The Argument Not To Niche Ourselves
When I first started my blog I just wanted something that I could send to jobs to show my writing skills. I had no real idea what I wanted to do with it or even what I wanted to write. I did a couple book reviews and a couple of mental health type pieces (still incredibly proud of my first ever post "Spending Emotional Energy Like Cash") but everything was a bit scattered topic wise. Once the pandemic hit and I lost my job I decided to focus on this blog and try and make this successful. I took some classes, attended some workshops, and talked to other creatives and the one thing everyone told me was, "Find your niche." The thing is... I had no idea what the hell my niche was.
I did a lot of searching, I filled out a ridiculous amount of worksheets, trying to figure out what I wanted my niche to be. And everytime I would finish one that would narrow down my topics I would feel an insane amount of sadness for all the other parts of myself that I would have to repress to honor this niche. It was a real tug of war mentally, knowing that I wanted to find success in this venture but also wanting to honor all the different parts of myself. So I made the decision to not niche myself.
I fully believe we shouldn’t pigeonhole ourselves in to doing or being one thing. I'm not a real big fan of boxes. Like "I'm this so I can't be that" or "I'm more this so I don't feel like I can't call myself that." I think this mentality is so limiting.
Growing up I never really felt like I knew who I was. I mean I knew who I wanted to be, but that would literally change every day. I was the kid who would change her life plan every 2 weeks, hell I've had 5 different majors in college! One month I went to my Dad and I swore up and down that I was going to be a cook and he patiently looked at me and told me that I was too picky of an eater to be a chef, which was completely valid feedback. Then the next month, when my school was putting on a production of Annie, I confidently told me Dad that I was going to be a singer / actress growing up. He kissed the top of my head and told me okay. He even enrolled me in acting classes and took me to a couple auditions. I abandoned that dream after I got rejected for a role in a local Pride and Prejudice play just because I didn't look old enough, which was totally valid feedback but it was what made me realize that I hated rejection. Another month after watching Go Figure on Disney Channel I decided that I was going to be a professional hockey player despite never actually stepping foot on ice, my Dad bought me a plastic set of hockey gear which I used for a couple weeks then never touched again.
Kings, hit me up if you need a new player
Some could look at this and think that I'm flighty and can't commit to anything. But I actually see this as something else entirely. I see this as me being a jack of all trades and master of none. I know a small amount about cooking, and acting, and hockey, and skateboarding, and baking, and law, and writing, and video editing, and surfing, and volleyball, and soccer, and gymnastics, and.... I can go on forever. (Yes these are all things that I've picked up at one point or another in my life.)
So when it came time to create Christy Is Whelmed, I kinda always knew that I wanted it to be bigger than just my blog, I knew that I wouldn't be creatively satisfied with just one project. I've been a little overwhelmed this last week and a half trying to find a way to manage Christy Is Whelmed with my new internship so I decided to start tracking my time and see how I'm dividing my time, as I was creating all of the different tags I realized who genuinely large Christy Is Whelmed has become. And yet, I see my creative world as if each one was my baby. I couldn't imagine not having each and every one of them in my life.
Literally me doing all my stuff
My blog is the oldest, the one that I trust to do what it needs to do, the one that began my start to creativity, the one that is a stepping point for the rest of my passions. My Etsy shop is my middle child. The one that can sometimes seen as forgotten but not in my mind. The one that I may not talk about a lot but love so much and am always proud of. My photography business is my youngest, the one that gets spoiled. The one that gets its own instagram, its own website, and its own side business within itself in the art prints. And then we have the podcast. I see the podcast as the pet. The one that you don’t really plan to have but somehow adopt it anyway and then love it as if it was one of your babies.
Some could look at all that I do and think that I'm crazy, think that there's no way that I'll be successful in each one because I'm spreading myself too thin. But I've been coming to realize that success is whatever I define it to be. It's unrealistic to imagine that each of my ventures is going to make me a millionaire but I think that they all play an integral part in my overall business and that's okay. It's something that I've been working on over time. I think living in LA where everyone wants to be famous, whether they'll admit it to themselves or not, it can be hard sometimes to admit that my blog isn't read by thousands of people, or that my podcast will barely get 100 listens. But having that expectation of fame and fortune for each facet of my life is just breeding for failure.
Life has been much happier and more creatively fulfilling now that I've created more realistic expectations for myself, but also since I've adopted all of these different areas of my life. I used to be feel sad and lonely and bored and now I feel overwhelmed and tired but happy and that in itself is a win for me. If I would've listened to everyone at the beginning of this journey and niched myself I don't know if I would have been able to say the same thing.