This post is just a little inside baseball about travel writing. It’s a follow-up to my semi-ongoing series on travel blogging that started with this post, continued with that one, and can now (probably) end with this post here. If you ask me, the crux of most online endeavors is good writing. With so many blogs out there, in the event that you can’t write engaging stories, you’ll never get anywhere! So today, I wish to introduce one of the best travel writers, David Farley, who’s likely to share 11 writing tips for fellow bloggers and writers out there! Here’s David:
I usually thought that once I started writing for glossy travel magazines, I possibly could relax a bit because I’d “managed to get.” Nope! I QUICKLY thought that once I began penning pieces for the NY Times , I possibly could say I was successful. Not. At. All. OK, maybe when I had a book out, published by a significant publishing house, things would get yourself a bit easier for me personally. I wish!
Writers, for some reason, certainly are a sorry lot. Rarely do they ever look at something and say “perfect!” Maybe for an instant – but provide a writer a day and she or he will come back again to that same article and discover a large number of mistakes. Writing is a craft you never perfect.
We’re always striving to be better. Creatives have a tendency to be perfectionists. Writing requires you to keep learning and improving.
But that’s good, because that drive makes writers enhance their work. And only through practice and effort do we end up getting the Hemingways, Brysons, Gilberts, and Kings of the world. ( Matt says: I once heard that before day he died, Frost never loved “THE STREET Not Taken.” He was constantly reworking it!)
If you’re a travel blogger, you almost certainly started off much less a writer with a journalism background but as a traveler seeking to share your experience. You almost certainly didn’t have any formal training or you to definitely peer over your shoulder and present you advice.
So today I needed to talk about 11 tips that will assist you improve your travel writing or blogging. As the world always needs good writers – and good writing helps get your story heard more! These pointers, if followed, will better your writing and make an enormous difference in the reach of your writing!
11 Methods to Improve Your Travel Writing/Blogging
1. Read. That is number one. because every time a budding writer asks me how they are able to improve, it’s my first little bit of advice. Read good writing. Absorb it. Allow it sink into your soul. Don’t think it’s possible? When I was initially getting started, I was sick one weekend, therefore i spent three days lying during intercourse reading every page of this year’s Best American Travel Writing anthology. WHEN I finished, I exposed my laptop and started writing for the very first time in days. What arrived surprised me: it had been the highest-quality writing I’d done to date. And it had been all because I was absorbed in good writing and it filtered through me back onto the page in my writing.
( Matt says : Here’s a listing of the best travel books.)
2. Do it for love. Maya Angelou wrote, “You can only just become truly accomplished at something you like.” Don’t enter travel writing your money can buy – after all, that might be totally unrealistic. And please don’t gravitate to the genre because you want free trips and resort rooms. “Instead,” Ms. Angelou added, “do [it] so well that folks can’t take their eyes from you.” Or, quite simply, make an effort to become such an excellent writer that the editors of all publications you have already been dreaming to create for can’t ignore you anymore.
3. Don’t be mounted on linear writing. You will need not compose a bit from starting to middle to get rid of. Sometimes that’s not the perfect structure of the story. Sure, maybe you’ve already figured that out. But if not, it’s OK to just get yourself a few scenes and paragraphs of exposition down “in writing.” Then you can certainly step back and check out the larger picture and rearrange everything you have, figuring out the easiest method to tell the story.
4. Utilize your own sense of motivation and drive. The students of mine at NY University who’ve been most successful weren’t always the most talented in the class. However they were the most driven. They’d read enough quality writing and considered it – understanding what managed to get so wonderful – that there is just something about writing that they got . They weren’t born with that understanding, but ambition drove them to search out better writing and to take into account it, to investigate what managed to get good (or not good). Drive also inspires future successful writers to venture out on a limb, to render themselves vulnerable, by calling more accomplished writers to require advice, or by introducing themselves to editors at events or conferences. Don’t be shy! Standing in the corner quietly won’t get you so far as putting your give away to introduce yourself will.
5. Make an effort to find out what gets your brain and writing flowing. I want to explain: I can sit back within my laptop and stare at a blank Word document all night, not sure how to begin a story or what things to reveal. Then I’ll react to an email from a pal who wants to find out about the trip I’m trying to create about. I’ll write an extended email with cool and interesting anecdotes about my experience you need to include some analysis about the area and culture. And I’ll realize: I could just cut and paste this directly into the empty Word doc I’ve been looking at going back three hours! Many of my published articles have blocks of texts which were originally written as elements of emails to friends. The “email trick” may not work for everybody, but there is inevitably some trick for the others of you – be it speaking with a pal or free-associating in your journal.
