Saturday, August 16, 2008

How To Become a Travel Writer

A lot of people write me asking how to become a writer. There is an easy answer to that question. It is so simple that I used to stumble over the simplicity of it.

Writers read. Writers write.

My advice I routinely give is that over which I used to puzzle. But, do not miss the point here. If you want to learn to write then read everything in the genre which appeals to you. Read, read, and then re-read the great ones in your field.

I write primarily travel related pieces. The writer that I chose as my mentor is the travel writer, Bill Bryson. I have read and re-read everything that this man has ever written. And, I will read everything he continues to produce in the future. I not only enjoy his writing but apparently a great many people do too. He is a successful travel writer and that is why I read what he puts on paper.

I was actually a voice performance major at the University. I will never forget what my voice coach told me. He said that singing is 90% imitation and 10% original creativity-- at first.

What he meant is that when you are just starting out, find the masters and imitate what you hear in their voices.

I believe this to be true in all the arts. When you are a beginner, a hack, find those who are the best and imitate them. Do not copy them exactly, but seek to find out what they do that is great in their field and seek to do the same. Eventually that 10% originality will become 100% you.

Also, writers write.

I was told to write 1000 words of publishable material per day. I mean write something that is worth publishing each day and do no less than 1000 words. You may think this a lot. It isn't. But to practice tight writing pick some subject and write 1000 words a day. Do no more and no less. This will teach you to write something worthwhile daily and will teach you write tightly.

I deal with stress by finding the things in my day that flip me out and writing 1000 words about it. I am convinced that every single person who aspires to write can find loads of stuff in their days to do this exercise.

This exercise prepared me for writing 600 word op-ed pieces. If you can limit yourself to 1000 words on some subject you can start shaving it down to an op-ed size column.

Lastly, I have come across a small eBook that is worth taking a look at on travel writing. It is in the resource section below named, BECOME A TRAVEL WRITER.


Guanajuato, México--New Book offers survival tips in the Land of Frogs

Guanajuato, México – According to the 2000 Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, published by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service, an estimated 300,000 Americans would expatriate to other countries each year between 2000 and 2005. Some estimates predict the number will continue to increase each year after 2005. Americans are leaving the country in droves, most of whom settle in Mexico. The authors of The Plain Truth about Living in Mexico have written a new book targeting a specific area of Mexico where Americans are moving as expatriates, study abroad students, or retirees. This new book is titled, GUANAJUATO, MÉXICO: Your Expat, Study Abroad, and Vacation Survival Manual in the Land of Frogs.


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