Is Talent the Key to Successful Travel Writing?

29 December 2008 Post Author:
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If you’re a travel writer, you’re probably talented, right? If you’re a successful travel writer, do you have talent or did you practice honing your writing skills? This is a topic for debate. Some people believe you must have some writing talent to be a successful writer. Others believe that it takes practice. Let’s discuss this further.

You probably heard of the old saying, “practice makes perfect.” Is this a true statement? You could practice your travel writing each day. However, if you’re the only one reading your work, how do you know if your writing has improved? On the other hand, you could be a talented writer; but, do you understand travel writing? It’s a niche market that is different from writing fiction and movie scripts!

Keys to Successful Travel Writing

  1. Feedback. Obtaining feedback for your work will help you improve your writing skills. This is why joining a writing group is a good idea. Also, you may want to check out travel writing forums because there may be one or two people who can give you feedback. A mentor could be a huge benefit to you. Not only will you learn how to improve you writing, you’ll have support when you have self-doubt.
  2. Discipline yourself. Working from home has its negative and positive points. The most negative aspect about working from home is that you can have too many distractions such as the television, radio, and email. If you have kids, they can distract you from your work. Pets can be a distraction as well. Minimizing your distractions will allow you to work in an efficient manner. Plus, you will not be as stressed out!

    The positive aspects about working from home is the money you save on gas, it’s not a long commute, and you’re in a comfortable environment.

    It takes a strong will to work at home. Work for one to three hours and make sure to take breaks. You do not want to suffer from writer’s block!

  3. Read other travel writers. You may want to check out Steenie Harvey and read how she became a successful travel writer. Take one of her articles and see if you can “re-create” it using your own style and tone. Compare Steenie’s article to yours and locate the differences and similarities. Pay attention to things such as the headline and lead. Notice the difference between “showing” vs. “telling” readers about a destination. This process will help you with your writing.
  4. Write for a niche market or two. Becoming an authority in one or more niche market is a great idea. What types of travel do you enjoy? For example, if you prefer budget travel, you could write about that and your favorite destination for budget travel.

These are some ways for you to practice your travel writing. Apply these techniques to your travel writing and you’ll notice a difference. Also, read magazines such as National Geographic to see first-hand how a compelling story is written. And — don’t forget to find a writing group or mentor. The encouragement and feedback will be invaluable!

Rebecca

Do you think it takes talent or practice to become a successful travel writer?

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