Writing is the same, it seems. People find one genre or a set of similar genres that they fall into and can write about and build a following around that.
Some say once you find your place and build a foundation on it, then you can branch out to different subjects and new types to make yourself versatile.
I've never been sure on whether or not I wanted to go that route. It seems like a lot of people who create a place for themselves have a difficult time breaking out of it. For example, Adam Sandler is known for his over-the-top-often-annoyingly-loud characters and sometimes crude and off the wall humor. When he did Punch Drunk Love, it flopped. People hated it. They weren't used to seeing Adam Sandler in a drama, and because of the expectations they had of him being funny, they had a hard time seeing in a serious role. Robin Williams is similar- people have grown to love him for his comedy, so when he does a serious role people don't like it as much, even though he has a tremendous talent for drama. But if he hadn't become known for his comedies, he probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to do the dramas.
Could you imagine if Stephen King suddenly decided to write romance books similar to the works of Nicholas Sparks? I don't think his readers would know what to do.
If you're looking for fame, I think you need to almost always find a "type" and use that to create a fandom for yourself. Frankly, some people are just looking to get famous in any way they possibly can- they don't care about what it is they're doing, they just want the following. That's fine; to each his own, but that's not for me- I don't want to be famous just to be famous: I want to have something I'm
Realizing that all my best ideas are in a genre I would have never consciously picked for myself made me question where I think I'm going with this. Do I want to be a horror/thriller writer? How hard will it be for me to break out of it in the future? I'm not sure, really. I don't want to always write horror- I've got adventure, fantasy, romance, and sci-fi ideas that I would love to develop into fruition.
It's also had me asking myself what I want in the long run- do I want fame? The honest answer is that I have no clue whether or not I want to be famous. The upside to fame would be having an influence and being able to bring awareness of important issues to fans, but the downside would be losing some privacy, having the pressure to live up to what's expected of you on a much grander scale than most, and being open to criticism (often not constructive) from so many more people. I'm just not sure I'd want that, really.
What I would like, ultimately, is to be able to write stories that entertain and inspire people. I want to make people think about themselves and the world around them, ask themselves about who they are and what they would do in certain situations, and create places for people to escape to when they need a break from reality. And I'd love to make a living doing it, so I could do it all the time.
I admire Johnny Depp- he is entirely devoted to his craft and his family, but never wanted fame. Often he seems to detest his celebrity. It wasn't something he ever wanted, and because of his devotion to acting, it just happened. Some people are like that, and I've met a few of them. Those are the people who are so good at what they do that you know they're going to be famous whether they plan to or not.
So what's my type? Where's my niche? Right now, it seems to be horror/thriller. After that, who knows. My goal is to create great characters with depth, interesting conflicts, and the best story I can. I don't care if I get famous or rich or neither because of it; I just want to be the best me I can.
P.S.- My Amazon Author Page has been updated.