What’s your opinion on being a specialist versus a generalist?
Do you think it’s best for a writer to focus in a single area or subject of interest and have a honed knowledge, or are there more opportunities for a writer who can write about anything and everything?
It’s a common quandry that all writers need to answer at least once. I find myself considering the options a couple times a year.
I admit to hearing more often than not that it’s beneficial for a writer to focus only 1 or 2 areas from the get-go — that becoming an expert in an area (or a couple areas) can lead to the most successful career.
The exceptions are journalists — and possibly ghost writers — who can make a living writing about a wide variety of topics.
Focusing on a single area and developing an expertise enables you to develop your platform as a writer.
And then once you have that platform established and start getting known for a particular area, writing opportunities within that area will find their way to you.
I admit it’s exciting to have work coming to you through different avenues rather than having to seek work out.
I haven’t selected a particular niche or area of expertise, probably because I’ve always enjoyed variety and have several years in journalism. I still enjoy trying different types of writing and learning about new products and technology.
Do you specialize? Or do you think being a generalist is the way to go?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with Lisa on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.