Tips from a Burgeoning Travel Writer

Sunday, May 29, 2011

photo by renjith krishnan
by: Anne Greenawalt

For the past three weeks, from Mother’s Day on May 8th until Friday, May 27th, I traveled cross country with my mom byAmtrak to interview other mother-daughter duos for a storytelling endeavor that will become the final project of my master’s degree in communications. 

I packed a portable “office” so I could blog about my travels along the way and document information about the people we met and the places we visited.  I included these items in my portable office:

-          Laptop

-          Digital camera

-          Digital and very compact video camera about the size of a cell phone

-          Digital audio recorder

-          Android cell phone

My cell phone came in handy because I used an app called PdaNet which allowed me to use the Internet on my phone to access the Internet from my computer, which saved me from purchasing an additional mobile Internet plan. 

This worked great – except at times when I did not receive cell phone service, which happened sporadically while crossing large stretches of the nation. (We went from the east to west coast and back, stopping in nine cities along the way.)  But during these down times, I could still create content and post it to my web site as soon as I came into a service area.

I have never completed a travel writing project of this scale before and often felt overwhelmed by the abundance of information that greeted me every day.  I could probably write about five separate books about this trip.

But as we traveled, I learned to keep my audio recorder, camera, and video camera available at my fingertips at all times so as not to miss anything.  I also narrowed my multimedia storytelling component to a specific focus – the mothers and daughters we met in each city.  Narrowing this focus was difficult because there were so many interesting tidbits about the trip I wanted to share.

For anyone interested in travel writing, these are my two biggest suggestions:

-          Keep your recording tools – at least a digital audio recorder and a digital camera – always at your fingertips to document as much as possible. 

-          Narrow your focus for each separate article or project you hope to complete.  Because you’re documenting your journey with digital tools, that extra information will be saved for you if you decide to expand to other topics in the future.

Have you completed large or small scale travel writing projects?  What did you do that helped narrow your focus or helped you create interesting content?  I’d love to hear your travel writing stories!

If you’d like more information about my cross-country mother-daughter storytelling endeavor, please visit my web site:


Trisha said...

I really wish I'd been more prepared when I did my big travels in the past...!

Unknown said...

Great practical tips, Anne!
I had a digital camera and a notebook when I travelled. You have added more to my travel list!

Anne Greenawalt said...

I'm glad I could help add more to the list!

As prepared as I tried to be, I still felt a little unprepared! It seems like there's always something more that I could have done.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top