Lifestyle Journalism — One of the Most Challenging Forms of Writing

Michele Koh Morollo
6 min readMar 22, 2019

How writing about “fluff” can help you develop essential, creative writing skills.

Photo by Britta Jackson from Pexels

I write about food, luxury houses and hotels, fashion, beauty products, shopping mall Christmas decor, and cushion covers made out of 100 percent eco-friendly linen. When I left my full-time job editing two magazines, the building blocks of my freelance career were 400-word articles about 17th century headboards, how to read biorhythms, or bass fishing in Minnesota that brought in as little as $15 a pop. Thankfully, I have since moved on to better paying gigs.

I am what the industry calls a “lifestyle journalist” — a term that applies to writers who produce “lighter” stories rather than “hard” or industry-specific news. News reporters, political columnists and finance and business journalists, and even fresh journo grads secretly scoff at the those of us who earn our keep producing lifestyle content. But I know something they don’t — writing about seemingly superficial things is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a writer.

A fellow freelance writer friend once said to me, “An editor asked me for a story about top ten beach bars in Asia. I do corporate and technical writing, not that fluffy stuff. Do you want the assignment?”