Weekend Edition – The Generalist Writer vs. The Specialist Writer

Good article – love the Princess Bride references 🙂

Live to Write - Write to Live

Jack of all trades, master of none? Maybe. Maybe not.

Wesley the Generalist: Abducted by pirates, learned many skills, multi-talented in swordsmanship, poisons, and planning Inigo the Specialist: Knows only swordfighting, but is really, REALLY good at it. Wesley the Generalist: Abducted by pirates, learned many skills, multi-talented in swordsmanship, poisons, disguise, flora and fauna, sailing, and planning
Inigo the Specialist: Knows only sword fighting, but is really, REALLY good at it.

To niche or not to niche, that is the question. Fiction and commercial writers, journalists and playwrights, beginners of all kinds and established professionals in every writing field – each of them wrestles with the quandary of whether or not to specialize their work around a particular genre, topic, industry, format, style, voice, etc.

If you’ve ever tried to crack the specialist/generalist code, you know what a complex question it is. There are myriad pros and cons on both sides of the debate, and those benefits and pitfalls change as business models evolve (something that seems to be happening at an increasingly rapid pace). Your position…

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One thought on “Weekend Edition – The Generalist Writer vs. The Specialist Writer

  1. Hello, Emily! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this … and for calling out the Princess Bride references. Those actually didn’t occur to me until after I’d finished writing the post, and then I was cross because if I hadn’t been up against my publishing deadline (late, in fact), I would have incorporated them into the post itself, and not just in the caption. Oh well. Perhaps I’ll use them more wisely when I rewrite this piece for my book!

    Like

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