Sunday, April 12, 2009

Travel Writing

I'm currently awaiting approval on doing some freelance writing about my trip to Europe. This could take the form of blogging, article wrtiing, or a book ("Travel Tips for 40-Year-Old Single Space Geeks Who Don't Live With Their Parents"--that's got to be one HECK of a niche market!). Or I could do all three. Being the thorough guy I am, I need to do a little research before just jumping in, so here are some of the items I've found through judicious Googling:

  • Here's a useful one: The Seven Myths of Being a Travel Writer (Myth #1: Travel Writers Make Enough to Live On." Ha!).
  • Cristina, an actual travel writer I "met" on, suggested BootsnAll. That might be my first stop.
  • also has a course in this business. Maybe I'd be better off with a book. I have an advantage, in that I'm a published writer, albeit in a different genre, space reporting and blogging. Theoretically, I recognize a good story and can pitch it well. If not, I'm in serious trouble. And I own a decent Canon camera. That's got to help, right? Right. But I should probably seriously rethink that whole space-geek angle.
  • Frommer's with some more advice to aspiring travel writers (hint: marry rich and don't quit your day job).
  • An article on how to come up with travel writing ideas.
  • Birth of a Freelance Writer Abroad. Up-front message: "Freelance travel writing will not make you rich." Starting to hear a theme here? Fortunately, I got that advice early when I originally had it in my head that I could/should be a science fiction writer. Never did do that, but I haven't quit my day job to do space nonfiction writing, either. The best bet, in my humble estimation, is to get some small writing credits, build up a good portfolio of "stuff," and hope that eventually you get enough stuff in your head to write a really cool, unique book that WILL sell.
  • What is travel writing? (Do I really need to ask this?)
  • Ah, here we are...books....
  • The Travel Writer's Handbook: How to Write - and Sell - Your Own Travel Experiences by Louise Purwin Zobel. Five stars from Amazon.
  • Travel Writing (How To) by Janet Austin. Four stars.
  • Travel Writer's Guide by Gordon Burgett. Four and a half stars.
  • Spirit of Place: The Art of the Travelling Photographer by Bob Krist. Another 4.5 stars. This would probably be a nice companion to the Zobel book.

Okay, so I have some more self-educating to do. I could always try to write about developments in space from the European perspective (kidding!) or Euro-politics, which is more my style. Of course I'm there to vacation and relax, right? Perhaps I'd be better off if I just scribbled in the journal, live life, and see what comes to my mind after three weeks. Still, a little reimbursement from the trip would be nice...

1 comment:

Tamara D Hanson said...

Interesting links. Thanks for sharing. I am taking on online class now about the craft of magazine writing. I've found the only kind of articles that I want to write are about travel. I am hoping to write a story on the Military Tatoo in Scotland. I can't wait to see it.