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Issue #400: Seven Tips for New Writers
May 23, 2022
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!
. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
We’re finding Split, Croatia a magnificent place to be based for a month. Not only is it a blast to enjoy the old town every day, but we can also go island hopping. Last week we visited two islands, Hvar and Trogir.
The island of Hvar gets written up in more international travel magazines than any other Croatian island as a top 10 destination. It’s sunny, has elegant charm, rich-and-famous visitors, lavender, wine, and great history. Hvar town, a Renaissance beauty, is a perfect day trip from Split.
Only an hour from Split by super-fast and smooth-riding catamaran, Hvar town is overlooked by two hilltop medieval fortresses. The town is easily walkable.
Interesting attractions include the Renaissance St. Stephens Cathedral, St. Stephens Square, the Theater (formerly the arsenal), the mountaintop Fort Spagnolo, and the seaside promenade.
But my favorite stand-out attraction in Hvar is the Franciscan Monastery. It’s located on the rocky shore in the next bay around from downtown Hvar — a scenic 15-minute walk.
Another fascinating Croatian island on the Dalmatian Coast is Trogir. We took the local bus through Split’s commercial suburbs, 12 miles along the coast to Trogir.
You can walk around this tiny island town in 60 minutes. And it’ll be an exquisite and enjoyable hour. The architecture here has elements of Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, & Renaissance styles. Our half-day here was great fun!
This eminently strollable UNESCO World Heritage island offers a medieval main square, a jewel of a cathedral, and stone paved and winding alleys where half the fun is getting lost & then found again.
Oh yes, there are also original Venetian-era city walls, a square fortress, & untold colorful little boutique-y tourist shops. Not to mention dozens of beautifully designed & decorated cafes & restaurants. This town has existed for 2300 years!
Editorial: Seven Tips for New WritersI know that I make freelance travel writing look easy. I’ve had 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.
But, I’m the first person to tell you that breaking into paying print media is way harder than it looks. The truth is I work really hard at it, as do all successful travel writers.
Here are seven tips that will help novice writers get into the game faster and with fewer surprises:
To get your work published in print, you need to pay attention to every one of the steps in the freelance writing process: dreaming up salable story ideas, doing research, creating enticing query letters, writing publishable articles, developing relationships with editors and getting repeat business. Do all of these things well and you’re on your way to success.
Your writing must be up-to-snuff and meet the magazine editor’s publication standards. You need to know the subtleties of working with magazine editors and how to get repeat assignments with them.
Even today, after 15 years on the game, I’m still picking up tips to further refine my journalism and marketing skills. There’s always something new to learn.
Patience and perseverance are required. It takes time to break into print media, and that your success in getting your stories published is directly related to the number of pitches you send out.
Treat it like a a business. This is another crucial principle. If you want to earn income from writing, you can't treat it like a hobby. It’s certainly okay to be a travel writing hobbyist, so long as you understand you'll progress much slower.
Beginner travel writers also need a healthy dose of resilience. I’m always surprised when I hear from other travel writers how downhearted they feel when their queries are rejected.
Strangely enough, I’ve never thought it a big deal when I receive rejection letters from magazine editor. I know it’s not personal. I simply accept rejection as part of the freelance process, and doggedly send out more queries. I guess I must have a thick hide!
Closely allied to these other attributes is self-discipline. Without this trait, you’re not going to meet much success in freelance travel writing. You have to get up every day and do your work. No one is going to make you do it. It’s all about self-discipline!
Finally, you need to be flexible with your approach to this whole freelance writing gig. You’re writing to serve magazine readers—not yourself. I come across references to how freelance writers should always “be true to themselves and write about what they want to write about.” That’s what blogs are for, but it isn’t true if you want to get published in print.
If you can’t dream up stories that other people want to read, you’re going to find it difficult selling your stories to print media.
I hear from editors how some writers get upset when the editor rewrites or changes their stories. Editors sometimes get chastised for this but if you want repeat work with that editor you’ll simply say thank you. Even the top-shelf authors of best-selling novels hire professional editors to rewrite their work.
Here are some vital traits of successful travel writers — read them and see how you measure up
My Travel Writing Life in the Office and Online“Roy, I’m just curious to know - how much time per week do you spend sending out queries versus time spent on actual writing and on social media? If you haven't already done an article on time management for writers, that might be a helpful story.”
