Free Your Inner Nonfiction Writer by Johanna Rothman

FREE YOUR INNER NONFICTION WRITER is for people who are subject experts but aren’t experienced writers. Many people have valuable knowledge but have no idea how to get that knowledge onto the page. They don’t know where to begin, or how long a piece will take to write, or how to organize their work. Rothman takes these brand-new writers by the hand with a guide full of wisdom, empathy, and truth.

It starts with unlearning much of what we learned in school. We were all taught to research first, then outline, write, and finally revise. We were never supposed to go back to a previous step, stop and think, or spend time exploring a subject. But that’s not how real writing happens. Often, it’s by the act of writing itself that we figure out the best way to approach our topic. Rothman encourages writers to “cycle,” or to write a bit, figure out what they want to say, write some more, and repeat, gaining clarity with each cycle. This is the way most people naturally write, but too many of us still cling to the myth that writing must be done in linear steps, scared that writing any other way is wrong.

Rothman then takes writers through the steps to a finished article, blog post, or book chapter, including the idea phase, the writing itself, and the editing. She emphasizes that editing is not meant to make a piece “perfect.” It’s only meant to make it more accessible to your ideal reader. The most important thing is that the reader understands what you wrote. Keeping that gold standard in mind makes editing a much more straightforward task. FREE YOUR INNER NONFICTION WRITER ends with advice on getting feedback, publishing, and maintaining good work habits so the writer can do it all again.

Too many people say they will write “someday.” They push it off because it seems too complicated. Or worse, they’ve had it scared out of them, and they’re afraid to try writing, either because of impostor syndrome or fear of being judged. FREE YOUR INNER NONFICTION WRITER is a wonderful, gentle guide, that will hopefully bring “someday” one day closer for anyone who wants to write.




Rating: 4 stars


This book is best for: beginning writers


I recommend this book

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