From Health Care Professional to Travel Writer
LA: Before we get started, Wendy, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
WENDY: For over 15 years, I was a health care administrator overseeing a large network of medical clinics. Then two years ago I became a victim of downsizing, but a generous severance allowed me to pursue other career options.
A friend from Sioux City, Iowa, told me how she got started in copywriting. We talked about my love of travel and my dabbling in writing (mostly journals from trips) and she suggested I look into the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Course. I was impressed by the content and enrolled last fall.
LA: You recently wrote me and said that you’ve had some success getting published. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
WENDY: “The Traveler” is publishing at least three of my articles, “Trips and Journeys” has accepted another one. The editor of a new magazine, “Siouxland Lifestyle” liked my first article and now I’m a “regular.” And another online magazine has just accepted a story I submitted through the travel writing course’s critiquing program.
The great feedback I got from the Travel Writing course made my success possible — as did organizations like AWAI, NAWW, and Writers Weekly. Through them I found contact details for a number of online magazines and started emailing articles and queries to all sorts of places. The feedback was definitely positive, and I’m now a regular paid contributor to several magazines.
LA: What part of the written course did you find most helpful?
WENDY: The exercises and the written feedback. Some of the exercises just make you think clearly and others forced you to use appropriate words and cut out the unnecessary padding. The feedback from the course was terrific. It gave me hope, but also highlighted areas that needed work. That encouragement stopped me from giving up and kept me keen to continue.
LA: What advice would you give to new students who haven’t yet had an article published?
WENDY: It’s vital to finish the course once you’ve started. Then read and reread all of the feedback you get.
Keep writing. Don’t be afraid to write and rewrite articles. I also encourage you to get support of somebody close to you. My friend in Sioux City has been invaluable in helping me get started… and keeping my enthusiasm going.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]