PART 2: KEEP YOUR INDIVIDUALITY & GET WORK IMMEDIATELY!
ADVENTURE, MONEY, OUT OF THE CUBICLE FOREVER. TRAVEL, WRITE AND EXPAND YOUR MIND.
Let’s start from where we left off yesterday. We talked about writing for various kinds of travel publications, some of which are pretty mainstream:
Remember your ‘voice.’ This isn’t some weird journalese that you have to memorize and never understand: it’s in every sentence you write. Try keeping a journal for a week and that’s your ‘voice.’ It stares back at you from every phrase.
And while we’re on the subject, don’t be intimidated by not being a member of a certain audience or an acceptable stereotype when you write. Saul Bellow (20th century novelist) said a wise thing through one of his characters: ‘call me Iggy, call me Shmoe. Just give me the dough.’ (Those were racist names for members of his ethnic group.)
Like other successful writers, play to your audience. Be creative, but slant the way the publishers want or you’re deleted, ASAP. When you’ve done your tale, you’ll be proud of creating a point of view, a character, a scene, a marketable story or query.
When you write for a very middle class audience, say, use your imagination to enlarge on a given situation. Remember your past and what’s important to middle class people. Or maybe you picked up on things during visits you made to that world.
Specifically, create Scenes (visible things that make people want to travel and read more of your copy). Your articles should comfort, entertain and reinforce a publication’s readers. You know that you can use a morsel of dialogue, maybe an overheard conversation, for this. Remember as many details as you can. Build it into a 200 word scene that’s good copy for that publication’s readers and editors. Try that as an exercise, too.
Here’s a photo from Barakhamba Road Station in New Delhi, India. I’m on the left, a uni student’s in the middle and C from New York’s on the right. Look at it for inspiration, then practice. Write a 200-word filler about how-to- travel from your college life (wherever it is) to New Delhi, India. (Margaret traveled quite a ways. And here’s a tip: she told me she loved travel stories about ‘oh! I didn’t know that could happen to me!’)