Johanna Rothman, known as the "Pragmatic Manager," offers frank advice for your thorny problems. She helps leaders and teams learn to see simple and reasonable options that might work. Those practical alternatives can help them be more effective with others at work. With those choices, they can choose what—and how—to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 19 books, hundreds of articles, and blog posts about many aspects of product development. Her most recent nonfiction books are the Modern Management Made Easy series. Find her monthly newsletter and blogs at &

Free Your Inner Nonfiction Writer by Johanna Rothman

Free your inner nonfiction writer as you learn to write fast and well.

Do you want to write nonfiction better and faster? But when you try to write, you feel stuck, or you don't like what you wrote, or you're not sure why anyone would want to read your words.

You can enjoy writing, especially when you integrate thinking and learning as you write. And, when you wait to edit until the end, you can write faster. Learn how to educate, influence, and entertain people with your writing.

You'll learn how to:

•Separate writing, which includes thinking and learning, from editing.
•Focus on your readers, so you write what they need to know.
•Face your writing fears.
•Find your author voice, so you sound like you.
•Be ready to write, so you never have to face a blank page.
•Empathize with your readers to write about what matters to them.
•How to edit just enough.
•Evolve your writing system.

And more.

Buy this book and learn how to write nonfiction to educate, influence, and entertain.


Johanna Rothman has made a good living for a very long time writing nonfiction. She advises companies on business. Her books are a great resource for all writers. This book will make even the most die-hard fiction writer want to consider writing nonfiction—at least occasionally. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch




You'd like to write better or faster, but everything you do seems to slow you down. Or, maybe you start to write but you don't finish what you started. Even if you finish, your writing doesn't resonate with the very people it should.

Maybe you take "too long" to write. Or you have the face-the-blank-page problem, the am-I-good-enough problem, and other worries.

You might think of these challenges as "writing" problems. They're not. They're system problems—and when you write, you expose your systemic problems.

If you can create a successful system for your writing, you can eliminate those problems and write well. You can choose how to create systems that work for you.

That's how you free your inner writer. Learn what does work for you. You can learn to write fast and well, and to offer value to your ideal readers.

You can write nonfiction that educates, influences, and entertains.

Maybe you think I'm a "natural" writer. Not at all. I was not born with a pen in my hand. I've learned to write through practice and experimentation. I'm sharing what I've learned with you in this book.

Early in my management career, I asked a colleague for feedback on a memo I wrote. The feedback: "A verb, JR, you need a verb somewhere in these thirty words." I've learned to write shorter sentences, each with a verb. Sometimes, two verbs.

Since then, I've published twenty books, thousands of blog posts, and hundreds of articles. Then there's all the emails, conference proposals, and reports for my clients.

If you write these kinds of nonfiction, this book is for you:

•Expository nonfiction, such as a memo or a report

•Personal essay

•Articles, blog posts, or other short writing that explains or informs readers.

Writers write nonfiction because they need to share the how, why, or what for a reader who wants to learn more.

If you write other kinds of nonfiction, you might benefit from the ideas here, but no guarantees. I focused this book on the short forms of nonfiction. These ideas also work for book chapters, but might not be sufficient for you to write a book.

Given that, let's start with how you can create your writing practice to free your inner writer.