Writing and Wanderlust

Thursday, July 17, 2008
by Susan L. Eberling

I love to travel. I even love to fantasize about traveling. Sometimes I borrow Rick Steves’ travel videos from the library and watch them while I fold laundry. When my husband gets home I demand that we start saving for a 21-day backpacking trip through Great Britain and Amsterdam. (I think my husband is going to try to hide my library card soon.) When I read Barbara Hudgins’ article, How 2 Create a Travel Piece from Your Visit, in WOW’s July issue, I was once again smitten and glassy-eyed at the thought of combining my two great obsessions: writing and travel.

I have been stymied from becoming too excited about travel writing for a number of reasons. First of all, who doesn’t want to get paid to write about their vacation, thereby paying for some of the Mai Tai’s consumed at the pool or for Swiss chocolates nibbled on while gazing at the Jungfrau in the Alps? Travel writing is a competitive market, requiring writers to produces copy that snaps, is distinctive and informative all at the same time.

Another reason I’ve been hesitant to avidly pursue travel writing is because, when I do go on vacation, I want to relax and not think about deadlines or keeping research straight. What would I do if I get back home and forgot to see something or talk to someone significant to my story? This seems a bit stressful. Are there any travel writers out there who have found a good balance between work and play when vacationing and working on a travel writing piece?

After reading Barbara’s article I did a quick Google search on travel writing and found what seems to be a very alluring conference for the beginning travel writer. The Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference will be held in Corte Madera, California August 14-17, 2008. If you check out the conference schedule, you will find a diverse set of sessions taought by professionals in the craft of travel writing.


Anonymous said...

Travel writing is one of my interests and this conference has been on my radar for a while now. I can't say when at this point, but I will be attending it.

Susan said...

The conference definitely seems like a heavy-weight when it comes to instrucing writers how to make it in the travel writing business.

And it's right near San Francisco--what a fun city to go to for a conference!

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