Why It’s So Important To Create Your Own Category As A Writer (Thread)
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is how important Category Creation is to your success as a content creator/writer.
What this means is carving out a niche for yourself that no one else owns.
Unfortunately, very few writers think about this—and no one ever explains how it works.
In fact, much of the “writing” world hyper-focuses on things like language, grammar, and even style/tone—leading to a very myopic view of what it means to “become successful” as a writer.
Every writer imitates in the beginning.
The real question is: how long do you stay playing that imitation game?
At what point do you forge a path of your own?
Every category that has been created has a current Category King.
And so what most writers do is they pick a genre, AND a Category King, and then base all their decisions on how they can “become like” the person they idolize.
This is where the solution is also the problem.
Because when you try to “become like” someone else, you end up competing against them in their own category, playing by their own rules.
And it’s nearly impossible to “win” that way.
New categories get created every single day.
They just hide in plain sight.
Instead, books that catch wildfire are chalked up to having:
- A clever title
- A beautiful cover
- “Amazing marketing”
- The support of a big publishing house
But these aren’t the things that really moved the needle.
Without fail, it’s always the books and articles and Tweets and products and <insert anything> that explode in popularity that successfully created a new, compelling category.
The way you create a category of your own is by making a clear distinction between what exists and what is NEW and DIFFERENT.
In books, for example, I like to think of this as adding a clarifying word before the current genre.
Instead of saying, “I’m a horror writer” (of which there are 8 gazillion all trying to compete with Stephen King), you can say, “I’m a Space Horror writer. All my horror stories take place in outer space.”
Boom. That’s DIFFERENT.
Competing with other writers, especially in a category they successfully created, is a fool’s game.
You can’t win.
It’s an uphill battle, and you are disadvantaged at every turn.
Instead, you are far better allowing them to have what is theirs and CREATING a new and different category of your own.