Three tips to inspire travel writing success
I attended the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in September 2014; the year prior, I purchased the at-home version of the workshop (and attended the Ultimate Money-Making Photography workshop).
This was all in preparation for a year-long self-guided photographic round-the-world journey, and I knew I had to get myself tapped into the know-how for travel writing, as this is what I wanted to be doing alongside my photography.
A month after attending the workshop, I was able to apply what I learned.
I went to New York City for the tenth time, and from that visit I was certain, after listening to Jen and Kyle’s advice at the conference, that I had a publishable idea.
It was a particularly timely and newsworthy idea, so I chose to send my queries to multiple publications (approximately 10) all at the same time.
I researched and submitted to magazines and newspapers primarily based in or focused on New York and some in-flight magazines. I also reached out to a few publications in Ontario near my hometown.
The magazine that ended up publishing my story is Canadian Traveller — which was perfect for me, seeing as I am a Canadian Traveller and am currently on a round-the-world journey! I don’t think there could have been a better fit.
To keep myself organized with submissions, I made up a chart, which included:
The publications where I sent my queries…
Publication contact information…
A brief description of the publication’s specialty…
A link to their writers’ guidelines…
Why my story was a good fit for their publication…
The dates I sent out my queries…
And the responses (and dates) received (or not).
None of the 10 responded right away but I was patient and respectful of the editors’ time.
I followed up with all of the publications within 3-4 weeks of my initial query. And eventually Canadian Traveller responded and my story with photos appeared in their March/Spring issue.
My best advice for others looking for travel writing success includes…
Be consistent. Create a space and set some time aside on a regular basis that is free from distraction, where you can focus solely on being productive (writing, research, queries). Focus on one subject or task at a time. Do not check your email, turn off your ringer, and even disconnect the Internet if you have to. In all honesty, this is my very biggest challenge that I have yet to overcome, and I think practicing some discipline is among the most important advice I can give.
Treat yourself as a professional. Introduce yourself as a freelance travel writer/photographer and definitely have a business card on hand (a website or blog certainly helps). Become a member of ITWPA (and other relevant associations); this gives you some credibility as a travel writer/photographer. Always write your queries as if your query was going to be posted on the Internet (it happened to me!)
Invest in yourself (time, workshops, tools). If you don’t, others will unlikely invest in you. Great Escape Publishing offers several key workshops that will set you up for success, but you have to be willing to make the investment in yourself.
I am now into my third month of traveling around the world, having the time of my life. If you’d like to join me on my journey, visit my blog or Facebook page.
You can live vicariously through me by signing up for my blog or you can create this kind of life for yourself. Just get out of bed and make it a priority. The sky’s the limit.