All Posts in Category: The Writing
Our Last Holiday Special Offer…An Opportunity to Be the First to Access Our Newest Way to View All Our Resources: Webinars, the Travel Magazine Database, and Our Q&A Library for Coaching Students
Today’s holiday trivia: While king’s cake or Gateau des Rois has becoming associated with North and South American Mardi Gras festivities, it was originally consumed on Twelfth Night, the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. Each cake, or pudding in the case of Britain, had a bean or charm baked in. Whoever found it–assuming they didn’t choke on it–was said to be blessed with good luck for the year ahead.
We’ve let you know for months this was coming, and now it’s finally here!
If your circumstances–time-wise, financial, or just not being ready quite yet to pull the trigger and dive headlong into travel writing–make it so that our coaching programs aren’t the best option for you right now, but you follow our webinars and new magazines in the Travel Magazine Database, we’ve got something that might be just what you need for where you are right now.
For Today’s Holiday Special, We’ve Put Together a Package of One-of-One Support to Completely Transform You as a Travel Writer in an Incredible One-Time Special
Today’s holiday trivia: It seems like we’ve totally missed the mark on Christmas by running our 12-day special a week late this year, but today is actually the official Christmas Day in more thank 15 countries, including Greece, Egypt, Russia, Ethiopia, Greece, and Bulgaria. These countries follow the Ancient Roman Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. Russian Christmas is marked with a 12-course dinner centered on fish in honor of the 12 apostles, while Greeks use a sprig of basil rather than the European and American fir tree.
People often ask me which of our retreats is my favorite.
They’re all so different–from the people to the programs–that I say it’s like the favorite child dilemma.
But since our first week-long Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp, I have to say, there is a certain child that I favor. Having the opportunity to spend a week together digging in and making deep progress throughout the week felt special on its own, but the last 24 hours of the retreat were what sealed it for me.
When you hear the term essay, similar to the even more antiquated concept of a “composition,” you likely think back to your school days more quickly than your bank account.
Especially if the phrase used is “personal essay,” which fills an alarming number of people with dread.
The thing is, many of you are incredibly acquainted, both as readers and as writers, with the personal essays, just under a different name: blog posts.
Before I left the 9-to-5 world to freelance, I had several jobs that required editing publications, from letter-length to book-length with lots of magazines and printed newsletters in between, but that type of work stopped sparking for me after a few years.
A lot of editors (the ones you really want to work in particular) get a really high from perfecting a piece of writing–taking what the write meant to say and making it indelibly clear for the reader.
When discussions of grammar and style arise among writers, it is very rarely with that same verve, that sparkle with which editors discuss it. And, more often than not, it’s because writers misunderstand its purpose.
A+ grammar and crystal clear style is not intended to drown out your voice or make your writing sound just like everything else out there.
Quite the opposite.
I often find it quite comical that my job is (and was for several years even before I was a freelancer) to be a paid writer in English.
While I am a native English speaker, my degree is in Italian language and literature, and I had originally planned to become an Italian professor, so even when I started writing professionally in my pre-freelance full-time job, I didn’t immerse myself in the tenants of journalism, its writing style, or its specific stylistic rules.
Many of you tell me that you are in similar situations with your own transition to freelance travel writing. Your prior experience is in an area so divergent (science or technical writing, law, engineering and the like come up often) from mainstream journalism that you feel as if you’re coming from another language, even if it is English.
A little while back, someone wrote me a question for the Monday Mailbag series that I wasn’t quite sure how to answer: what are some great examples of company content marketing writing (particularly blogs) and magazine articles?
Hard to answer, not because I haven’t seen them, but because there are so many!
We’ve been talking in the past few weeks about how the best-paid travel writing gigs are typically not advertised, but you can find them or create them for yourself with some very easy online research.
But my absolute favorite–in terms of the type of writing as well as the pay–type of blogging for travel businesses is hiding in a completely different way. It’s not just that it’s not advertised. You
It’s not just that it’s not advertised. You shouldn’t even be able to tell that freelancers are writing these blog posts at all.
We all write online, right?
We write social media posts. We write blog posts. We write for other people’s websites (whether for pay or as a guest post).
On our blogs, voice matters. The “product” you’re selling (whether to advertisers, those providing free trips, or other types of sponsors) is often eye balls. And your voice and other unique aspects of your style are what distinguishes you in that race for eyeballs.
On travel company websites, the product is what they’re selling. It’s laid out there in black and white. Tours, safaris, hotel rooms, you name it.
With tourism boards, they’re selling a destination, its hotel rooms, its restaurants and its experiences.
The words are not the product.
There are a lot of changes coming to our at-home programs–the versions of our live events, like Pitchapalooza, that take place over several weeks that you do from home rather than our location in the Catskills.
- major changes coming to ensure participants participate and finish their programs
- moving to a university-like model in many ways–your lessons and homework are when they are, and they’re due when they’re do–to move further away from the issues with online courses that people never finish
- new TravelContentCon and IdeaFest programs on the horizon
- IdeaFest (live or at-home) will now be a prerequisite Pitchapalooza (live or at-home)
- groups will be smaller and prices for some programs will change, but there will be much more personal attention as a result (in some cases more similar to a limited-term intensive coaching program, like at the retreats) and it will allow me to even run programs with just three people at a time if that’s who we have at that time (see–extra personal attention!)
- participation in group discussions (on a discussion platform for pitch- and idea-related programs or in group calls for TravelContentCon) will be a core component as it is essential to success–MFA programs are based on group critique sessions for a reason Read More
In the first webinar in our series on conducting interviews that take your stories to the next level, I talked about the very first interview that I ever did for my first blog with the editor of mega food website Epicurious.
At the time, to prepare for the interview, I read articles on tons of general journalism websites about how to prepare interview questions, and I dutifully wrote, re-wrote, re-worded, scraped, re-wrote, and re-worded all of my questions until I was sure I had the perfect set.
But when I was doing the actual interview, it lacked energy, connection, and opportunities to get great quotes because I was so focused on my prepared questions.