There’s this idea out there – in Freelance Writer Land – that you are better off having a “niche” or a “speciality” if you are to be successful as a freelancer.
While I, admittedly, struggle with this idea, I do believe it is vital to have that clarity and understanding.
Now, we all know (you and me and all the freelancers out there) that there are no hard and fast rules, no “Follow this step by step recipe and you will have a tasty, delicious, Successful Freelancer Cake!”
However, I believe taking the time to define my niche is one of many variables that can make my path to success easier to navigate.
Take baking for example. [Note: This is where my obsession with the Great British Baking Show comes to light] There are many variables in baking such as altitude. How high is your mood today, your confidence?
Then there is temperature – are you coming in too hot? too full of yourself? too cold? selling your self short?
What about the quality of ingredients. Are you using expired vanilla? is it pure vanilla extract or the cheap imitation stuff? are your skills up to snuff? do you really know how to write?
But ultimately, the most important thing is this:
you gotta know who you are baking for.
In other words – am I baking a gluten-free brownies for yogis? Am I baking the world’s gooiest cake? or a dozen cookies for a sick friend ? or maybe I am baking light and buttery croissants?
I have to know, because Who I am baking for? really translates into Who am I writing for?
And that is a tough question. One I have been mulling about (dare I say kneading?) for a while now.
Unfortunately, for me, the answer is not all that cut and dried. It is not the pan brownie of the writing world.
The best I can come up with for this blog, vinegar and vanilla, is that I am writing for a woman who is kind of like me – maybe a little like you too.
A woman who has a dream that she’s always had, but never taken action on.
A dream she thinks about often, maybe a little obsessively, but she’s timid, tentative, a little bit afraid. What will people think of me?
Or maybe she is filled with self-doubt. Who am I to do that? I’m sure I’d fail.
Maybe she is afraid she won’t be supported. My partner will think I’m nuts!
Or, like me , she has taken action and then given up. And then started again, only to quit again. Maybe more than a few times.
I have been through all of that. Crippling self-doubt. Absolute lack of confidence. Zero – and I mean zero support from my so-called “partner”. (Like, you have to work really hard to be that unsupportive kind of no-support.)
And I have started – and had a little bit of success, even – only to quit. And then, years later, start up again, because I can’t NOT do this writing thing.
Is it a fear of failure? a fear of success? I don’t know. What I do know is if I stop for too long I am unhappy. I am sad. I get depressed – like the I can’t get out of bed, why am I here? Is this all there is? flavor of depression. The real deal.
Here’s the thing: I know I am not alone in this. I talk to women like me – like you – all the time. They are my friends, my inspiration, my sounding boards and my biggest cheerleaders – even when they can’t cheer themselves on.
They are bright, caring, brilliant, creative women who light up when they talk about their dreams and passions and all that they want to accomplish. If only…
If only this. If only that.
Goddammit! I want to scream. If only nothing!
There is no time for if only.
I write to help you see that it is possible. I write to share with you my little successes – that will someday lead to big successes – so you can see it doesn’t all happen at once. I write to inspire you to take the first step toward your dream.
I write to encourage you to stop spinning for a moment so you can get in touch with that deep, quiet, still place that knows what you are meant to do. I write to help you listen.
I write because I have to. I write because I want you to do that thing you Simply. Must. Do.
Because there is no valid if only. There is no excuse for not today. There is no I’m not good enough.
There is only this crazy cake we call life and when the last crumb is gone, it’s gone, sister.
Deliciously on your side,