All Posts in Category: Travel Writers
Welcome to a new feature here at Dream of Travel Writing–the Monday Mailbag! We often get questions from readers, folks in our accountability group, or coaching program members that we think would apply to a lot of you.
Now, with permission, agony-aunt-style, we’ll be sharing a new one with you each Monday. If you have a question you’d like to see included, please send it to us at questions [at] dreamoftravelwriting.com and make sure to include a line saying we have permission to reprint your question.
On to the tricky travel writing questions!
On the flight home from the North American installment of the TBEX travel blogging conference today, I reflected back on the big-picture, future-of-the-industry conversations I’d been having over the part few days with travel writing heavy hitters from Don George to Gary Arndt to Chris Christensen.
The redux version: in terms of opportunities, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a travel writer.
But there was something deeper that I noticed, a thread underpinning so many conversations I’ve had over the last few weeks both in my own Freelance Travel Writing Master Classes (which have been an amazing knowledge sharing opportunity for travel writing–both full-time and those on their way there–to see how other people approach this job) and in the conferences I’ve attended.
To get the ball rolling, I wanted to share words of wisdom on travel writing success from the writers who joined us in New York City for our first focus group this fall.
It’s been such a breath of fresh air to see more and more websites talking about six-figure freelance writing, and particularly six-figure travel writing, as a reality rather than a pipe dream, but I am still shocked by the various ways people who are not successful freelance writers deride the profession.
For the launch of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George, the book which celebrates not only his own career, but that of the American travel writer generally, the venerable Don George, editor of Lonely Planet’s annual travel anthologies and author of the seminal travel writing handbook Travel Writing: Expert Advice from the World’s Leading Travel Publisher, sat down with close friend, Jeff Greenwald, author of six books on his travel adventures and founder of EthicalTraveler.org, to talk about what it means to be a travel writer.
- how having other interests besides travel can give you a leg up breaking into travel writing
- why it’s important to write about those interests in a travel-related context, not just for magazines in those fields
- how easy it is to look at your own life and see what interests you can already mine
Today, I want to widen your view of what these travel research interests can be. We are looking at 10 real, working travel writers who aren’t the Tim Cahills or the folks who have necessarily written books on how to be a travel writer. They are just regular people who work with their stable of editors, pay their mortgages, and make a solid living travel writing.
All of the people who called themselves “travel writers” actually wrote about other things. In fact, many write about other things most of the time.
There was the woman who taught my 8-week Mediabistro bootcamp on how to be a travel writer. She primarily wrote about technology. You could actually call her more of an aspiring travel writer, honestly.
On this site, I’ll share not only my own travel writing experiences, but original case studies that I gather from other writers I know. Everyone from the retired couple eking by on a small but happy income in Nicaragua to the blogger making a name for herself after just a year. Also of the writers you never hear about that make a solid living writing regularly for a handful of top glossies to travel writing greats like Don George and Tim Cahill.
When I start any conversation with someone who wants to be a travel writer, or has been trying to make a career in travel writing for a while and isn’t getting any traction, first and foremost, I ask:
Why are you doing this in the first place?