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So You Want to Be a Travel Writer

By Charles Hopkins Published 09/20/2007 | Travel
There are few things more romantic than travel writing. The very sense of the job conjures exciting images of far-away places and exotic ports of call. However, there is much more than meets the eye to this fabulous career. Dont expect to hop the next plane, train, or automobile and start writing. No one can stumble into a career and travel writing is no different.

Since travel writing is no different than any other type of informational writing, you will need knowledge of the English language, grammar rules, and syntax. Additionally, you will need the ability to convey your thoughts effectively through the written word. After all, the job isnt called Traveler, so you will need to be able to write. To work on your writing skills, practice is certainly the best method. Write about anything that strikes your fancy. Remember, travel writing is not exclusive to white sand beaches and ancient cities. Travel writing can take place close to home or even in your own backyard. Take the opportunity to explore your own neighborhood, town, or city. Speak with other residents and find out interesting tidbits of information about your own corner of the world. People read travel pieces to learn more about a certain location from a first-hand source. The Internet is an excellent resource for information on travel writing and tips on avoiding scams. Take advantage of message boards and chat rooms, as you will certainly learn a great deal about the profession from the experiences of other writers.

After you have honed your craft and learned a bit more about the profession, you should begin submitting articles to different publications. Many home and garden magazines offer subscriber submissions for a nominal prize. The Internet is a booming resource right at your fingertips as many websites and travel companies are looking for articles on a variety of destinations. Seek out sources in your local newspaper or magazine that are willing to publish reader contributions. Granted all of these jobs will not be the most prestigious or lucrative, but they will provide you with an audience and exposure. Remember, you will certainly start out on the ground level. There are not many publications that will purchase stories, no matter how interesting or well written, from a writer without previous publication experience. It would certainly be more beneficial for you to have numerous articles published where you can receive exposure consistently instead of a publication that may be prestigious but a one-shot.

At some point, you may want to consider joining a professional organization such as the Society of American Travel Writers (www.satw.org). This organization is an excellent resource for all travel writers and will provide a forum for you to post questions to others in your field. Additionally the Society of American Travel Writers allows you access to their writing workshops and other instructional programs located in various parts of the country.

In order to make it in the field of travel writing, you will need a great deal of patience and dedication. Beginning your travel-writing career will certainly be the most trying time with the experience, but the reward is well worth the cost. Being able to travel the world, write about your experiences, set you own schedule, and get paid is certainly the best part of being a travel writer.