If you’ve ever wondered what a travel writer does each day, here’s a day in my life as a professional travel writer
Upcoming PostsMay 30: Seven Travel Writing Mistakes Beginners Make
Jul 11: Best Tips to Improve Your Writing
July 18: My Best Advice to Turn Your Worries into Wins
PitchTravelWrite.com Success Stories
Barb Harmon: A Travel Writing Success Story“After the death of my youngest son, I sank into what appeared to be a dark, ugly, depression. I lost interest in everything, including a successful online business. My grief counselor pronounced a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was shocked but relieved when she assured me she could help me cope with the symptoms.
She asked, "What do you want to do with your life?" Without hesitation, I replied, "I want to be a travel writer."
The first step was to gently dip my toes in the water by creating a new blog. I was writing again and it felt good. I spent hours online reading masses of information on travel writing. I didn't know if anyone would be interested in my stories, but I was determined to write them.
An editor mentioned she might like a roundup story about Guadalajara in the future. She asked if I was interested. Of course, I said, "yes." But what’s a roundup story, I wondered?”
Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links About Specializing vs DiversifyingShould you specialize in one genre or diversify into many? I recommend you do both. Start out by writing in one genre then expand out.
When you increase the specialty areas and genres you write in, your potential market increases exponentially.
Writing in multiple genres expands your writing bandwidth and prevents you getting bored with one subject. And, financially, you’ll be better off because it’s easier to sell more stories when you write in multiple genres.
Write in as many genres as you can. If I had just written in one genre, I wouldn't have had anywhere near as much success. By writing in multiple genres, I’ve 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.
Although you’ll obviously pitch and sell more stories about your interests and passions, you should always strive to get your stories published in as many different genres and magazines as you can.
Here's more reading on this subject:
Inspirational Travel Quote
RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL WRITERS
Featured Bundle : The Creative Pack
Our Creative Pack provides the first pieces of the travel writing puzzle. These three eBooks give the starting point for every travel writer: dreaming up unique story ideas, finding the best writing niches for your interests, passions and experience, and the art & craft of travel writing.
This bundle already is discounted 10% from the price of single books. For the next few weeks you can get an additional $10 off by using Promo Code AMTEN at checkout. Get all three of these books for only $24.95!
Here's how these reference guides will help you.
The Art & Craft of Travel Writing is a handy reference guide to make your travel stories sparkle and help you become a more successful writer. The tips and techniques packed into the 170-page book will help you develop your craft, hone your skills, and work smarter.
In Find Your Niche you'll learn why it’s important to write in a variety of genres. It explores the multitude of opportunities available to travel writers and other freelance writers. You'll learn to identify the niches that are most interesting and meaningful to you. And you’ll find out how to hone in on the most profitable niches. Full of tips, advice and inspiration, this 85-page book will help you find your niche!
Story Ideas that Sell guides you along the highly creative path of inventing and discovering potential travel stories to pitch and sell to travel magazines. Conjuring up viable story ideas are the very bedrock of every successful travel writer today.
In this 76-page book you'll learn my winning system to generate story ideas that sell. Master this first step - and combine it with a great pitch - and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in exciting experiences with fascinating people.
Note: Don't forget to use promo code AMTEN at checkout to get your $10 discount during this month.
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, Indonesia and the U.S. We're very excited about this group of writers and our new community! We added new members to our community in 2021 and they're getting to know the group and participate in writing activities.
If you missed out on the opportunity to join earlier sessions, you can get on the waiting list for the next session starting later this year:
Did You Know . . .Our Complete Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers is ranked #1 on TravelWritersExchange.com’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.
Your next opportunity to attend these classes will be in Charleston, South Carolina in June, 2022. There are still a few open seats in these workshops, so sign up while we have space.
Our travel writing & marketing workshops are highly informative and a blast, socially.
At Your Service
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.
Awards and AccoladesWe're thrilled to announce that www.PitchTravelWrite.com is once again on The Write Life’s list of 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS!
You can see the entire list by visiting their website - click on the graphic to view the list now.
We're proud to announce that our travel writing website has made Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 2016, 2020, and 2021 101 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS. Writer's Digest Magazine also lists us on their Best Genre/Niche Websites for 2021.
Writer's Digest doesn’t bestow these awards lightly. And we’re the only travel writing website on their lists!
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
Link to Roy's Personal Facebook page
That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy
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