Why I’m a Prolific Writer

I’m a prolific writer. In my year-end roundup, I mentioned that during the year I’d added 150,000 words, 180 clips and 8 new publications to my portfolio – and that was just the work I could claim credit for.


Even some of my writer buddies – and my editors – want to know how I make it work. Here’s a peek behind the curtain of this prolific writer.

Why Sharon Hurley Hall is a Prolific Writer

1. I’m a polymath

That’s a fancy way of saying I’m interested in – and know about – lots of different things. I enjoy acquiring knowledge for its own sake and am rarely bored. So when a particular job offers me the opportunity to research something, I love it. For me, any day that I learn something new is a good day.

2. I’m a born teacher

Some of you may know that I used to teach journalism at a UK university. One of the things I discovered (while acquiring an MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) is that I loved seeing my students get it, and reveled in their success. I was always looking for ways to bring information to life for them. That’s a quality I try to bring to my writing. And I like to sound like a human being rather than an academic which is great when I’m blogging and ghost blogging professionally.

3. I’m a geek

One of the side effects of working in a lot of small editorial offices is that often there was no IT department. That meant learning to do my own troubleshooting. I spent a lot of time online looking for solutions to problems and along the way, I discovered a new love: web apps and tools. I still find it hard to resist trying out something new (see point 1) and that’s why it’s a no-brainer to write about the stuff I discover. (When I started blogging for the second time, in November 2005, my first blog post was about an online research tool.)

4. I love language

At school, when others were out running around a field, I haunted the library. My greatest pleasure was to find a prolific author I hadn’t read. Not only was I transported by the stories, but I enjoyed mentally dissecting the use of language. It’s something I still do automatically today, whenever I read, harvesting and hoarding words and phrases for later use or adaptation. I’m an old language scholar too. I did Latin at school and loved it, as well as French and Spanish (I used to be fluent), and have also taught myself basic German (admittedly a bit rusty now). I also know off-color expressions in a few languages (but I’m not saying which).

5. I’m inspired by everything

Life would indeed be sweet if I had time to carry out all the ideas I have. In fact, just getting them all written down would be great. Even though I almost always have a notebook with me – or the notepad on my smartphone – some of them get away and are lost forever. My brain loves tangents and what-ifs, which helps me come up with good ideas to write about for my clients.

With all of those qualities, it’s no surprise that I’m always finding out about new web tools and social media sites, signing up to test them out and writing about my findings so others can use them too. I love my job – in fact, sometimes, it doesn’t feel like work. Check out some of my recent Crazy Egg articles to see how much fun I’ve had.

20 thoughts on “Why I’m a Prolific Writer”

  1. Sharon,

    You are a “force” to be reckoned with! Here, I’ve just posted about the perils of research and revising:) You have to be a writing coach or mentor aren’t you? 🙂


  2. I love it when someone toots their own horn in such a wonderful way! 🙂
    Looks like the 5 buck forum is THE place to be for writers and I totally enjoyed scoping out your profile on Contently. You’re amazing, Sharon, and you’ve amassed a huge body of work!

    Write on!

  3. So much content!

    There’s a reason why I make sure to read and share your stuff, because it’s nearly always amazing, filled with good advice, or just downright entertaining.

    Keep writing! 😀

  4. Sharon, that is a very impressive amount of writing!

    Like you, I love learning new things. I’m grateful my writing career has allowed me to do that.

  5. And this is why we love you, Sharon. 🙂 I have similar characteristics, but I don’t have even close to your energy level. I continually marvel at your productivity while always keeping your high quality level.

  6. Congrats on all of the writing. So, I have to ask, what do you think of Scrivener as a writing tool? I’ve heard people say it’s a good way to organize nonfiction stories (and I write a lot of those). Others say it’s a great way to write a novel. However, the complexity of it is daunting and I wonder if it’s worth it in the time and effort. But, Word is not a great way to organize stories.

    • Cathy, I’ve downloaded Scrivener to try it a couple of times and have never quite made it. Those who love it say there’s nothing better (and people whose opinion I respect on this, such as Sean Platt, are in that camp). I can’t say much more than that, I’m afraid.

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