

    April 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    It took me a lot of tears and stress to find a vague idea of what I wanted in life. I come from a very high-pressure family, where my 4.0 and the idea of me going to medical was my mother’s pride and joy, and she expected nothing less of her intelligent, motivated, blah blah blah daughter. When I got to college, I planned on doing an English major as well as do all the pre-med stuff (it’s not a major at my school), with the secret idea that, as fascinated as I was and still am by the medical world (I wanted to be a medical examiner and do autopsies), it didn’t take me long to realize how out of my element I was in a science classroom. I was soon bored, struggling, and painfully aware of how much more everyone loved the science than I did. When I realized that I was getting Cs in Bio and Chem, I had some serious thinking to do for the sake of my sanity and my full-ride’s worth of scholarships and grants (we definitely cannot afford college without it), and I made the tearful call to my mother that I wanted to– OH GOD NO– be an English major and forget all the science bullcrap. I think she’s still pretty disappointed, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to tell someone. Oy.

    Anyway. That was long. Now. The point is, I don’t know if I’ve found a real niche. I’ve just discovered what I really want– NEED– to do with my life. I am an English major with a concentration in journalism, and for now, I don’t know what little corner of the universe I want that to take me to. Sigh.

    • saturdayjane

      April 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

      Ouch. The urge to over-achieve is a killer. From medicine to English! Ha, my brain can’t even handle the concept. Glad to hear we’re in the same boat, though. We know where we’re going, just not…SPECIFICALLY. 🙂

  3. Brittney

    April 23, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Whenever I hear niche I think of Outdoor school and studying animals, explaining how everybody has their own “job” that only they can do to impact the ecosystem, and that’s how I like to do it.

    No matter what I do, only I can do it the way I do it, as well or as poorly as that is.

    Do I really know where my niche is? I have no idea, and (to sound perfectly corny) I’m really looking forward to the discovery.

    (and also to MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE.)

    • saturdayjane

      April 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

      That’s a good way of looking at it. You’re like an Outdoor School Jedi. 🙂


  4. Lesley Denford

    April 24, 2009 at 10:08 am

    I think I’m getting there, slowly figuring out my niche. But it’s something that’s ongoing, and the niche I’ve created now is so not the same one I would have fit in 10 years ago, and probably won’t fit in another 10 years. But I think for now, artist/designer/rockstar works pretty well for me. 🙂

  5. Laura

    April 24, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Can I continue to pronounce it “neesh?”

    I don’t think I can make any claim on a niche until after Ireland. Right now I will just sort of float and do what I like doing.

  6. knowoneyouknow

    July 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hi there,

    I just discovered your blog a few days ago and now I’m going through the archives, and frankly, I’m amazed.

    [brace yourself for some gushing praise from a stranger]

    Your writing is so fluid… so transparent. You make it easy for the reader to float through the words and just enjoy the stories. Sometimes I even forget that I’m reading words. And you are hilarious. Sure “lots of folks are funny”, but you are good at funny and this world could really use a hell of a lot more laughs. Funny is good! You are good at it.

    So, “neesh”…? Well, it makes sense that people change, say, every 10 years or so as they grow and develop as humans and evolve into adults. Not many people will have just one niche in their lives. In this decade it is apparent that you’re excellent at taking everyday ‘trivials’ and ‘ponderances’ and cultivating them into pleasing, funny stories. It’s so hard to find good reading material out there, but girl, you’ve got it. [oh, you already knew that?]

    As for me, my childhood dream was to become a videographer for National Geographic… I love travel, nature and adventure. That was to be my niche. But I also had many other interests, and also… well, let’s just say life took some turns that I did not plan for. Long story short, I started out as a Montessori pre-school teacher, moved into film and video and ended up working as a graphic designer at a TV station. Go figure.

    But you know that travel and adventure thing I was telling you about? Well after 10 years of planning, pondering, sweating and $aving, my husband and I are about to quit our jobs and travel the seas on our boat, permanently. We’ve been planning this for 10 years. It’s a dream come true.

    My point? You don’t have to figure out what your ‘neesh’ will be for the rest of your life. Just do what you enjoy doing now. Start here. Later it may change, but dive into these waters that are right here, right now. And when these are no longer and option, swim to the next. You can swim right? You can write girl. Yours is my new favorite blog.

    Oh, and please finish whatever book(s) you may be working on. I’d read them even if they were about zombies.

    Be well and good luck finding the things you enjoy doing…


  7. knowoneyouknow

    July 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    hmmm, it just occured to me that you have already found what you enjoy doing, and your question may really be “how do I make a living with it?”

    well, perhaps you can find a common thread to follow through your life thus far (sure, everybody has a life, but you make your life worth reading 😉 and then write.

    I’m reminded of this guy: His book is about growing up with his colorful father. He started simply by quoting his dad on twitter and then it snowballed from there.

    what are some threads you can follow throughout your young life so far? write it down.



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