Who’s Afraid of Travel Writing? Conquer Your Fear, Write, and Find Success

17 September 2008 Post Author:
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It’s midnight and all is quiet on the waterfront. Her heels click on the pavement as she walks quickly back to her hotel. A stranger in a strange land, she clutches her notebook close to her. It holds the key to her travel writing success. Nay, the travel article that is yet to be written and sent off to the editor in New York.

Will our heroine make it to her hotel where her laptop is waiting to be used? Does she dare go through with writing the travel article? After all, it’s going to New York and the editor could be brutal. Will our heroine’s hopes and dream of becoming a travel writer be crushed within a “New York minute?” She pauses and remembers that Woody Allen said “eighty percent of success is showing up.” That’s the real key to success!

Travel writers, are you still afraid of travel writing? Most travel writers fail before they start. Fear takes hold of them and they cannot bear to send their travel articles off the editors.

According to Jennifer Stevens from The Travel Writer’s Life: “The truth is: I know a lot of smart, observant, enthusiastic travelers out there who long to be travel writers but who find themselves paralyzed by fear — fear their articles won’t be good enough… fear they’ll say the wrong thing to an editor…”

Conquer Your Fear and Write

  1. Write about what is in your backyard. It’s easy to write what you know. Staying local is a step in the right direction.
  2. Start small and write between 100-700 words. You may not know “where to put what” in your 2,000-word account of your trip to Peru. Stop writing the article! Instead, write a short one that is approximately 500 words.
  3. Have readers review your work. Checking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling is the norm. Allow readers to read for content. You may have an element that is lacking in your story. Ask for feedback. What did the readers like and dislike about your article? How can the article be improved?
  4. Send your travel article to an editor. What are you waiting for? The time is now to become a successful travel writer!

Polish Your Skills

All travel writers could benefit from a class or two on travel writing. Check these out!

  1. Mediabistro. Offers a variety of travel writing courses from Intro to Travel Writing to Travel Writing Bootcamp. Sign up today!
  2. The Travel Writer’s Life. Would you like to travel in comfort…no charge? Sign up and find out other ways to earn money as your travel.
  3. Writers.com. This ten week course will teach you the different types of travel writing, how to write a pitch, the “tricks of the trade, and how to build a stellar portfolio.

Do not let your FEAR get in the way of your travel writing dreams. Yes, it’s easier said than done. Take “baby steps” towards travel writing. You do not need a by-line on a 3,000-word travel article published in Travel and Leisure Magazine or National Geographic Magazine to get started. Start small by staying local. Make sure your first article has been reviewed and proofed by someone. It’s best to begin with a strong article.

Finally, “just show up” and send your article off to the editor. Take a deep breath as you do because success is in the air. Can you smell it?

Rebecca

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