Travel writing 101

It’s an elevator, too many people have suddenly stepped into. It’s closed, congested and somebody just farted!

This is what the travel writing industry has become. It has been keenly pursued since times immemorial. Journals and memoirs go back to date somewhere around the second century AD. But I guess, the party has just started; thanks to the internet evolution.

This evolution has created a hustle in blogosphere. Resulting in a whirlwind of readers and ever increasing content creators. However, your chances of breaking into travel writing have become slimmer but let’s not give up hope in the competitive times. Here are a few pointers to help you on the trail of travel writing:

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  1. If you can talk, you can write: After the Sponsored travel article was published, a lot of people messaged me about how they can’t enter the travel industry because they can’t write. So let’s get this straight, nobody wants you to become Hemingway. You needn’t describe the “crimson sunsets”, “cascades of mountains”, “cow with her lovely dung”. If you stick to the facts: where to go, how to reach, where to stay, what to eat, and other forms of practical information, useful to the reader, this is a good start. Not all forms of travel writings are about travel stories or travelogues. Some are more like travel guides, sticking to exactly what the readers need to know before visiting a place. It may not be as arresting as a Bill Bryson story but could be as simple as an advice you give to a friend who wants to travel to a place you know the soul of.1522332873580.png
  2. Read: This writer friend, always says this, “it’s very important to read good, to be able to write good”. This should be your first step towards writing. There’s a reason why all the worthwhile writers are readers too! This is because writing does not exist in isolation to reading. So you must let travel literature consume you and then see the words magically flow out. Don’t freak out if your first draft is disappointing. Writing is like a muscle, the more you exercise the stronger it becomes.
  3. Make short notes: Memory isn’t your best friend when it comes to travel writing. It’s easy to miss on small yet important details. And trust me, you will thank yourself immensely, when you finally sit your self down for writing that blog and you have all the rough notes at one place.1511337989_23798951_1713766628655217_2012888183_o
  4. Know what kicks in creativity: I get the most inspired while sitting on the window seat of a local rickety bus. Somehow the “uuhhs and the aahhs” of the bumpy ride kick in creativity and I am able to write what I couldn’t, while staring at a blank word document for hours on the laptop . On the other hand, this friend, gets inspired on a shitpot. Whatever works for you.
  5. Consistency: We live in hurried times. It’s easy to start and forget a blog: exactly, the mistake you don’t want to commit. Travel writing isn’t a fancy fling, it is a dedicated long term companionship you have to work towards.
  6. Networking: Great work happens around the world all the time. It also dies in isolation if not advertised properly. So you need to build a network of followers both online and offline, to develop an interactive audience for your blog.
  7. Good content goes a long way: It does! Endeavors like travel writing will not pay you at the onset, but you must keep the good content flowing it. At the initial stage, you have to stay focused on building your own portfolio and dedicated audience, this cannot be done without good content. It really goes a long way. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
  8. The next Big step: Once your blog is good to go, the next big step should be to start pitching your ideas to other publications. You could start by writing guest blogs for other online portals. This should be followed by pitching great ideas to travel publications. You’d be lucky if they take it up! But lucky is something that travel writers usually aren’t.

Crafting a pitch, finding a Godfather editor and following up on the same is as difficult as consoling your mother for the loss of a Tupperware lunchbox. Though it also depends on how unique your idea or pitch is and if it resonates with the interest of the travel publication. For instance, it would be awkward if I write an email to the editor of an adventure sports magazine, pitching a blog on destination weddings. Anyway, the point is that you must start writing for other portals to broaden the horizons of your blog. Again, forget that it will pay right at the start, but after a few successful pieces, you must start seeking your due.

So if all you want to do, is travel the world, tan on a beach, trek in the mountains, meet wonderful strangers, sip coffee on a hippie island, share stories and be paid for all this, you’ve got to start writing now! Good luck!

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About

Still exploring. Kind of bipolar- for my equal love for home and the world. Essentially believe in what George Bernard Shaw said, "life isn't about finding yourself but creating yourself"

20 Comments

  • Rahul Sharma (Inside Out with Rahul Yuvi) May 9, 2018 at 8:21 am Reply

    Very well written..kudos to you !

  • Vaibhav May 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm Reply

    Ambika that’s an absolute smasher!! I’ve been indulging in travel writing too and can relate to the points you have mentioned and even learnt a lot. Keep it up, girl. No broken bones are stopping you πŸ˜€

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 10, 2018 at 11:55 pm Reply

      Yay! Sailing in the same boat. Hi5!
      Thank you so much for reading. ❀

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 11, 2018 at 4:31 pm Reply

      Vaibhav! Thank you so much for reading, relating and wishing me a no fracture life! Much love! πŸ™‚ Tell me where can I read your blogs?

  • Krishna Chaitanya May 11, 2018 at 8:16 pm Reply

    Nice article Amibika ma’am. Just love to read your travel blogs πŸ˜ƒ!!!

    Ambika ma’am check out my new blog. Pls follow and share this blog.

    To read my blog, click on the link below:
    https://krishnac003.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/the-role-of-physical-education-and-sports-in-india/

  • Arjun May 14, 2018 at 12:11 am Reply

    Well written. I hadn’t considered converting my travel experiences into words till now. But this write up definitely has a point. I’ll start pitting them into words.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 14, 2018 at 4:08 pm Reply

      So glad you could relate. Excited to know how it goes for you.

  • Nomadosauras May 21, 2018 at 3:11 pm Reply

    The new site is gobsmackingly beautiful! Can’t wait to re-read the old posts in this format πŸ˜€
    And the post.. I am bookmarking this page. That’s how good it is πŸ˜€
    Keep these posts coming!
    Cheers!

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 24, 2018 at 1:15 am Reply

      Thank you so much! Coming from you, it means so much. Yay! We’ve got to catch up soon!

  • Hariom May 24, 2018 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Hmmm.. What kicks in the creativity in me? (never contemplated on this before) a lot of things actually… boredom, that raging fire inside to break out from the routine and to express my feelings which I can’t explain verbally.

    And the urge to pen down the thought comes almost anywhere and I immediately give up on all the tasks and start writing. (Be it in a bus, office desk or while walking on the street..lol)

  • Kuldip June 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm Reply

    Very aptly said and put the point across.

    ‘The Cow with her lovely dung’ line was witty.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj July 25, 2018 at 11:44 am Reply

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it. β™₯️

  • Juli July 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm Reply

    Hi Ambika, Haven’t heard from each other for some time. Hoping you are doing good. You haven’t written something of late. I just read your “Travel Writing 101,” it was good, straight to the point. Hoping to read more from you. Take care. Juli!

    • Ambika Bhardwaj July 25, 2018 at 11:43 am Reply

      Juli Juli Juli! You made my day!
      This is one of the many benefits of the internet revolution, we could know each other, read and reach each other, even when miles apart. Thanks for checking on me, love! This means so much. How have you been?

  • vignesh July 5, 2018 at 1:43 am Reply

    beautiful writing 😍😍😍

  • Sunny Thakur August 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm Reply

    Such a blog is a new hope for a beginner like me who always struggles while trying to express something in his mind on a piece of paper. Thank you so much Ambika, directly or indirectly you helped me a lot. Keep writing and all the very best for future travels.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj August 30, 2018 at 1:25 pm Reply

      Good luck, my boy! Thank you so much β™₯️

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