Finding Your Writing Niche

Happy Lord's Day!!! 
(AND Super Bowl Sunday!!)
((Who are YOU rooting for?? Seeing as I married a Yankee man from Massachusetts, I'm going for the Patriots.  WOOT WOOT xD))

But moving on!  That's not why I'm posting today.  :]  I had this draft quite ready yesterday morning, but had to step away for some reason & couldn't get back to it!  AGH. So here it is on its unusual Sunday.
[I believe I may have to move these writerly posts to Saturdays.  heheh  I don't have enough time to draft them beforehand in order to have prepared for each Friday!  I'm hopeful to still have one of these every week, but if necessary, I will do one bi-weekly.]

But.  That said = How ARE you??
It's the weekend!!! Did you get any snow this past week?  Gabe got to see the fluffy white stuff for the first time, and he was so cute!

My FAVORITE-EST photo right now!

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What do YOU look for in writerly posts?  Inspiration?  Tips?  Exercises?

Well, remember that link-up I briefly mentioned??  I do believe I can make it happen!  The idea is to begin in March & host a series of writing prompts---one per week---in hopes of stirring up the creativity department for any & all who may (or may not) be in a stuck place.  This would be a GREAT exercise for anyone aspiring to create stories of their own---be they published or hoping to be.  So, be on the lookout for more details the closer to March we come. :]  {Can you believe it's FEBRUARY?????}

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What is your writing process?  How do you map out your stories?  Your plots & characters?  Do you have a niche?  Notebook or laptop?  Preferred genre?  Or is it your goal to explore them ALL?

What works for YOU?

> > > What is your passion?
What do you enjoy in a story?  Do you, as a reader, enjoy the fantastical?  Futuristic/sci-fi?  Historical?  Odds are, as a writer, you will desire to write in the genre you most enjoy reading.  And because you enjoy it, your stories will be enjoyed.  It's as simple as that.  :]

Why?  Well, if I HATED the sci-fi category---for example (I rather like that one, it's the Amish ones I can't stand for some reason. . . but that's just me!)---and I began writing a story in that particular genre, would my readers be drawn in?  There's a 99.9% of a NO there.  And that's because your passions bleed through your stories.

This is kind of a given, in my opinion.  Because if it were me, I wouldn't even DREAM of writing an Amish fiction---because I don't enjoy them.  But, while I LOVE historical fiction, I most likely won't attempt that genre either because, frankly, I'm too lazy to do the research.  And when one is too lazy for all that hard work, what does one do?  FANTASY!!! xD  haha (Now, I'm not saying those who do fantasy are lazy---on the contrary, they're AMAZING in that it's hard work as well, but only work in the sense that you can do absolutely ANYTHING---it's YOUR world, your characters/species/races/etc., your storyline.  You can be as creative as you wish!  But, if it's something you are basing on actual world history, there are a little more limitations in what liberties to take---at least in giving accurate accounts.  One author who does the historical-fiction well is Nadine Brandes.  Her novels, Fawkes & Romanov are phenomenal---and there's even a bit of Fantasy woven in!)  

So, while it's GREAT to experiment in all kinds of categories (who knows? you might find a new love!), it's important to stick with what you enjoy.

> > > Tools of trade?
Do you prefer the pen & paper method?  Or do you type straight to Word doc?  Or both??  There are certainly benefits to either, but I sure love how the words feel going from mind ---> pen ---> paper.  It's usually after I've penned a scene that I'll then (or later) transfer to my laptop, typing what I've written in order to have a cleaner copy available on my computer.  I do like having my written notes (however scattered they are) in my notebooks & folders, readily accessible and easily spread out for a great overview.  You can't really do that on a computer, although I do print copies of scenes to use as references and such while working on the laptop.

Are you a Microsoft Word user?  Scrivener?  Something else?  I was using the free download of OpenOffice for all my documents, but upon participating in my first NaNo in 2017, and Camp NaNo in April 2018, I switched to the free LibreOffice, and love it!  If my writing ever does kick off full force, I may look into investing in Scrivener, as I've heard great things about it. 

What about you?  What are your preferred tools?  Where do you keep your research, maps, character notes, etc.?  I use these adorable folders I recycled from my high school days---one for each story and/or concept ideas.  It's a simple way to keep a story's notes & excerpts in one place & separate from other WIPs.  :]

> > > Your Process
We all know TIME, energy, creativity, and setting plays a huge part in writing.  So, do you prefer a quiet, coffeeshop setting or home-alone sofa setting with your favorite beverage whilst writing?  Do you get distracted easily?  Depending on your responsibilities with school, home, work, etc., how often do you normally spend writing?  Are you an hour daily kind of person or a get it ALL written, full force kinda gal?

