What Kind Of A Writer Are You?

psam2by Catherine L. Tully

What kind of a writer are you? Most people who enter the freelance writing field have no idea when they begin what type of writer they will be. Some go in thinking they are going to pen the world’s best novel, only to find they have an aptitude for writing children’s books. Others start out hoping to write for something like Newsweek and find they are better suited to writing a blog about a subject that they love.

What about you?

If you aren’t sure, the only way to tell is to stretch a bit. Go out of your comfort zone and try some new things. Are you always pitching health and fitness articles? Try an essay or a short filler here and there as well. Or perhaps you are a fiction writer? Why not take a chance on a non-fiction piece too?

The only way to find your way is to experiment and see what feels right. So go ahead and take a chance on something new. You’ll be glad you did.

9 thoughts on “What Kind Of A Writer Are You?”

  1. Sometimes I try so many different things, I have no idea what kind of writer I am anymore! How far should we stretch? How do we find that ‘perfect ‘niche?

  2. Excellent question Rachel! This post was actually aimed at brand new freelancers, but you are right, after a bit of experience, then what? Once you get your feet wet, you stretch and reach for jobs that pay…

    The next step is to begin narrowing down what you enjoy (and are good at) writing and where the work is in the field. For example, you seem to have an aptitude for reviews–perhaps you start concentrating more in that area and see how you can develop paying jobs there in addition to your blog. Or…you may want to consider taking some steps to monetize your blog…

    I wrote a lot about the arts in my early career, but eventually branched out more into travel and lifestyle pieces. If you can find a type of writing you like, start honing in on building good clips in that area. Go after specific magazines (or web-based pubs) and see if you can get published in them. A few big-name clips will really open doors to other opportunities.

    Finding the perfect niche is a combination of trying new things, honing your craft and learning how to apply your skill set in the writing world. Set aside a little time to invest in the areas you are enjoying and see if you can’t begin building a specialty–it sounds like you’ve paid your dues in terms of reaching out and trying new things!

    And good luck to you!! Keep us posted…

  3. Thanks. I am going to try to reach for some paying jobs and make some connections. Right now I am enjoying book reviews. I love books, so it only seems natural.

    I used to write a lot of public interest stories for our weekly paper, but they are not interested in book reviews and I just don’t have the interest in feature writing anymore…or at least right now.

    It’s so hard to try and look for new publications. I feel like I lost my “security” and now I’ll probably face some rejections before I find something new.

  4. I hear you.

    This is really a tough business and you will most surely face rejections. Just remember that it isn’t a reflection on your writing. It’s just part of the deal.

    I know–book reviews are hard to get a paying gig with. That does make it tough–but not impossible. If you love it–keep looking for opportunities, and if I hear of anything, I’ll let you know.

    Try my little “secret” for looking for publications…I Google the phrase “writers guidelines” along with keywords that I am interested in. (For example, “writers guidelines, dance”) That might help get you started….

  5. I really enjoyed this post! It has inspired me to think outside my comfort zone in what sorts of projects I’ll try and take on in the future. Although I have a passion for features, because one of my favorite aspects of writing them is crafting a story, I’d really like to try my hand at a short story sometime, although I have no formal training in that. (Does reading a lot count?) 🙂

  6. I usually describe myself as an “omnivore”!

    Joking aside, I have found that business sales/marketing/communications always offers opportunities for stretching, because you want to say, “Sure, I can write about that!”…like the time I wrote a brochure about crop and hail insurance for farmers. Often, you can position your novice-ism into an advantage–that you can approach the topic from a fresh perspective, simplify a complicated idea, etc.

    (Sure, you need to B.S. a little, but don’t pretend that you never do that!)

  7. I find personal essays/memoir the easiest to write, and am also working on some fiction to expand my repertoire. I’m a licensed attorney, so I could probably throw some legalese in there somewhere, too, now that I think about it. Huh.

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