~ SO YOU WANT TO BE A TRAVEL WRITER SERIES ~
I had a talk on “TRAVEL WRITING” last March at R.O.X. organized by Eagle Creek. Because not everyone was able to join the event, I want to be publishing my manuscript and outline hoping that it would be of help to those who want to be a travel writer either full-time or just moonlighting.
First of all, let’s draw the line. What is travel writing is not and what it is really?
TRAVEL WRITING IS NOT…
- writing about your family’s vacation.
- writing about what you liked or didn’t like about your last trip.
- like scribbling on your diary.
- writing everything you did on your recent getaway.
- finally, writing about destinations so that you can travel for free.
TRAVEL WRITING IS…
- writing about new experiences, fresh encounters and food discoveries in other places
- writing about how to travel, when to travel, and advice on traveling–all with the reader in mind
- It’s about sharing your unforgettable journey to others so that they may be inspired to do the same or at the very least not make the same mistakes you did.
- it could also be writing about the mundane, things in your own back yard that are exotic to everyone else- a local game, people’s livelihood, a farmer’s market, a historic site, your fave restaurant, an art museum.
II. WHY WRITE?
Define your purpose why you want to write about your travels.
Me: I just want to chronicle what is happening in my life, my journey. I want to be able to read my crazy adventure and misadventures 20-30 years from now. I want to my future kids and grandkids getting hyped of what their oldie didearlier in his life. Later did I know na pwede palang pagkakitaan ito (that you can gain money out of this). So I tried pitching some of my stories in travel magazines.
Your purpose should be larger than life. Right now, I’m trying to add “changing the world through traveling and travel writing” on my purpose.
Where to write: blog (online), magazine, newspaper, travel website, etc.
III. Types/Styles of Travel Writing
You don’t want to limit yourself with the same type again and again. One its boring, two its really boring. So here are atleast 11 of my fave style with samples by clicking the links beside them.
- Letter type- Dear Batanes, “Ichaddaw ku imu” and Dear Reader, I’m not a snob…
- Conversational- An Ode to Sienna, My Travel Buddy and Conversation: Tuki, Boracay and Surigao
- Interview- Interviewed by Travel & Living Channel
- Compare and contrast- Batad, What Happened to Your Charm?
- Q & A- Travel Guides
- Review- Life is Better When You Surf and Zem Gear Terra Review
- Description- Puerto Princesa City: Benchmark Of What Paradise Is
- Response- Surigao Nature Fuck: The Most Depressing Road Trip Ever
- Photo Essay- Calaguas Sexy Summer Photoshoot; Sexy Pictorial at Apuao Pequeña Island and Mt. Purgatory Traverse in Photos
- List (10 things)- 10 Questions about ISANGDAAN Journey from an Avid Reader; 10 of My Favorite Travel Quotations; and Mindanao Challenge: 10 Lessons While on the Road
- Vlog- Message for Fellow Newbie Bloggers and Video Edits
IV. 3 Things You Need to Do:
1. Travel. Of course, this is the most basic thing you should put on your mind. You should be traveling, out there, trying to discover something for yourself. You can’t share what you didn’t experience.
Trade Secret: I’m hearing a lot about writer’s block, seriously, I haven’t experienced it yet. Why? I guess because I’m always traveling. I always have something fresh to write about. Traveling keeps me inspired and when I’m inspired I can write a blog in less than 30 minutes. Sometimes it would take me just 3-4hours to write a piece for a magazine.
2. Write. Again. You kidding me James? Nope. You need to write it down. Whatever works for you? Write it on the notepad, notebook, straight to your laptop or just make an outline on your head. Type notes on your mobile phone. Just write.
Trade Secret: Twitter and Photos. Everytime I experience something worth sharing, I tweet or instagram it. One, it reminds me of that experience when I’m about to the write the travel article. Two, it would give me more details of the experience- time, place, people which are important when writing.
3. Pitch. Most of you have a blog. If you think you wrote an article worthy of a feature in a travel magazine, pitch it to an editor before publishing it on your website. You gain more if it gets publish first in a magazine- more networks, additional readers, money, etc.
I really don’t know how I ended up writing for in-flight magazines. But I know that my stories are unique enough to be noticed by others. So I opened my email and started with, “Hi Ms.__________. I’m James and I was wondering if you are interested with my travel story. Explain in 3-4 sentences then maybe add a photo that will capture the editor’s attention.”
Trade Secret: Avoid writing for free. You don’t want to be known to be someone who writes for free. I tell you, these publishers have lots of funds for your article, you just need to be patient. Plus, you can’t buy your next plane ticket with a “thank you.”
Next article: PASSION- So You Want to be a Travel Writer (Part 2 of 3)