When You Don’t Know Your Niche

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I can’t be the only one.

The writers who write about writing tell you that finding your niche is important. How do I do that? Do I write different topics under different pen names? Use certain platforms for certain themes?

Here’s the thing. I don’t really fit into a niche. Sometimes, I just need to write. And when that happens, I do just that. I write.

Something is born from my fingertips dancing across the keyboard of my laptop. Like a funnel, I become a medium between my computer and the universe, the words flow into me, through me, and onto the Word document before me.

Sometimes the words are surprising. It is incredibly romantic to think of how many different combinations we have created using the same words. Like a spilled bucket of ice, cubes flying out in all directions, each of us pulling them back together in our own unique way.

Sometimes the words are beautifully painful, achingly raw, and embarrassingly revealing. Sometimes it hurts to write.

Sometimes the words that are funneled to me uncover what I really need to write about at that moment. So, I continue. Tap tap tapping away, as words become sentences, which become paragraphs… and then are born as short stories, poetry, and recently, a few serious articles, too.

Sometimes I share what I have written. Sometimes I hide it in a sub-folder that only exists 7 layers deep in My Documents with shady promises to come back to it someday.

Sometimes, I DELETE, although a dear friend of mine has recently convinced me to ‘stop deleting, everything has value’.

But does it? Does everything have value? Is he right?

Yes, he’s right. The value is that the words come from within. That they are genuine and sincere and that I pour my soul into them. That matters.

But will my readers find any value? I hope so.

Sometimes I ache to hear my reader’s thoughts regarding the words that I have bled for them. To know that someone looked in between the lines to find me, as that space between words is where the real me is hidden.

Maybe, since I am still new to sharing my writing, my niche will become apparent one day. Until then, maybe someone can share their wisdom as I know I am not the only one.


“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

― Mary Oliver

Cross posted on Medium

Our Ghosts Running

The summer treetops shaded us and the hot air
kept us flushed
through the pursuit of the moment.

And when those leaves began to fall around us,
we listened as they
were crunched by our footsteps.

In the fall air, we were warm and hazy,
with creases from laughter
upon our pink faces.

And then through the swirling snowflakes
we found
how nice cold noses felt
when pressed against warm cheeks.

And we ran towards something
but
towards nothing.

And in the icy valley, we left it there.
Ghosts running
through the trees in time-past.
Gone,
but never really fading.

7.29.19 Cuyahoga River, Ohio: photo by author

Also published on Medium. Read me here.

*Top Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Ballroom Behind My Eyes

I want you to know me by the voice that you hear in your head when you read my words. I want you to know what I am thinking. To be the holder of my decoder ring, able to decipher me.

Translate my abstractness into a concreteness and teach it back to me.

Then tell me more.

I want you to feel as though you have found your way home in my sincerity, my realness. That you can feel my faults, for they are as big as San Andreas. That you forgive me, as I do you.

Tell me that you can see me. I want you to read my soul, to see my soul. To touch me there because that means that I am touching your soul, too. I want you to take me in so deeply that I cannot question my trust for you.

I want to move your heart with the thoughts that I have stretched out and left here for you to read… to find. These little pieces of me once crumpled and strewn about the ballroom behind my eyes. I am compelled to collect them for you, sift through them, iron them out… deciding which are appropriate for human consumption.

Tell me how you can feel me bleed through to you — for you — regardless of the genre or the subject that my words are weaving for you at the moment.

I want you to feel refreshed by my sincerity… like that delicious intake of crisp cool air that you can’t help but take into you so very deeply.


I want to feel your potential radiate from within you, your inspiration bleeding into the air around you. Your Phoenix Rising. I want you overcome with the need to find those words locked inside of you… to let them out and for you to tell me their story. I will be mesmerized as you share them with me.

Move me. Make me feel you. And when you are done, I’ll ask you to tell me more.

I want to relish in your memories with you, view them with our collective hindsight. And yes, even the times that you felt most terrified, vulnerable, and saddened. Tell me about how you were lost inside of yourself and couldn’t find your way out, for I know that place, too.

I want my words to walk with you in that darkness, reach the shadows within you and show you how they love you there, as well.

I will come find you so that we can spin in circles while hand-in-hand and laugh

as we change the sadness into beautiful, icy snowflakes that fall around us and crunch at our feet.


I want to know your first waking thoughts. And the ones that put you to bed at night, too… those sleepy notions that dissipate before you can articulate them.

Tell me how you run after them, catching only their particles with your fishing net… using careful, soft, and gliding motions.

And tell me how frustrating it is when those motions create passive ripples that push the other thoughts away, unable to be captured…perhaps now lost.

And tell me how, later, you yearn to piece them together again through pen and paper.


I want to paint pictures in your eyes, moving ones — if I can. Pictures that bring you back to your own moments. Like your first bite of apple pie, a puppy asleep on your lap, or like that time you were kissed so deeply that it became more than just a kiss.

Or when — the *exact* moment when — you realized that you recognized someone’s soul and how you suddenly ‘just knew’….. tell me how time stood still for you. I want my words to bring you back there so I can feel it with you, too.

Tell me how it feels to have my words envelop you.

Because I hope they make you feel like you are landing inside a pile of fallen leaves on a warm autumn day.


Tell me that when I am long gone you will still feel the waves of my energy, weighted and heavy- as if particles of true matter and subject to gravity.

Tell me that when I cease to exist you will still be able to hear me in your mind. And how my words will still manage to make you feel safe as you lie your head down to sleep each night.

And when you feel the smile that I snuck on your lovely face from so far away, I’ll know and smile from somewhere far away, too.


“I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.
Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.

Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.”

 Andrea Gibson


Come read me on Medium here.

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That Sudden Lone Light

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Can I tell you?

Can I tell you how I crave that flash of white- that sudden lone light?

The one that finds me— in surprise —  in the deep, deep, dark tunnel where I hide.

Can I tell you how time stopped; standing just perfectly still?

A split second somehow stretched into a space filled with forever.

Breath removed from the air; underwater sounds whispered in my ear.

My frozen stare; blinding and surreal.

My North Star. So brilliant and white.

;

Will you be gone in a flash — like the flash in which you came?

Gone — and only the craving of light left to remain?

Blow through me then — would you mind just blowing me away?

Please can I tell you?

Can I tell you what happened?

Can I tell you how I need you to tell me, too?


;

I am Made of Night

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The night: her darkness, rising.

A cold and loud
river rushing,
and shining,
but only from
your moonlight.
The reflection,
a gift, transient.

Her hollow wind;
blowing,
through minds
and
pulling from memory
are
words whispered softly;
sweetly.
Lies.

Blackened star dust,
floating.

and I am made of night.