Dreaming up story ideas is the most creative and fun part of the travel writing process.
It’s easy. A story pops into your mind and you think, “I’d love to write about that place.”
Then comes the heavy lifting. First, you need to research your destination further to assess its salability. Then, if it passes that test, you must write a sparkling query letter and prepare a distribution list of magazines to pitch.
Every successful travel writer does this grunt work. They think of every story as a project and understand that some parts are exciting and some parts are downright dull.
Travel writing is like a job, so we need to finish each project. One of the traits of successful freelance writers is completing every project. We all stumble at some stage of each project, but successful writers forge on and complete their projects through to the end.
Travel writers experience ebbs and flows in their enthusiasm depending on what part of the project they’re working on. For example, most travel writers procrastinate over building lengthy magazine distribution lists to send their queries to. However, until this onerous task is completed, the writer doesn’t have a chance of ever seeing their story published.
However, there also are uplifting parts to the freelance travel writing game. When editors reply to our query letters and commission our stories we feel validated and our confidence grows. When our work is published we see our stories in print, beautifully laid out, with cool photographs. Then we get paychecks in the mail. We are thrice rewarded!
And more good news. As we gain experience researching our stories, writing query letters, and creating distribution lists, each task becomes easier and takes less time.
Read on to find out the five things that successful travel writers do.