Want to Know What’s Going on in the World of Magazines Every Week? Check Out Our New Weekly Magazine News-Letter
We spend a lot of time with magazines.
Every week, we’re doing in-depth reviews of magazines to spot changes to be made in our Travel Magazine Database, deep diving on magazine sections open to freelances to create target pitch lists with members of our IdeaFest program, and talking through specific pitches and how they fit magazines or have been received by editors with folks on coaching calls.
When I’m in my own apartment home from a trip, I’m awash in magazines we’ve ordered for review for up-to-date-ness for the database or that I keep subscriptions of to stay on top of trends.
And when I’m at the retreat house teaching, there are literally thousands of magazines in our on-site magazine library. People bury themselves in stacks of ones they want to get to know.
But while we live and breathe magazines, you have got a lot of other work on your plate! I know it’s not easy to take time out of your workload of the work that pays the bills to get to know the magazines you might prefer were the writing work paying your bills.
We’ve got you.
What is up with the mismatches between our to-do lists or our goals and what we actually spend our time doing?
I personally hate when I get to the end of a day or week, look at my three MITs (“most important tasks”) and find that I didn’t do them, because I did other things that matter that I’m glad that I got done.
On most occasions, I don’t regret swapping the goal line, and I’m happy with the things that did get done as they were necessary, but there’s feel this twinge like, “Why couldn’t I forecast this better? Why is it so hard to know what the right things are at the beginning of the week?”
It’s typically much easier to see these situations with some clarity when they happen to someone else, though, am I right?
In the two years since we began running regular one-hour travel writing classes, we’ve covered more than 80 topics, including:
- how to land free trips
- how to get paid really, really well for your writing
- how to get on magazine editors’ good sides
- how to navigate every step of the process to land travel content marketing work, including phone calls and proposals
- how to keep your hourly rate down so your bank account goes up
- how to get work done on the road
- how to write, step-by-step, 15 different types of travel articles
- how to land guidebook and other traditional publishing deals
You can grab access to all of our past webinars (and a ton of other resources you can’t find anywhere else) with a subscription to our Dream Buffet or grab them one-by-one when you need them in our On-Demand Webinar Library for a set with the video, audio, transcript, and slides.
But we also air a free replay of one of our travel writing classes each and every weekday.
The Ben Stiller-directed “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” came out in 2013. Instagram hit the scene in late 2010.
Watching the film today, the cinematography oozes shots that we now think of as Instagram tropes: packing flat-lays, travelers in profile walking in front of brilliantly painted walls, a lone traveler in a long shot on an otherwise empty road. Just cue the overlaid text of the Robert Frost poem.
On Sunday night, however, we knew that “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was just what we needed.
Welcome to the Friday Freebie Five, a new weekly feature on Dream of Travel Writing’s Six Figure Travel Writer blog.
Each week, we comb our Travel Magazine Database to bring you five magazine sections open to freelancers around a theme–front-of-book trend pieces, long-form first-person features, short narrative postcards–to inspire your pitches.
“Four Ways” details four ways to experience a city as a different type of person, for example a foodie, a music lover, an active traveler, and a history fan. For each section, the subheadings of “Where to Stay,” “What to Do,” and “What to Eat” are found with one recommendation for each. It’s written in second person and is about 1,000 words long with each recommendation giving a short description of the place. The 20-word sidebar of “Getting There” is also found which highlights flight details from Canada with WestJet. This section can sometimes appear as “Two Ways” giving two ways to experience a city. Examples include Ottawa, covering active travelers, culture lovers, foodies, and politics fans; Chicago as a food lover, wellness seeker, baseball fan, and travelers looking for style; and Nashville, with recommendations for foodies, music fans, hipsters, and history fans.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, armed with thermoses of freshly-brewed espresso and milk from local farms, cups of housemade yogurt and plum preserves, and slices of walnut-studded fresh sourdough smearer with spiced maple plum better, we began.
On a mountain ledge, looking out over the plains between the famous rock climbing cliffs of the Shawangunk and the Hudson River, we began clarify how to determine the values that direct us which decision to take in every situation before moving into describing our most ideal work environment and brainstorming what to do back at home to create it.
This was just the first morning’s activities of our new Detox + Reset program that we wrapped up this week.
Now that summer (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) has drawn to a close, people are wrapping up their last sun-seeking vacations and getting down to business both for the fall and the year ahead.
I’m not just talking about us writers–I mean editors.
Particularly those New York and London major-pub editors, who may have been catching the summer scene at an acquaintance’s place for the summer holidays, are heading back to their desks, getting down to business, and catching up on emails and plans for 2020.
With the big-O year, major anniversaries, and the Japan Olympics on the horizon, editors have a lot of decisions to make about what they’ll cover next year.
Shouldn’t your stories get their best shot for consideration?
While reviewing pitches on a coaching call recently, I gushed at length to a writer I’ve been working with for probably about a year now about how commanding her “about me” or P3 of her pitch was.
She was pretty tickled about this, because she insisted she really hadn’t done anything different in it than the last few pitches she sent me.
I tried to hone in one what it was in the language that made confidence simply waft from the screen and realized that I didn’t even recognize a number of the places she had listed as her publication credits. That wasn’t “it”—there was still something buried in the language and syntax—but I exclaimed during my search that I didn’t even know she had placed stories in some of these outlets.
Want to Hit the Ground Running with Travel Content Marketing? Check Out Our New Series on Perfecting Your Cold Pitches
Sales. Ugh, right?
I know. I know. Everyone hates it.
The problem though with that situation though, is that sales, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means:
the exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.
So, if we want to have a writing business, or any kind of freelance business (the practice of making one’s living by engaging in commerce–again via Oxford), we’ve got to exchange some things for money.
For most writers, the question then becomes:
How can I get money without having to do the icky sales exchange bit?!
As I’ve been designing our new Travel Writers Detox + Reset retreat, I’ve been thinking about the topic of burnout.
The other side of this Janus coin is often thought to be balance, and I’ve seen a number of newsletters from freelancers and other online business owners recently concerning their struggles with this topic. Maybe it’s September sneaking up on us and reminding us that we’re now one an accelerating train headed for the holidays.
I’ve often seen, whether in my own life, something I’ve read, or conversations with others, that the opposite of burnout is something more akin to revitalization–rekindling your love for either what you’re already doing or something else entirely that is what really lights you up.