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Issue #337: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It!
January 11, 2021
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!
. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.
Editorial: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It!If you asked my New Zealand Elementary and Intermediate school English teachers which of their students were the most promising, and who had the best chance of becoming an internationally published freelance writer, my name would have been at the end of the list. And for good reason.
At my elementary school in Auckland, I was in the “slow-learner” remedial reading class. My reading ability lagged behind my peers by about a year.
I clearly remember sitting on the floor in a circle with the other “slow learners” in Mrs. Cleland’s office. We would read aloud from a book, in rotation.
When it was my turn, I was always nervous and anxious. I missed words and couldn’t pronounce others properly. I didn’t know what some of the words meant. It was like watching foreign students take their first English class.
I struggled with my reading for the better part of a year. I wondered if I would ever “get it.” So did Mrs. Cleland. Fortunately she was patient, encouraging, and kind. She genuinely wanted us to learn to read and wasn’t just going through the motions.
At that time, if I had told Mrs. Cleland that I would go on to have more than 1,000 articles published in 200 regional, national, and international magazines, newspapers, trade journals, custom publications, specialty magazines, in-flights, on-boards, and online travel magazines, she might well have insisted I have a psychiatric evaluation. Talk about delusions of grandeur!
But, one day, my reading suddenly all fell into place. It was as if a bolt of inspirational lightning had struck. An epiphany. When it was my turn to read the passage from the book, I was able to read it — quickly and flawlessly. Mrs. Cleland gaped at me. The other boys and girls looked at me as if I was an alien.
When I finished reading my passage, I asked if I could keep reading because I was having so much fun. My teacher was too shocked to say anything, so I kept on reading. Eventually, she whispered in an awed voice, “O.K, Roy, you can stop now. I think you’re getting it.”
Hell, I had got it alright! The dam had broken. Whatever was holding my reading back had washed away. I only returned to the remedial reading class twice more, presumably so Mrs. Cleland could make sure that my sudden reading “super power” wasn’t some kind of fluke.
My reading rocketed into the stratosphere. Within a year I was reading Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels! My parents weren’t too thrilled that I was reading such racy books, but they’d promised that when I learned to read, I could read any books I wanted.
In 1980 I left New Zealand to study exercise science in the U.S. The idea of becoming a writer had not yet occurred to me.
Coming from a commonwealth country, I faced temporary setbacks with American English. I had to learn American spelling and phrases, for many of them differ from British-style English. It was a struggle, but despite this, my master’s thesis read well. As if English setbacks weren’t enough, my typing was atrocious and still is. With large, clumsy fingers, I still have to glance at the keyboard when I’m typing. I’m lucky if I can crank out 10-15 words/minute.
Couple these obstacles with my complete inability to create and use spreadsheets to create magazine lists (I just don’t get it!). I use tables in MS-Word for my lists which is not the greatest solution. You’d think I’d be a complete loser at freelance travel writing.
Despite these obvious limitations and challenges, I’ve still sold more than 1,000 stories to 200+ regional, national, and international magazines, newspapers, trade journals, custom publications, specialty magazines, in-flights, on-boards, and online travel magazines. I’m considered one of the most prolific travel writers in the U.S. I’ve written and published ten books on the art and craft of travel writing.
If I can get published, you can too. What’s holding you back? What seems like an obstacle? What can you do to move past it?
For example, are you sitting around obsessed by the pandemic? It’s understandable, but doing nothing but obsessing makes you feel hopeless. And you’ll have to pick up the pieces and re-start your travel writing from scratch after the virus dies off.
Would you like to break into the luxury travel market? When the coronapocalypse blows over — and it will — luxury hotels, resorts, villas, and spas are going to be looking for motivated travel journalists to help them jump start their marketing and advertising campaigns to bring tourists and guests back into their properties.
Stop worrying about the virus and start planning which high-end resorts you want to visit. Contact the resorts and let them know that just as soon as the all-clear sounds you’d like to visit their properties, tour them, dine at them, and write about them.
The resort media and PR reps will see you as a godsend if you do this. Our reference book, “How To Break Into The Luxury Travel Writing Market” is designed to help you do exactly this; sell your luxury travel stories and snag complimentary accommodations at these cool resorts. It includes a list of over 70 magazines and websites that publish luxury articles.
