“Travel Writing 101” is the third book in James Durston’s series Travel Write Earn. He gathered a group of 30 editors and writers (myself included) to write about the career of travel writing, personal examples included.
“So, how did you get into travel writing?”
Ninety-nine percent of the times someone asks me that, they’re only interested in the tip of the iceberg: fame, success, money, traveling with all expenses paid, “living the life”.
Most people who want to get into travel writing is because they’ve seen countless photos of barefoot, tanned digital nomads, typing away on their laptops at the beach. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is no such thing as an overnight success.
Then there’s a smaller percentage of wannabe travel writers who genuinely want to know what’s below the tip of the iceberg. Writing engaging and meaningful content, sometimes in a foreign language that’s not their mother tongue, without even knowing if there is someone reading it on the other side.
That was me.
In many ways, that’s still me sometimes.
I write for you. That one person(a) I conjured in the back of my mind, that reads every word I put out. Every day I’m humbled and honored that you actually exist and that you respond to what I write.
But in the first couple of years of my writing career, the path was pretty lonely. And there were many times I had no idea what the fork I was doing. (I apologize, but I’m writing this in-between binge-watching The Good Place on Netflix).
Despite it all, I continued to write. Because when you know, you know. And by the way, no one is great at something the minute they’re born. It’s the old you gotta crawl before you learn to walk thing.
I don’t remember exactly when my online path cross with James Durston’s, nor if it was before or after I read his book “Why Editors Don’t Reply”. I do know reading this book gave me the “duh!” moment no one else did.
So James had this crazy idea of opening a call for a collaborative book where a bunch of professional writers and editors would share the bottom of the iceberg part of travel writing. I jumped in headfirst and pitched an article on authenticity – why it’s important and how to do it.
Spoiler alert: travel writing is a job. You have to work. Yes, doing what you love is awesome but sometimes it’s not. Like. Literally. Any. Job.
Who’s this book for?
For anyone who wants to start a career in travel writing but needs to see the big picture first.
(Oh how I urge you to see the big picture first!)
There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, sorry to burst your bubble. But, you can follow a blueprint and add your personality to it. I mean, a building will always have walls, a floor, and a roof, right?
Here’s a list of the topics we cover in the book:
- Niche Writing And Finding Ideas
- How To Write With Meaning, Impact and Personality
- Fees, Finances And The Business Of Writing
- Relationships And Client Management
- Pitching, Credentials And The Sell
- Blogging And Social Media
The book is available on Amazon, paperback (available from March 1st) and ebook versions. If you want to start a career in travel writing or know someone who does (or know someone who should but hasn’t realized it yet), this book is for you.