Do you want to know the secret of travel writing? The secret is to be a writer first. That’s it. Be a writer first! As the saying goes “do not put all of your eggs in one basket.” Meaning, write different things and in different styles.
As a travel writer do not feel that this is the only genre that you must concentrate on every day. If you have a passion for animal rights then write about it. Stretch your writing skills as far as they will go, and then go beyond that.
Writing different genres will only enhance your writing. Most people start off writing fishing guides and then find themselves writing for a major magazine. Start writing travel articles about your vacations; it could lead to travel books and other writing projects.
Here’s an excerpt from Mark Terry’s article “This Writing Life: Crosstraining:
“I’m a writer first. The various other subgenres–novelist, report writer, magazine writer, etc., all come second. I’m a writer first.
“The point is, try to write different things. It’s a good exercise, if nothing else. If you write fiction all the time, take a crack at writing a script for your favorite TV show. Or write a magazine article. It uses different muscles and helps make you a stronger writer overall.”
The bottom line is just that. Think about the extra cash you will make from your other writing endeavors. With the money that you make you can take that vacation to Thailand and write about it. You will be able to afford those writing courses and conferences. Furthermore, with the money you make, you can donate some of it to your favorite charity. Pay it forward!
This is so true! Travel writing is not paying the bills for me – yet. But my other writing gigs and clients have allowed me to quit my full-time job so that I can focus on writing. There is also the added bonus that, with these other (non-travel related) writing assignments, I can travel the world and still keep bringing in the money without being bound to 10 paid vacation days a year.
It pays to be able to write on topics besides travel writing because it will show your diversity as a writer. Many writers are write SEO website copy writing (me included). I also write on health and wellness topics, have life coaching/consulting websites, a website for new cat owners, and a personal blog.
When I travel, I’m all about meeting the people, learning the culture, understanding the history and politics, and having a good time. My writing (depending on where I’m at) comes from a more socio-economic/political/eco angle versus the usual destination travel writing.