My husband and I learned to ski at different times.
I started when I was a kid. Once a year, a mountain 3 hours from where I lived held a ski-free day for beginners. My parents would load us into the car at 4 a.m. and we’d be the first ones there. We’d take a lesson then spend the afternoon on the bunny slope by ourselves.
This once-a-year approach worked (somewhat). I can successfully ski down a green and sometimes a blue slope without falling. I’m not the best skier by any stretch. But I’d say I’m pretty decent for only going once a year with no practice in between.
My husband, however, grew up in Alabama. He never skied until I took him a few years ago before we had kids. He fell (all the time) and pretty much never made it down the hill without some kind of crazy, out-of-control wipeout.
But then, last year something changed…
We put the kids into an all-day ski school and Terry and I signed up for a one-hour lesson.
The instructor told us that we were both standing wrong and that our weight should be on our toes and not our heels. He was right, and we both immediately improved.
But after the lesson, Terry got 10 times better than me.
I’m still floundering my way down the greens and blues and Terry’s already on the blacks.
So, what happened?
Here’s what he did right and how that applies to your travel writing…
First and foremost—he moved on. He told himself that conquering the green slopes once each day means they’re conquered. He quickly moves on to the blues (the next-highest level) even if he doesn’t make it perfectly down.
But for me, I’m stuck. I can’t get myself to move on to the blues because I don’t yet feel like I’ve made it perfectly down the greens.
But here’s what’s happening…
In his quest to move on, he’s getting closer to perfect. And in my quest for perfection, I’m getting stuck.
So that’s the lesson I’d like to share with you today.
The same is true in travel writing—a hundred times over. It’s not the perfect writers who sell the most stories. It’s simply those who crank out and sell more stories and photos on their way to perfection.
And unlike skiing, no falling down a hill.