How to Become a Travel Writer
There are hundreds of travel writers out there, it will not be easy for you to make a mark, unless you are different. Reading the works of great travel writers and getting inspired by them is not a bad thing, but you should not copy their style and their approach. The world is tired of cliches, it needs something new. Remember, greatness is not achieved through following, it is achieved through leading, and to lead you need to choose your own path, you need to have your own style, your own approach!
Being a travel writer can be exacting. You must realize that you will not be the first one in a long line, flights will not arrive on time for you, every hotel will not have a room for you, and you may not be able to make a living out of your work (until you are established). So, you should be prepared mentally and physically before you begin your quest to explore the world. You can also register to a few travel writing training programs, they will help you meliorate your writing skills.
Visit Vs. Explore
When you write a travel guide, you should remember that you are not the subject in your guide! You should always focus on the place that you are exploring. What is the difference between visiting a place and exploring it? The answer is very simple, when you visit a place you ask the question ‘where to go?’ and when you explore, you ask ‘why to go there?’. Your work should not turn out to be just a map which shows directions, it should explain why you chose a specific direction. If you are not curious while traveling, you will never have something new for your readers.
I believe that every individual has a unique style of writing which his inspirations obscure. Once you have identified your style, here are a few tips that will help you achieve success:
- Dare to have a different approach. A place might be visited by thousands of writers, but it will still have an untold story.
- Avoid ultra long personal stories, be concise! Frankly speaking, no one really has the time to read hundreds of pages to know why did you like the coffee in some remote coffee shop!
- Do not neglect grammar and punctuations. Your reputation as a writer will suffer, if you have grammatical mistakes.
When I say ‘market yourself’, I do not mean that you write a self-centered escapade, that glorifies you! I mean that, you should take efforts to promote your work. You should have a good social network. You should make use of blogs, and popular social networking sites to promote your work. Try to establish contact with major publications. Once your work gets published in a big magazine, there is no stopping you (if you keep up the good work)!
If you are proficient, you will never be out of work, as there are innumerable places in this world which are waiting to be explored. It would be great if you receive a five-figure compensation for your work, but that will happen once you have become popular. Initially you might get a few hundred dollars per article.
Remember, you will take time to become Richard Halliburton, so do not expect any miracles right after your first work is published. There are many travel writers who say that this is the best job in the world, if you are passionate about traveling, let me tell you that they are not lying. If you love traveling, you will love this job!