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Issue #263: How to Keep Your Mojo Going - Even When You’re Facing Boring Tasks
July 15, 2019
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!

. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers to The Best Travel Writing Newsletter, ANYWHERE!! Thanks for joining us.

We’re excited to announce that registration is OPEN for our Travel Writing and Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 8-14.

If you need a relaxing, atmospheric place to practice your travel writing craft and hone your photography skills, join us in Hoi An.

You can find more information after the editorial, or at this link:


Editorial: How to Keep Your Mojo Going - Even When You’re Facing Boring Tasks

Dreaming up story ideas is the most creative and fun part of the travel writing process. It’s easy. A story pops into your mind and you think, “I’d love to write about that place.” 

Then comes the heavy lifting. You need to research your destination further to assess its salability. If it passes that test, you need to write a sparkling query letter and prepare a list of magazines to pitch.

This is the grunt work behind the bylines of every successful travel writer. It’s also where writers start to falter.

For example, many travel writers avoid building a lengthy magazine list. But this is a critical step in the process. Without sales leads, you have no one to query. If you ever want to see your story published, you can’t procrastinate about building your list.

To keep your momentum going, treat every story like a project. Some parts will be exciting and some parts will be downright dull. You’ll experience ebbs and flows in your enthusiasm, depending on what task you’re working on. This is normal.

We can expect to stumble at some stage. But, the successful writers forge on and complete each project through to the end. How? By remembering there are uplifting parts to the freelance travel writing game. They are:

1. When an editor replies to your query letter and commissions your story you feel excited and validated. Your confidence grows.

2. When your work is published, you see your story in print, along with cool photographs – often your own photographs.

3. You get a paycheck in the mail.

You are thrice rewarded!

And, there’s more good news. As you gain experience the boring tasks get easier. Researching your stories takes less time. Your query letters are more focused and easier to write. And your magazine lists are already built – you just need to tweak them from time to time. 

To keep up your momentum, schedule your creative work for the time of day when you feel most imaginative. Leave the grunt work for your less creative hours. That way it won’t feel so grueling and invasive. 

For example, I do my creative stuff like writing and researching story ideas early in the morning, when my mind is fresh and my imagination is at its peak. In the afternoon I do less creative tasks like looking up contact information for editors and building my lists.

To keep your mojo going:

▪ Think of each article as a project - start and finish each project.
▪ Balance the joy of writing with the reality of administrative tasks.
▪ Remember the end game – seeing your work published and getting paid for it. It’s worth it!

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat

December 8-14, Hoi An, Vietnam

We’re pleased to announce that registration is open for our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 8-14th.

This unique destination retreat includes creative travel writing and photography workshops. You'll learn the skills you need to be a successful travel writer and how to produce quality photographs to help you tell your story.

The ancient town of Hoi An, Vietnam was a SE Asian trading port in the 15th through 19th centuries and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town continues to thrive today as a trading port, center of commerce and tourist destination.

Hoi An is especially loved for its beautiful lanterns that decorate the streets by day and magically transform the town into a colorful wonderland every night.

At the retreat you'll learn the craft of travel writing while touring this extraordinary destination. No experience is necessary! Just bring an open mind, a laptop, or simply pen and paper. Your sense of curiosity and creative juices will flow no matter which tools you use.

We’ll explore the fascinating local attractions and experience true Vietnamese culture — all while learning the craft of travel writing and photography from a seasoned travel journalist and photographer.

We'll spend three hours each day in classroom instruction including writing and photography activities. The rest of the time you're free to explore Hoi An, relax with a spa treatment, go on a bike tour or practice your writing and photography.

Join us in Hoi An this December for an unforgettable experience! We limit registration to 10 people.


People have been asking . . .

“What’s the difference between the Seattle Master Class and the Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam?"

Here’s the short answer:

- The Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Vietnam is a one-week creative travel writing and photography event 100% focused on improving your writing and photography skills. It’s a relaxed, vacation-like retreat with lessons each morning, a cooking class mid-week, a tour around the ancient town of Hoi An, some group meals, two photography shoots and lots of time to practice your writing and your photography. We call it a “retreat” to make it clear you’ll have time to explore, relax, and practice your creative skills.

- The Seattle Master Class is a 3-day intensive workshop in the U.S. focused on selling your articles, getting paid, working with editors and getting comps. We meet for 8 hours each day in information-packed sessions and often in the evenings in impromptu sessions. It's an "intensive" 3 days.

Each class serves a different purpose. There is very little overlap between the two classes.

If you have further questions, please ask. We’ll be happy to hear from you. Or, if you're ready register for the Travel Writing Retreat click here.

This Week's Featured Post

My Best Travel Writing Assignments

I’m often asked what are the best travel assignments I’ve experienced.  This is a tough question to answer after taking more than seventy six trips since 2009. I’ve enjoyed the whole lot!

