So You Want to Be a Travel Writer

For many people, travel writing might seem like the ideal job. You get to explore the world, for one thing, which is something that most of us would be glad of. But you will also be able to earn money as you go by writing about the places you are seeing. If you are a writer or a similar creative with a real wanderlust, then there might seem to be nothing better. Of course, you will need to make sure that you are aware of how to actually land such a job, and that is not necessarily going to happen overnight. But in this article we will take a look at some of the steps you will need to take, and the considerations you will need to make, in order to make this career type a little more likely.

The Importance Of Reading

It’s important to remember that you have to read if you want to be a writer. In fact, you really can’t ignore this at all, and it is something that you are going to have to consider if you want to become a travel writer too. In short, you should be reading as much travel writing as you possibly can. The more examples of this you come across, the more likely it is that you will understand what is really needed from a piece of travel writing and how you might need to approach it.

When you read, make sure that you are actively reading as a writer, not just as a reader. Look at what the writer is actually doing, and make sure that you are fully aware of the implications and examples of their writing, in such a way that you can then naturally follow from it in your own work. If nothing else, this will start to give you a stronger sense of what kind of work is currently out there – and what has come before, as reading past travel writing is also going to be very important too. The more widely you read, the better your preparation for your writing career.

Decide On Your Form

Just saying that you want to be a travel writer is actually not really saying much. There are so many kinds of travel writing out there, and you are going to have to decide on which is suitable for you and which you would like to get involved in. You could find yourself writing guidebooks, first-person features, narratives, practical articles or even novels inspired by the places you are traveling. It’s all up to you, but you should be aware of the different demands of these forms and what you can do to make sure that you are aware of which form is best for you to use. You might even find that you play around with a few of them along the way, and that is often a good way to appreciate what you are going to want to do in the long run.

The Freelance Life

Of course, working in this way is going to constitute freelance work, and you need to make sure that you are going to be able to have that kind of lifestyle. To succeed in any freelance sense, you need to make sure that you have the necessary self-encouragement, and that you persist with things as much as necessary in order to keep on going. You might sometimes struggle to make it all come together, and that is just a part of it, but by degrees you will need to learn how to push through and carry on writing anyway. At the same time, you have to learn how to find ideas and pitch them to potential clients, and to keep yourself going out there into the world literally and also metaphorically and showing people your work.

There are many other aspects to the freelance life too, many of which we will look at below. But the more you research it, the more ready you are going to be for it, and that will mean that you can probably get a lot more out of it generally. That is going to be important if you are keen to be a travel writer, so it is absolutely something to think about here.

Blogging As A Springboard

Most travel writers today get started by writing a blog, and you are probably going to want to consider this too. Blogging is a very good way to start out, and for a number of reasons. For one thing, it is just great practice for the act of travel writing itself. You can simply go away somewhere and start writing, and in the process you will be learning much about the craft itself. Blogging also helps you to develop an audience, to work out who you are writing for and to get people interested in your work in such a way that you are going to gain a following, even if it only happens slowly and by degrees. Blogging can therefore be a reliable springboard into other kinds of work, and you should absolutely start blogging as soon as you can if you want to be a travel writer. If you are wondering what to blog about, just start by writing travel pieces based on where you have already been – or even just your local area.

Getting Published

The big goal of any starting writer is to try and get published in some place or other. There are many places you can look to as a travel writer in order to try and get published, and you are going to want to think about some of the best places out there. That means researching the marketplace and being aware of the kind of magazines, ezines and other publications that you might have a chance with. You should aim high and try for some of the bigger and more important places, but you should also think about whether you might want to try a few smaller ones first too. If you can take this double-pronged approach, you should find that you generally have more luck, and you’ll get published a lot sooner.

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Traveling Well

Because you are going to be traveling the world as a freelancer, you need to make sure that you are doing so in the best way possible. You might well be asking what that means, but mostly it is a case of ensuring that you know how to travel so as to cause yourself the fewest problems along the way. Much of this is the kind of stuff that you are just going to pick up on over time, but it is a good idea to try and be aware of it all so that you can work towards a better way of traveling soon enough. For instance, you will generally need to be contactable by people who might need to speak with you – whether friends and family or professional contacts you might need to be involved with. So you will need to make sure that you have a decent mobile phone and that you are using a good network which has a good data package for the internet. Look at this SMARTY network review for some idea of the kind of thing you might want.

With a good data package, you can be sure that you are going to be contactable via email too. Besides, as a freelancer you will find the internet is essential, and this way you can use your phone as a tethering hotspot for your laptop, and gain access to the internet on your laptop even if there is no wifi where you happen to be. That is going to be very helpful indeed.

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green and white tents near trees

Image Credit – CCO Licence

You also need to think about what you really need to pack and what you could probably leave behind, which is a decision that many people struggle with for understandable reasons. No matter where it is that you might be travelling, you will probably find that it is a good idea to travel light, so that is something that you will want to think about most of all. Consider that, and you should find that you are going to have a much better time travelling, with a lot less stress, and that you can move around much more easily too, which is certainly going to be helpful.

Traveling well in these more conventional ways is certainly going to make a difference to your career as a travel writer, so be sure not to overlook them. If that happens, then you might find yourself struggling to make the whole career work, and clearly that is going to be a real shame.

As you can see, there is a lot involved in becoming a travel writer, but it is all manageable and doable, and it is something you should consider if it is the kind of career that is calling you. You just might find that you can get what you want out of this more than any other calling.

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