To each her own, y'all.  :]  My goal (and one I'm STILL working on) is to set aside AT LEAST ten minutes every day for my writing.  It honestly isn't much time at all, and I NEED the daily schedule like that or it simply won't happen because I'll fill it with something else, ya know?

Do you set yearly goals?  Monthly goals?  ANY type of goal?  This year I have the simple goals of completing the drafts of two WIPs---Safia & Noya (Beauty & the Beast retelling).  For me, I believe it's setting the bar a little high in regards to my motherly/wifely duties to my little family & home, but I also know I need that.  What about you?  Do you set high, but not impossible, goals for yourself in order to motivate you?  Does it work??

Regardless your writing process, it all comes down to one thing:  Just WRITE.  Odds are, if you commit to writing a little each day, you'll form a nice little habit that will keep your creativity churning & the words flowing.  If writing is your passion, do it!  Then let me know when your novel(s) make it to the bookstores, cuz I ALWAYS need more books to add to my own shelves.  ;D

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Talk to me!
I know there's a TON of questions in here, but most are rather rhetorical & are supposed to get you thinking.  So.  Did it work??? 

Haha!  Love you all, dear beans!
Have a splendid Sunday!  Check back tomorrow for a new Name post.  :]


  1. AWWWWWWW Gabe with his daddy is so adorable, I can't even right now......

    I'll read almost every writing post - it doesn't matter the subject. I'm wanting to learn so much about the craft of writing, that I'll look to pretty much anyone....

    My writing process, if it could be boiled down to a sentence would be "imagination movie, attempt to spit said movie onto paper, and repeat".

    I seem to have a bit of a fantasy niche, but I'll experiment with historical and even Amish occasionally. I love the Christian speculative fiction like Lewis and Tolkien the most, but being a historian, I love historical fiction too.

    Both to notebook and laptop (or desktop in my case). I switch back and forth between them - mostly using the notebook when I want a break from the screen or I can't sit at my computer for some reason (travel, etc.). I have notes scattered all over the place (hence Project Blueprint last July....)

    I've used OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Shaxpir (a writing software similar to Scrivener, but free!). I loved Libre when I had to use it (as it was so much easier to convert!!) but I love Microsoft better than either Libre or OpenOffice. Right now, I'm using Shaxpir as my main writing resource, but I'm using Microsoft as a backup. I used Google docs to update my alphas during NaNo events, but I may phase that out.

    I love to use Shaxpir since it's got a notebook option that I can refer back and forth to while I'm writing - I tend to stick a lot of my notes in there. I'm trying to create a one-stop shop, only thing I can't combine with it is the Pinterest board *glares*

    I did a whole post on my goals just recently in my monthly wrap-Up ( I too tend to set a high goal, but never seem to reach it (which is kinda discouraging, but helpful to see)

    Awesome post, Sarah!!!!


    P.S. Apologies for the monster comment, your questions were the best and I wanted to answer allll of them!

    1. Aww, thanks! *^ - ^* And I LOVE your writing process xD That's awesome. You simply can't go wrong with fantasy. And I so enjoy historical fiction!

      SAME. I loves my notebook, but I do like the clean look of my laptop & how my fingers clack across the keys whilst typing. :]

      Thanks for sharing, girlie! I've never heard of Shaxpir---will definitely have to check it out. AHHH PINTEREST *understanding look*

      Thank you, Catherine! And I don't mind monster comments in the LEAST. I love hearing what spoke to my readers & how they do their process. :] <3

  2. That picture of Gabe is the cutest thing ever I CAN'T. <333

    Ahem, sorry. Just had to squeal.

    This post was fantastic! I looove how you really made us THINK and take a close look at our writing. I firmly believe it's important to do that to assure we're not straying from our original hopes and dreams of our novels. There are sooo many genres and advice out there, it can often make us confused and stray from the stories and processes best for US. So thank you for this! Definitely something I think every writer needs to examine often to assure we're doing what we love! ^_^

    1. Awwww, you guys are the SWEETEST <3 <3 <3

      Thank you, dear girl! I believe I needed it more than anyone else ;D Thanks, Lauri!!!

  3. Ah, this is such a helpful step (or steps) to take, to find one's own niche & process. You break it down really well. This is something I'm still trying to figure out, and I think I have a LONG ways to go, but then I suppose one will always be growing and changing if one is really pursuing the craft. Still, I want to develop a better understanding of the methods and styles that will work best for me.

    1. Thank you! As am I. And yes, definitely a long way to go for me as well. But I couldn't say it better meself. Everyone has their own writing voice, and it seems like the best ones are always still at work in finding theirs. :]


To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.