10 March, 2012

Saturday Writer's Special

With all the crazies this week - and the blog schedule I am trying to keep - I wasn't going to blog today.

Then I read this wake-up call from Jeff Goins. (Go on - click it. You know you want to.)

Talk about reverberation. It hit me like a gong ringing in an empty temple. "That's me!" I said. Or would have said, if I had thought to say it at the time. I was kind of busy with burgeoning ideas for this post.

The thing is, it's true. Trying to be good at everything is akin to being good at nothing. Would you hire Jim the Everything Handyman to install wiring in your house? I hope not. Jim the Electrician is much better suited to not burning you alive.

In the same way, we need to specialize in our writing. Sure, being everything to everyone can seem like a good thing but what kind of value are you really going to be passing on to your readers?

Jeff's post struck so deeply with me because it's the very thing I've been figuring out for the last few weeks. This blog has suffered from a lack of identity. I wanted a place to share my writerly frustrations, help other writers, and chat with all fans of fiction. But I tried to cover everything as I did that.

The fact is, no one wants to know about everything. We read blogs to find out about something specific - a topic, a person, cool pictures posted every week.

I am in love with science fiction and fantasy. I know it. It knows me. We go way back. I happen to like the geeks and nerds and fan fic writers I meet when I talk about my passion.

That's me. Visions of Other Worlds is a sci-fi and fantasy blog (in case the header didn't give it away). I can be kind of weird sometimes and a real geek. That won't appeal to everyone. But do I really want it to?

Since I've begun to hone my niche, I've already met some really cool people. Some are geeks, like me. Others aren't. Some I have a ton in common with, others not so much.

But that's the thing. I narrowed my focus and it ended up broadening my readership. It seems weird but that's how true blockbuster successes are born. Writing for something or someone specific - even if it's just for you - has a tendency to open you up in ways that are vastly appealing to others.

As Jeff says in his post, "Don't be surprised if when you narrow your focus, you actually end up broadening your audience. That’s how it’s supposed to work."

What are your ideas for narrowing your writing focus?


Jeff Goins is a writer and blogger who helps writers succeed at their craft. If you like this post, check out his work here. <---clickie, clickie

Be sure to share or like this post if it was helpful to you. I love the love.


  1. Jess,

    Loved today's post. You really gave me something to think about--not only that I should narrow my focus, but exactly WHAT my focus truly is. Arg-h-h-h! Now I have to think all night long :-) It'll be worth it, though, if I can whittle away some of the extra I've been trying to patch onto me and my writing to be everything to everybody. Geesh, you'd think by this time, I'd have figured out some of this stuff!


    1. Hey Deb!

      I'm so happy it inspired you. It's just been something on my mind lately. All too often, I've tried to be everything to everyone, and not just in my writing life. I want to be me and if that doesn't please everyone, so be it. It's much more relaxing this way. :)

      Good luck with figuring out your own focus!

  2. Thanks for this post, Jessica! This is something I've been thinking about lately. I've been trying to let go of my fear of not pleasing everyone with my writing.


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