Feature writers have inquiring minds. They like to learn new things all the time. Read what avid freelance feature writers like to write about, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to write and publish features for newspapers and magazines.
Recently, I interviewed some feature writers I know. I’ve included their comments below.
I begin by giving my perspective.
I enjoy writing features about people involved in interesting careers. I’m able to enter into their work lives and learn what it would have been like had I pursued a different career path. Feature writing allows me to get beyond my immediate world and to dream about other things.
I’ve written about pastry chefs, architects, scientists, foresters, fishermen, real estate developers, judges, restaurant owners, actresses, and pilots–to name a few. Most people are proud of what they do, and their enthusiasm for it is contagious.
I like learning about new things. But, it’s not like I want to be a student again and go back to school. I like learning to do fun things. That’s why I write how-to features. I especially enjoy the steps in creating a fun project like making a wreath or quilt. I find it rewarding to teach others through my writing. And, it gives me a break from my career as a mom.
I like writing features about service organizations, and the good things they do for people in need. I’ve written about food banks and job training centers, and I’ve written about groups such as Kiwanis whose members are involved in charitable activities.
I’ve spent my life as an active volunteer, so my writing is an extension of my interest.
I like writing informational features, such as those about consumer issues. I write features about where to go to get help with common complaints.I also write about how to find help for addictions, such as gambling, and how to succeed in small claims court.
I find it gratifying when readers of publications write to me and tell me I gave them information on how to solve their problems. This is another aspect I like about being a published writer. I’m a full-time freelancer.
In my retirement, I pursue my dream of traveling. Writing goes hand-in-hand with that. I write features about domestic and foreign travel spots, both touristy and remote.
I like going new places and experiencing a new way of life. I like talking to people from all walks of life about the area they live in, and about their quality of life. I love exploring landscapes and architecture.
I’ve written about beaches in Brazil, churches in small towns in Italy, and California vineyards. I live the good life now.
Before I retired, in my professional adult life, I managed an accounting firm and sat behind a desk all day. Now, I can be physically and mentally active and use my imagination as a writer.
I like writing about lifestyles, as I like interviewing people. I’ve interviewed homesteaders, beach bums, and homeless people–anyone with a story to tell. I’m amicable, and I can get anyone to talk about anything.
I especially like the psychology behind the writing and reporting activity. I was a social worker for
15 years before I became a freelance writer.
I like writing features about events. I’ve covered flea markets, farmers markets, rock concerts, and
flower festivals. I like being able to get interesting quotes from a variety of people, from organizers, exhibitors, and performers to attendees. Practically everyone likes to talk about what they do and what they enjoy.
I write on the weekends and during the summer, when I’m not teaching fifth grade.
I live in the Midwest where we experience all the seasons. I like writing seasonal features like kayaking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, fishing, and gardening. I love being in the outdoors, enjoying nature, and writing about people with active lives, just like me.
I retired early from the military, so this suits me just fine.
I’m a chef by profession, and my sideline is writing about food. I write features about preparing savory dishes for parties and picnics. I also write features about ethnic cuisine, and how to decorate your space for entertaining–rooms and tables with centerpieces.
You see, anyone can be a feature writer, and they come from all walks of life. You, too, can have fun and find feature writing to be rewarding. As a primer, read my book, “Beginners’ Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features,” a classic that has led thousands to successfully write and market their features for publication.
This simple guide has been a Featured Selection for Writer’s Digest Book Club, and it’s available through libraries. This book will get you published!
And, if you’re already writing and publishing features, please take the time to comment on the type of features you like to write.
Copyright 2011 by Charlotte Digregorio.