I have a goal to publish one work of fiction this year.
I have barely written any fiction let alone published anything professionally. So, I’ve spent some time during the last few weeks researching the fiction landscape.
As I’m doing the research, it is hard not to get discouraged. There are so many people already doing this! They have years more experience than me!
Compared to every writer of fiction on the planet, I am nothing. I can’t compete with them.
So, I won’t.
Here is some advice I hear quite often that I have learned through experience:
Instead of trying to compete with everyone, narrow your competition by narrowing your niche.
The reason I have found success in my nonfiction work is that I have becoming increasingly focused on a smaller and smaller form of service.
When I first started out, I tried to do too many things. Over time, I started to find my voice and create the kinds of resources I liked to create and that were helping people.
I am now differentiated from the other people seeking to serve the same audience as I am. The competition became narrower and narrower to the point that I am the only person offering the kind of books, resources, and workshops that I offer. There are dozens of other people doing the same things I am, but I have a unique perspective and approach that people enjoy.
(By the way, this pretty much eliminates the entire concept of competition. Other authors have their unique thing and I have mine so we end up helping each other out.)
So, now that I am starting something new, it is helpful to keep this lesson in mind. I have to narrow my niche to narrow the competition until there is no competition at all.
Think of it like an inverted pyramid of competition:
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Dystopian Science Fiction
Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction . . . that gives hope? with Christian themes?
I’m somewhere in the middle of the pyramid right now. I don’t know what the point of the pyramid will be until a lot of practice and a lot of trial and error.
But, I’m looking forward to it.