Today I celebrate my 100th published article. For me as a writer, this is huge.
So, I wanted to share some tips on how I got here, how it has re-inspired me and to hopefully inspire you too to help you along your writer’s path.
Ever since attending GEP’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Washington D.C. in 2017, I have dreamed of saying “I’m a writer” and believing it. To me, being able to say this meant having what I considered to be a lot of experience. That meant a lot of published articles.
It’s funny though, even with one article published, you are a writer. A published writer. So, why did I put myself under such pressure? The short answer is, I don’t know.
I remember sitting at that workshop all doe-eyed as I listened to the presenters, and wishing I had that much experience because then I would really know what I was doing.
Now, 100 bylines later the funny thing is, I am still learning every day.
I still make mistakes, still want to re-do my pitches five times before hitting send and sometimes there may be a few too many re-writes of articles.
Plus, with every new editor, more questions pop into my head and self-doubts can cloud even my most brilliant writing moments.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, so I don’t put myself under such pressure anymore.
Now, I revel in telling people that I am a writer.
So, to help you avoid some of my mistakes, here are my top five handy hints on how to achieve your writing goals and keep those articles coming.
1. Celebrate the wins
Your first bylines, the first time your photos sell with articles (or on stock sites), your first “great article” praise from an editor, the first time they reach out to you for an article.
Celebrate everything. These are all positive milestones.
2. Be kind to yourself
You’re going to make mistakes. We all do. Learn from them and try not to beat yourself up over them.
After all, one not-so-good pitch isn’t the end of the world. You can send another one tomorrow.
Plus, I’ve had some pitches accepted that I never thought would be, so it’s always worth hitting send.
3. Set goals
Daily, weekly, or monthly—it doesn’t matter how you like to set goals, as long you do. If you set a goal, you are more likely to achieve it.
It also has the added bonus of motivating you to sit down and write.
4. Motivate yourself
Look through old trip photos for article ideas. Walk around town taking streets you may not have walked down before to discover little businesses. Travel to places you want to go virtually over the internet. Whatever it takes. I find it makes me fall in love with travel all over again and want to write.
Or, if you are stuck, do something that relaxes you.
Sometimes I go swimming in the ocean to clear my head because it seems to reset everything and I can think more clearly and resolve issues I may be experiencing. So, find whatever works for you.
5. Practice patience
This is the hardest one for me. I’m more of a “let’s go right now” kind of gal, so learning patience is something that was invaluable to me.
It will destress you, reduce your anxiety significantly, and help you cope with the “why haven’t I heard back yet” doubts.
Just by being kind to yourself, patient, and celebrating your victories, it will help re-motivate you, re-focus you, and re-inspire you to get that next pitch out and that next article published.
Little by little, article after article your confidence grows and your goals will be achieved.