Here are some of the more memorable assignments and some blissful travel writing gigs that 
I really, really enjoyed.  All the trips are different. Take a look and see which ones you'd like to do. 

I’ve also included links to the online articles if you want to read more about a particular travel assignment.

What's your best travel writing assignment?


What's Your Success Story?

We’re Looking for More PitchTravelWrite Travel Writing Success Stories.

Have you used our reference books, our website, Roy’s coaching, our Master Class, our online Master Class, our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat, our weekly newsletter, or any of our other resources to achieve travel writing success?

If so, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t be shy!

We also want to hear how you’ve used our resources to land press trips, score complimentary stays at hotels and resorts and spas, get free guided tours and meals and ground transport and tours, etc.

Please send a summary of your successes to

Upcoming Posts

July 22: Smackdown: Travel Guidebooks vs. the Internet
July 29: Facebook Tips for Travel Writers
August 5: Breaking Into Military Travel Writing
August 12: How To Prepare for Overseas Assignments

Pitch Travel Write: Most Popular Links for Dreaming Up Story Ideas

It's getting harder and harder to be a generalist travel writer trying to do what thousands of other generalist travel writers are doing. You have to be really creative to come up with unique story ideas that editors haven’t heard before.

A huge factor in selling story ideas and getting them published is the quality of your idea. While this may seem self-evident, finding an interesting story to pitch is a daunting task for novice freelance writers. 

It takes some experience to know what constitutes a viable travel story.  And deciding whether a story idea is a dog or a shooting star is an important first step in the pitching process.

So where, and how, do travel writers start their quest for a salable story? Here are 6 Tips for Dreaming Up Better Story Ideas

For novice freelance writers, trying to figure out what story to pitch to an editor is a daunting task. Because of inexperience, you have no frame of reference.  Often, beginners lack confidence in their story ideas. So where do you start? 
 If you want to boost your bylines, try My Winning System for Dreaming Up Travel Story Ideas

The beauty of travel writing is that you can write an article about almost every aspect of your travels and find a home for it somewhere. Editors get tired of being pitched the same kind of roundup story. They see it all the time and it’s not what they’re looking for anymore.  They are looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives.

This page will give you some idea of the types of travel stories you can write and sell.

I’m often asked, “What are the best travel stories to write?”  The answer is:  whatever you enjoy writing about. Maybe you enjoy writing food, wine, or beer stories. But, by far, my favorite travel stories are roundup pieces.

Round-up travel stories are high-level descriptions, or “roundups”, of what a city or destination has to offer.  There’s enough variety to offer something of interest for everyone--or at least to the audience the editor wants to appeal.
 Here's how to write roundup stories and why Roundup Travel Stories are the Most Fun to Write

Do you have trouble figuring out what travel stories will sell? This ebook guides you along the highly creative path of inventing and discovering potential travel stories to pitch and sell to magazines. Master this first step - and combine it with a great pitch - and you'll soon find yourself immersed in exciting experiences with fascinating people. Learn more about Story Ideas that Sell here.

Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week


Featured Book of the Month: How to Break Into the Luxury Travel Writing Market

Would you like to stay at luxury resorts, villas, and lodges—for free?

How about being treated like royalty in high-end resorts?

Would you enjoy personalized tours with your own guide and driver?

Does being pampered with lavish treatments in some of the world’s most beautiful spas sound good to you?

Would you enjoy eating at some of the finest restaurants in the world—for free? Or wine tasting at some of the world’s most gorgeous boutique wineries?

Do you want to know how to enjoy the luxuries of travel without the high cost?

My 12-chapter, 130-page manual will walk you, step-by-step, through the luxury travel writing process. You’ll learn how to get luxury travel assignments and leverage them to land luxury travel trips. I’ve used these techniques to land assignments at dozens of the finest luxury resorts and spas in the world.

This manual contains an up-to-date list of 150+ print magazines and travel websites that publish luxury travel articles. It’s the most comprehensive list of luxury magazine outlets you’ll find ANYWHERE. Having immediate access to these lists alone is worth the price of the eBook, saving you hundreds of hours of research.


We want to say THANK YOU to all our subscribers and social media followers. Running the PitchTravelWrite site would not be possible without your support. Thank you for following us, reading our posts, and emailing questions, comments, and compliments.

We value you more than you can know. Our goal is to help you break into travel writing, get paid for it, and land some cool press trips and free travel.

So keep emailing us - we love hearing from you!

At Your Service

Coaching and Consulting
Travel Writing Workshops
Travel Writing Retreats
Online Courses
Vietnam 1-1 Retreat & Consulting
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That's all for this week.

Until next week, just keep pitching!


Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

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