Can travel writing be as rewarding as all those sugar-coated advertisements promise? Is it the latest fad or your chance to live on permanent vacation? Travel around, write about your impressions and earn money for new trips… Do you have a suspicion that it is too good to be truth? Let’s look at what travel writing is and what it is not, to dispel most popular myths surrounding travel writers.
Travel writing: literature genre
Travel writing is a genre of literature describing real or imaginary places. Here are a few classical examples of most famous travel literature samples of all times. You must have heard of them, but probably you did not pay much attention to their genre:
- The Odyssey by Homer;
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway;
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain;
- the latest bestseller Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Your instructor may assign you an analysis of one of these or other travel fiction books. Numerous guide books and reviews are good travel writing examples as well. By the way, when your school teachers told you to write a traditional essay “How I Spent My Summer Holidays”, you frequently practiced travel writing.
Travel writing career
Today, good old travel writing is not only a literature genre, but also an attractive career option. Have you already received invitations to expensive travel writing courses promising stunning success and a glamorous life on permanent vacation? If not yet, you will surely receive them later. In fact, some people truly make a living as travel writers. However, they belong to a tiny minority.
Why nobody mentions thousands of travel writers who have negative income because most travel trade publications and magazines do not pay them in advance? Why not discuss those who receive hundreds of letters of rejection from different publications before deciding to give up? The supply far exceeds the demand. There are too many writers, but much fewer readers.
Moreover, traveling with the purpose to write about it is not always what you expect it to be. Do you think travel writers really enjoy their hasty tours and evenings spent on typing up accounts of a new town? Certainly, they do not. You should not rely blindly on all those sugar-coated advertisements. Instead, try to face the truth and learn from the mistakes of others.
Yes, you can make travel writing an exciting hobby, travel and write about the places you have visited for pleasure, but you should not expect to make a fortune on it.
Travel writing competitions
In fact, travel writing as a hobby is much more rewarding. You can enjoy your travels and share your impressions with others on Facebook, Twitter or on your personal blog. You may want even to participate in travel writing competitions. May good luck be your friend in this undertaking! Importantly, participation in competitions and blogging would not distract you from study and your accustomed lifestyle and will do no harm. You may even improve your writing skills by working on your travel posts.
The idea of becoming a travel writer and traveling for free is the latest fad. The tiny minority of successful travel writers and aggressive strategies of marketers can make people think that everything is possible. Remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch and try to be realistic when making important decisions.