Writer Should You Diversify Or Focus

“He’s a writer who makes a living from his writing!”
I was at a writing seminar, and a writer/speaker was being introduced. I heard sighs of envy. How does he make his living by writing? “He diversifies,” we were told. He had earned his living from writing for over 20 years, with children’s books, articles, plays and so on.
I’ve also often heard of the need for focus however, so that made me wonder: which is best?
Is diversification (working in a variety of different types or genres of writing) really the answer for all writers?
What are some advantages and disadvantages of each?
Diversification benefits:
· Like the aforementioned writer – you could earn your living from writing in a variety of avenues.
· You are constantly challenged by trying different things
· You are less likely to get into a rut of endlessly laboring on one project or genre.
However, you could also become a ‘Jack of all trades and Master of none’.
The benefits of focus:
· Like a laser beam, your energies are likely to achieve more.
· You are more likely to develop the talents you need
· You will gain a reputation of competence (and hopefully excellence) in your field.
The downside of focus is that you can get into a ‘rut’ which, like the deeply worn track in the road that a rut is, will slow your progress and make you less able to get onto a more successful route.
Having thought about these differing viewpoints, I’ve come to my own conclusions about diversity versus focus.
If you are just starting out, diversification is of benefit, because you:
· Try a variety of writing to see what you enjoy and where your strengths lie.
· Develop your talents in a range of writing skills, which will improve your writing overall.
However, if you’ve been writing for a while, but writing is not your ‘day job’, I strongly suggest you focus carefully on no more than a few selected projects at a time, depending on how big they are and how much time and energy you have available. This way, you will get the most value from your limited time. This doesn’t mean you should never try any other forms of writing, of course, but keep a narrow focus on items intended for publication.
If or when you later have opportunity to devote more time to your writing and have developed strong skills, you may want to diversify again.
I suspect that the writer we all envied for his varied sources of income did not get this far by doing as many different types of writing as he does now; but by applying himself to mastering his trade in a much narrower field. Diversification may now be enabling him to earn his living, but earning his living from writing also gives him the freedom to diversify.
Focus will probably serve you better than trying to stretch yourself too wide.
Do you need help to write better? Do you want some inspiration to put your thoughts into words? Could you do with some encouragement to develop your writing skills?

No Comments Found

Leave a Reply