The Six-Figure Travel Writer

All Posts in Category: Traveling

Join Us This Week for Free Travel Writing Classes on Successful Interview Secrets and Putting Together a News Brief

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.

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Can I Pick Up a Gift for You on My Next Trip?

When I’m traveling, I can’t help but wander into stores with lovely things and then try to think of a purpose for explaining purchasing things that catch my eye.

Museum gift shops with jewelry from local artists and finely-bound notebooks adorned with famous works of art.

Shops focusing on local handicrafts where the goods bear tags talking about the life of the woman who created the shawl or bowl or bracelet and how her work has changed conditions for her family.

And, particularly, groceries and small food producers whose every handmade product has a deep story not only of the person’s obsession with making the perfect chocolate bonbon or cassis wine, but also the history of the provision itself, along with its cultural significance.

When I go on press trips, and someone has told us their story, given us their wares to sample, and, most importantly, set aside their precious business-owner time to focus on us, the compulsion to pick up something that I’m already eyeing is basically incontestable.

As a travel writer, you can always say that such browsing is for research, but for me, it’s more.

I’m pretty nomadic, my husband is based in a normal-sized apartment…for New York (like 600 square feet is quite good/decent), and we’re not big into stuff anyway, so I’m usually not looking for things to buy for myself.

I just love giving gifts.

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Join Us This Week for Free Travel Writing Classes on Landing Press Trips and Working with Magazines

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.

Read More

Join Us at Early-Bird Prices for Our Winter Retreats to Up Your Skills, Surround Yourself with Other Hard-Working Travel Writers, and Spend the Winter Somewhere Cozy

Our retreats at our private location in New York’s Catskill mountains are not conferences. They aren’t workshops. And they aren’t classes. They’re retreats.

We’ve decked out the space with everything you need to get your focused-writer on, including:

  • workplaces for all moods, from desks with huge windows looking out on nature to comfy, sink-in chairs for snuggling in to couches piled with pillows and blankets (hey, it’s winter!) and an actual pub
  • thousands of magazines to get your pitch-idea juices flowing and inspire you with top-tier writing
  • hundreds of books on the craft and commerce of writing along with the tomes from the top travel writers in the world to help un-stick your writers block
  • all of the coffee, espresso, and tea

And you experience all of those things whenever you want on your own with our Creative Residency Program.

So when we do a retreat, we kick things up the personalization in five big ways:

  1. All of our retreat content is focused on exactly where you are. I literally present the programs differently each and every time, taking into account the skill and travel knowledge backgrounds of each individual present that week or weekend.
  2. Our retreats are kept uber-small so it’s not possible for you to get lost along the way. This group size allows me to constantly check in that the concepts we’re discussing are hitting home with each and every person there, and revisit, re-explain, or further break things down so that each person moves through the content with the group. No writer left behind.
  3. You get one-on-one time to dig really deep down into what YOU are stuck on. In each of our weekend and week-long retreats, you get one-on-one time (typically two one-on-one) to make massive progress quickly, in the middle of our educational content, so that we can slough off wherever you’re stuck and get you charging through to completing your goal for the week or weekend.
  4. We focus on the experiential. As we move through the information covered in each event–whether focused on building your business, working with magazines, learning how to be a travel writing in the field, or building your own travel content marketing gigs–we heavily alternate between hearing, doing, and discussing. In medical school, they have an maxim, “See one; do one; teach one,” that allows them to level up their students quickly through difficult tasks, and we give it the travel writing treatment. If I were to just teach you what to do and let you go home and (hopefully find the time and then) try it, you would never making nearly as much progress, if any at all, as you do by hunkering down to give something a try right away and then discussing what did and didn’t work and why so you’re prepared and patterned with how to do something the right way when you do get home.
  5. You learn from a multitude of experiences. While we alternate learning by knowledge acquisition (listening) and learning by doing (exercises), the sharing time our small group size allows is also a crucial part of expanding your horizons and sparking new ideas. As you listen to how your peers have dug differently into the exercises based on their life, work, and travel backgrounds, your pre-conceptions about how things should or need to be done will naturally expand, showing you more ideas for yourself that fit you.

We’ve currently got early-bird pricing (more than 25% off!) for four of our events coming up this winter.

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What “Impossible” Things Can You Do Next Month?

What do you tell yourself is impossible?

I don’t mean the quite difficult things, like base jumping, becoming a competition-level ballroom dancer, or learning a new language in one week.

I’m wondering more about the things that you just don’t allow yourself to imagine as possibilities.

Sometimes they hide in the places we haven’t travel, the activities we haven’t done, or the way we describe ourselves.

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Need a Getaway to Get Things Done? Summer and Fall Catskills Writing Residency Dates Available!

If you have never tried it, the short-term (s*ht gets done) and long-term (you can 30,000-foot perspective on how you spend your time and what you’re really doing with your travel writing) benefits of taking an individual writer’s retreat are addicting.

At a conference recently, I heard author, restaurateur and actor Madhur Jaffrey explaining that she doesn’t know how her recent book would have gotten done if she hadn’t spent a week more or less in bed surrounded by papers working and sleeping in equal fits, problems immersed in the text of her project.

But even if you’re not working on something on the scale of a book currently, a residency can also guide you to what it is you should be investing your time in more deeply, as this peek at the famed MacDowell residency explores:

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When You’re Not Getting Things Done, You Are Doing *Something*–What Is It?

When I first started coaching, running events, corralling writers for a website, and interviewing a lot of people for positions in a short period of time, I felt like a high school teacher.

I was receiving excuses right and left, insignificant and grave, for all sorts of things.

Event space managers delay getting me contracts because they’re sick (and apparently have no one else in the office of the major hotel they work at?), sponsorship chairs for conferences aren’t available to get me a sponsorship contract for months, and writers get me overdue in two weeks rather than two days because… well, I don’t think they actually even bother to explain themselves (and correspondingly aren’t due to be receiving any new assignments).

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Is Working on a Guidebook Really as Hard as It’s Made Out to Be?

When The Six-Figure Travel Writing Road Map first came out, weighing in at more than a pound and featuring nearly 400 pages covering every facet of the travel writing life from the schedule to the rates, the negotiating tactics to lists of hundreds and hundreds of magazines to target, and templates for everything from pitches to mapping out your best writing hours, a lot of people asked me how long it took to write.

Typically, these people were:
(a) not full-time writers, and/or
(b) not people who had ever written a book-length work

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Making Your Story About the Journey Rather than the Destination is a Easy Trick for Successful Pitching

I’ve been in a travel writing conference for the last couple days observing something very curious throughout the keynotes.

Both keynotes—one by Don George, who was formerly travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and Lonely Planet’s annual travel writing short story anthologies, and another by Spud Hilton, the current travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, who has won an obscene number of top travel writing awards in that position—focused on storytelling.

Each keynote was excellent, composed of a heavy dose of first-person experience layered with specific, well-articulated and vitally important tips of how to completely overhaul your stories for the better.

But at the end of both keynotes, both speakers were asked nearly identical questions along the lines of:

That all sounds great, but who is really publishing narrative stories like that right now? No one really wants to publish stories about the writer’s experiences with other cultures.

After this question, in both cases, a very curious thing happened.

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