Nonfiction Writing Advice

Writing Traits: Are You a Writer?

freelance writer
FabJob Guide to Become a Freelance Writer

Before We Get Started

Here are some posts from my site that can help with freelance writing:

Writing a Nonfiction Book: Keeping it Real

Nonfiction Writing: Toss Out a Great Opener

How to Write a Book Proposal: Nonfiction Example

Research, Write and Review: The Biography

What is Content Creation?

Writing Traits to Consider

Give yourself one point for each of these writing traits that sound like you. You:

Enjoy Reading

As a child, you might have hidden a flashlight under your bed so that you could read under the covers, late at night. You probably tuck a book in your purse, briefcase or glove compartment, so you’ll never be without reading material. If without a book or magazine, you’ve been known to read ingredients on a can of food.

Love to Write

You might write poetry or essays or stories. You might keep a journal. We each have our own types of reading and writing that we find appealing; whatever yours is, though, it isn’t merely a mild interest.

Are Curious

While other people might find a subject uninteresting or unworthy of notice, you find yourself wondering “how” and “why,” along with countless other questions. Give yourself a bonus point if, after wondering something, you’ve researched and found the answer!

Can Be Self-Motivated

You can work by yourself for stretches at a time. Although procrastinating is sometimes okay – after all, writers are human, too! – you’ve got a good handle on how to motivate yourself to work and you don’t rely on “inspiration” or your “muse” before you get started on a project.

Keep Paper and Pen With You

You jot down information and you might write down anecdotes that you’ve heard and funny things that you’ve noticed. When you can’t type something on your computer or write something down, you feel at a loss. Maybe your fingers even itch!

Share What You’ve Learned

Rather than just repeating anecdotes, though, you might tie it into something bigger or broader. That’s because people, places and events often remind you of someone or something else. It’s even possible that, while something is happening in real life, you’re already creating a book, newspaper or magazine title for the event in your head.


Perhaps that’s obvious to other people around you, but maybe not. You may be the kind of person who needs nudged by an elbow to return to the “real world.” Or, you may be able to juggle what’s going on inside your head with the daily routine around you without missing a beat.

Appreciate Alone Time

You might be shy — or you might be quite outgoing. In either case, it’s likely that you appreciate quiet time to read, to think, to wonder and to write down your thoughts. Writing things down can be relaxing to you, a release from the events of the day.

Volunteer Your Writing Services

You might help out with researching, writing, editing or proofreading newsletters for your school, local organizations or non-profit agencies. Or you might help friends and family members who need help with writing letters, business documents or other written materials.

Notice Mistakes in Writing

If you read something that doesn’t sound quite right, you find yourself “rewriting” that text in your head. When you drive by a billboard with a misplaced comma, you notice the error in the quick second or two you have to peruse the text.

Play With Words

I’ve heard writers described as people with an excellent inner ear for the rhythm, sounds and meanings of words — and you probably enjoy reading words, thinking about words and writing words down. You probably find yourself playing around with what you’ve written, too, perhaps for clarity or perhaps for its rhythm and pleasing sound when read aloud.

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