Why travel writers blog…

Chicken Temple, Shangri La, Yunnan, China, New Year's Day

Chicken Temple, Shangri La, Yunnan, China, New Year's Day

This photograph was taken on the first day of this year in Shangri La (Dequin), China. I thought it would be fitting for my first post on my new blog. We were alone. A thousand sacred words written on flapping prayer flags on top of the hill at Chicken Temple, the only sound. The light danced across the valley towards the start of the Himalaya. I am so thankful to have experienced and to be able to share moments like these.

My aim for this blog is to create a space where I could put links to my portfolio of travel writing and photography for others to see. To indulge my curiosity in culture, characters, food and scenes. Maybe tickle the senses by discussing local food specialities or random festivals. I want to note my thoughts and share information about travel, travel writing and the travel industry. Things that affect me or that I find interesting, intriguing, beguiling or just plain disgusting.

Essentially, I want this to be a resource to those who share the same passion for travel that I do. Sometimes writing about travel services such as guesthouses, hotels, cafes, restaurants, galleries; other times the process of travel writing such as brainstorming, researching, editing, pitching and publishing or the place itself. Basically, to have the freedom to be creative without the editorial constraints.

I want to share with you the things I find cool when I travel. The things I can’t share with you in the guidebooks I write. Take this scene from the Aleppo souq. It’s two in the afternoon and this man’s asleep at his shop. It’s a cane shop. And they certainly look like nice canes. But that’s not the point. I can’t write about a cane shop in a guidebook. Who wants to buy canes? – Lara Dunston Cool Travel blog

I noticed on the latest TBEX survey that 43.7% of travel bloggers don’t earn any money from blogging. The main motivation they gave was to provide travel tips. Third on the list of motivations was the ability to gain more freelance travel writing assignments. For many writers like me, a place to write that is not policed by an editor might be motivation enough. As Nicholas Gill says in an interview with Tim Leffel

“The beauty of the web is the writer really can be in control. It’s more important now than ever to build your own audience and think long term.”

 

Why do you blog? What is your motivation? Do tell!

 

Resources

There is an interesting blog post on this topic at Perceptive Travel

Tom Haskins detailed four distinct blog types of writers and where their motivations lie

 

  • http://www.wordsabouttravel.com wordsabouttravel

    I am so chuffed that you shared some of your insights Mike, I was really hoping to get some comments like this. It is also my very first one, which is both thrilling and reassuring for a blogger, to have made that initial connection.

  • http://mikesowden.org/feveredmutterings Mikeachim

    Initially, to get myself writing on a daily basis. Then addiction kicked in and it became a compulsion, one I railed against. Then it suddenly started getting me noticed by editors, and it became a tool for getting freelance writing gigs.

    But really? The only constant here is connection. Connection with people, with good advice, with places and things, and with myself. I blog to connect. It’s a social, reflective activity – and sometimes that contrasts weirdly with the reality of doing it (sat in front of a computer, often on my own).

    It’s a weird thing, blogging. But it’s shown me a route to the things I want. It’s a key that has unlocked so much, and I still flinch at how close I’ve been to giving it up so many times in the past…

  • http://www.ohheyworld.com Drew Meyers

    Why do I blog?

    I think it’s largely the social aspect of blogging that draws me in. Blogging has, bar none, proved to be the best way to find & connect with others passionate about the same topics I am (travel being one of those). Sure, I love sharing my learnings for others to benefit from as much as the next guy, but without the social component — I probably wouldn’t do it.

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