Travel Writing: Do you have what it takes? - article

Do you have what it takes to be a travel writer who writes more than articles about attractions in your local area for out of town newspapers and periodicals? If you think you may, here are some questions to ask yourself before boarding that steamer to Zanzibar:

  1. Are you creative? Can you paint a picture with words?
  2. Are you detail oriented? Do you have the ability to recall accurately things that happened on your trip?
  3. Can you journal? Your memory might not be flawless, so maintaining a travel journal could be a vital component of your success.
  4. Do you enjoy going to new places, learning about other cultures, eating unfamiliar cuisines, meeting new people?
  5. Are you inquisitive? Do you care about the how’s, why’s, where’s and who’s involved in your travel?
  6. Are you brave? Travel, especially travel to underdeveloped regions, can be harrowing at times. Shrinking violets need not apply.
  7. Are you frank and honest? Sometimes you might have to write negative things about some of the people and places you visited on your trip. Do you have the heart to criticize the food and service at that sidewalk café in Swaziland, even though you really liked the owner?
  8. Can you research? You must be an authority on what you write. If you tell people that they should visit the Great Wall of China, you might want to mention that parts of it are only 42 miles from Beijing Airport.
  9. Do you like to listen to and document the stories and anecdotes you hear from the people you meet on your journey?
  10. Can you handle the hassles and inconveniences that sometimes go with travel? Can you make an adventure of adversity?
  11. Are you well organized? Travel is full of surprises, and they’re not always pleasant. The well-organized traveler is far better equipped to handle them than the haphazard one.
  12. And, last but certainly not least, do you love to travel? Really love it, and not simply enjoy it? Do you have a burning desire to go places, meet people and do things you haven’t done before? Do you have a passion for sharing your experiences with others, and the ability to do it through the written word?

If you’ve answered in the affirmative to all or most of these questions, you are a likely candidate for great travel writing. Go out into the world, and capture the experience on paper for all to follow.

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  • Very interesting article. Although I have never published a travel article, I have written many articles as I travel around this beautiful country of ours. Also some of them from the beautiful city of Rome, Firence Italy, and Costa Rica, Nicaragua Central America. All for the love of memory and rolling my pen for the love of writing.

  • Former Member
    Former Member
    Hi Ron-- if you have invited people to your author circle (i.e. people from a writing or critique group, trusted friends, etc) then you can post snippets of the articles there for feedback. The author's circle is part of a book project, which can be created on the BOOKS tab of the ALC.
  • Hello Ron, I would start with searching ALC with key words like "writers groups" or "peer review." Hopefully you can get some good feedback!
  • Where can I put some of my articles for someone to look at and tell me what they think?