6. Understand all areas of storytelling. There are two types of travel writing: commercial and personal essay (or memoir). In commercial travel writing, you should make the many elements of the story an intrinsic facet of your knowledge: from methods to write a lede to the nut graph, scenes, exposition, and conclusions. For memoir and personal essays, know very well what narrative arc means just like the back of your typing hands. It can help to get an intuitive knowledge of these things by watching writing – to reading such as a writer – as you read nonfiction (and travel) articles.
7. Don’t stress if your first draft is shit. Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” And he wasn’t kidding. I find this true when I’m writing an individual essay or travel memoir. I write and I write and I write, and I’m nearly sure what I’m putting down in some recoverable format. What’s the idea of the? I ask myself. Why am I even doing this? But here’s where patience will come in: eventually, the clouds part, the proverbial sunbeam from the heavens shines down on our computer monitors, and we start to see the point of everything: we finally find out what it really is we’re writing and how exactly to best tell that story. It just happens as promised sometimes. And not all at one time: sometimes it’s piece by piece, like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. But as I mentioned, patience is key, because we never know when that divine magic will likely be activated. But sit around long enough and it will happen, I promise you. (You need to be cautious when taking Hemingway’s other writing advice: “Write drunk, edit sober.”)
8. Write everything you know. “Start telling the stories that only you can tell,” said writer Neil Gaiman, “because there’ll continually be better writers than you and there’ll continually be smarter writers than you. There will be people who are far better at doing this or doing that – nevertheless, you will be the only you.”
9. When you’re finished with a draft, read it aloud. Preferably, print it out and read it aloud. This will help you to better hear the way the piece sounds, and unacceptable segues and clunky sentences or turns of phrases will jump out at you in a far more obvious way.
10. Always get another group of eyes on your own writing. While all writers make mistakes, it’s harder to identify them lacking any editor. Editors have become important, however they don’t necessarily must be someone with formal training. While hiring a copyeditor is always great, when you can just get yourself a friend to learn your site or story, that could be sufficient.
It’s better still if you have somebody who doesn’t find out about travel. I have a pal who doesn’t travel much; she reads all my blogs because she helps me make certain I are the important details I would have skipped. See, when you’re a specialist on something, you often complete the blanks in your thoughts. You go from A to C automatically; step B becomes subconscious. So when you write, you skip step B since it seems so obvious. Getting a person who doesn’t know the steps can help make sure you include explain everything in your post and don’t leave your readers going, “Huh?”
11. Finally, figure out how to self-edit. That’s where many people fail. They write, they read it over, they post. And feel embarrassed as the saying goes, “Oh, man, I can’t believe I missed that typo.” You don’t have to be master editor, but in the event that you follow a few principles, it’ll go quite a distance: First, write something and allow it sit for a couple of days before editing. After your first round of edits, repeat the procedure. Get another group of eyes onto it. Print out a checklist of grammar rules to undergo as you edit. ( Note: Matt created one here for you personally.) As you review your projects, tell yourself, “Did I really do this? Did I really do that?” In the event that you follow the cheat sheet, you’ll catch the majority of your mistakes and end up getting a far greater final product!
Writing can be an art form. It requires a whole lot of practice. When you’re a blogger from your own, it usually is harder to improve your projects, because you don’t have a skilled voice giving you advice and pushing you to be better. In the event that you don’t take it upon yourself to be better, you never will be. However, although you may aren’t blessed to work under an editor, these 11 tips will help you improve your writing today and be a far greater blogger, writing stories people want to learn!
David Farley has been authoring travel, food, and culture for over two decades. His work has appeared in AFAR magazine, the brand new York Times, the Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, and World Hum, among other publications. In 2006 and 2013, he won the Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers for magazine articles he wrote. He has lived in Prague, Paris, and Rome and today New York City. He’s the writer of An Irreverent Curiosity and was a bunch for National Geographic. He teaches writing at Columbia University and NY University.
If you’re seeking to turn into a travel writer or simply improve your writing, David and I created an in depth and robust travel writing course. Through video lectures and types of edited and deconstructed stories, you’ll get the course David teaches at NYU and Columbia (without the purchase price). If you