Learn more here . . .
This Week's Featured Post
Our Query Letter Resource PageQuery letters sell your travel articles. All freelance travel writers need to learn the basics of writing good query letters. They’re your most important sales tool.
Queries explain your story idea in enough detail to arouse the editors’ curiosity and make them commission your work. Your query letters point out how your stories will fit into the magazines or publications.
Here’s one dozen of our best articles on writing effective query letters — free!
Upcoming PostsJan 18: Simultaneous Queries: Answers to Your Most Common Questions
Jan 25: Twelve Query Letter Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Feb 1: Why You Should Pitch Print Publications First
PitchTravelWrite.com Success Stories
Jed Vaughn: How I Found Travel Writing Success
“In 2014, I had the privilege and good fortune of meeting Roy Stevenson at a travel writing workshop in San Diego, California. After hearing Roy share his story and his successes with us, I felt compelled to introduce myself at the break.
I told Roy I wanted to do exactly what he was doing and how impressed I was with his 1,000+ published articles.
After returning home, I received an email from Roy indicating he was going to start offering a personal coaching service. With great excitement, I immediately got my name on the list. As a result, I became Roy’s very first travel writing coaching and mentoring student.
This was a turning point for me. Everything I’d been studying and trying to implement was beginning to make more sense. Having this support and knowing the exact steps to take really got me on the right track. Soon after, I was pitching up a storm, and getting results!"
Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links about How to Land Press Trips & Fam ToursOnce you’ve established your reputation as a prolific writer in your region—or around the world—and you have a good relationship with several travel magazine editors, you’ll find a whole new world opening up to you - that of FAM Tours and Press Trips.
These press trips and Familiarization Tours will provide you with free or low cost travel, if you have assignments.
Our Press Trips Resource Page gives you 16 free, full length articles on how to land these free travel assignments and cushy press trips. They show you, step-by-step, how I’ve scored more than 100 press trips around the world.
Inspirational Travel Quote
RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL WRITERS
Featured Book: HOW TO LAND PRESS TRIPS AND FAM TOURS
Who doesn't like press trips to exotic and exciting destinations?
Since starting my freelance travel writing career, I’ve been on more than 100 press trips & fam tours in 25 countries. Places like Belgium, Wales, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Bali, all over the U.S.A., and many other exotic and exciting destinations.
I tell you this not to brag, but to tell you that you can get regular press trip & fam tour invitations, too.
Books about travel writing might mention that press trips are available to travel writers, but they fall woefully short when it comes to telling writers how to get press trip invitations. Most veteran travel writers keep this information to themselves.
My manual, How to Land Press Trips and Fam Tours, tells you exactly what you need to do to get invitations to press trips and fam tours, and how to organize self-guided press trips.
Group Coaching Mastermind CommunityOur first Group Coaching Mastermind Community kicked off in October, 2020, and we’ve got a global group with members living in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Vietnam and the U.S. We're very excited about this group of writers and our new community! We added our January intake last week.
If you missed out on the opportunity to join this session, you can get on the waiting list for the next session.
Live WorkshopsPeople have been asking when our 2021 workshops in New Orleans, Louisiana are scheduled.
Here are the 2021 dates:
We've had lots of interest already. You can sign up for our no-obligation interest list for these workshops and receive our substantial early bird discounts when we open registration:
Did You Know . . .Our Complete Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers is ranked #1 on TravelWritersExchange.com’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.
You can access the list of the top ten travel writing workshops at the link below . . .
At Your Service
If you know someone who will enjoy this newsletter,
PitchTravelWrite.com, is our information-packed website for travel writers. This e-zine, a series of travel writing books and reference guides, coaching programs, and our workshops all work together to give you guidance in this field.
Our aim is to provide you with practical, nitty gritty information to help you gain entry into the travel writing realm and all the enjoyment that comes with it.
You can see the entire list by visiting their website - click on the graphic to view the list now.
Friend me on FacebookMy Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post about:
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs
• links to my travel articles
• magazine cover stories and back stories
• links to resource pages
• links to coaching and mentoring resources
. . .and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed
That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy
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