You love to travel and explore new places, but you hate when the trip ends. You can write about your experiences and relive them while sharing the excitement with others! Read these ten tips on how to become a successful travel writer.
1. Travel Purposefully.
If you want to write about your travels, you can’t just relax and ignore your surroundings. Travel purposefully. Enjoy every moment of your trip. Take it all in – you can still enjoy yourself, but notice things! Make notes at night of what you saw and how it made you feel. Write as vividly as you can, so when you re-read your notes later, you can remember more. This will help you write engaging articles for your readers.
Travel writing is a major genre! Look up travel writers and read their books. Find columns online. Read travel blogs. See what is working and what might be your style. The more you read, the better your writing will be!
Sit down and write. Refer to the notes you made while you were on your trip. It might seem intimidating at first, but sit down and write a first draft. It can be bad; no one has to see it! The more you practice, meaning the more pieces you write, the better your writing will get. Most travel writers have a background in English or journalism, but even if you don’t, practice will make you better.
4. Find Your Genre.
You’ve read a variety of travel books and blogs, and you’ve written your first draft. What do you think your genre is? Are your pieces humorous? Do you focus on the setting, using descriptive words to paint a picture? Do you explain the attractions you saw, or how you set up your accommodations? You can be a serious travel writer, writing pieces for blogs that help people plan their own travel adventures. Or you could write about your experiences in a way that people enjoy reading. Explore what you enjoy reading and writing most, and then pick your genre. Having a specific niche will help you while you’re submitting.
5. Revise. Harshly.
You have a first draft, which is a good starting point, but you’re far from done. Take some time away, then read over your work. You’ve taken a bit of time away from the writing, so you’re looking at it with semi-fresh eyes. Are there typos? Can you re-word some of the sentences to make the piece flow better? Did you think of some details to add to round out your writing? Don’t be easy on yourself – you might have to re-write the whole thing! It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer; in fact, it’s the opposite! You realize that your writing needs work, and you’re able to fix it! There will be a point where you have to stop revising in order to move on with your work, but make sure it’s as polished as it can be.
6. Share Your Work.
It’s hard to criticize your own work sometimes because you’re so close to it. Your story is your baby, and you feel protective over your writing. You’ve written a draft, you’ve revised it and polished it until it shines. Now it’s time to share! It might be scary to let people read your personal thoughts, but let some trusted family members or friends read your piece. Listen to their comments and edit your piece accordingly. These people represent your readers, and if they say something isn’t clear, or want more details about a certain attraction, you definitely want to add it in.
7. Develop an Online Presence.
You’ve been writing and you’ve gotten feedback and you’ve made some edits. You’re ready to put yourself out there! Develop an online presence so people can find you and read your work. Do you want to keep a blog? Start one! They’re easy and fun – but be careful posting pieces you want to submit to magazines or journals. Some have rules about submitting things that have been previously published, even if it’s just an online blog. Make profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and more. Be easy to find, but make sure your profile is professional. Engage with other travel writers on these sites – they’ll more than likely be your readers and cheerleaders! Be friendly and approachable and you’ll help grow your audience.
8. Submit Your Piece.
Research journals and magazines you’d want to be published in. Look up their submission guidelines and follow them carefully – some mistakes might get your piece thrown out of the running before it even gets to an editor!
9. Accept Rejections.
You might not get published the first time. Or the second. Or the third… You can look up now-famous writers and see how many rejections they got at the start. Don’t let it get you down. Did the editor give you notes? If so, make those changes. Did they encourage you to re-submit, or submit different pieces later? Use rejections to push yourself to work harder.
10. Don’t Give Up!
You’re not going to become a success overnight. Don’t give up! Keep writing, revising, sharing, and submitting. Tune in to your social network of friends and fellow writers and find support and tips there. The harder you work, the better you’re going to get. Work for it, and you’ll feel content with how your travel writing career is progressing.