An unknown author once said that “Winners are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.”
Max Downham ran his first marathon at age 81. Sally Ride became the first American woman astronaut in space.
At the age of 17, Malala Yousafzai was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
What do these amazing individuals have in common? They are “Doers.”
They didn’t sit around and wish for it, hope for it, or dream about it. They went out and made their dream a reality. They took action. How does this translate to travel writing? I’ll explain.
Looking back over the four years since I became a travel writer, it occurred to me that there are 3 “Ds” which propelled us all to success.
There is no way I would have landed over 400-plus published articles and invitations to all-inclusive press trips if I hadn’t put into practice some of the very same techniques these “doers” did. Here are my three keys to travel writing success…
Nothing happens without desire. You have to truly want it.
Desire is the strong drive for something we desperately want and hope for. That desire dictates our priorities.
I was still working full time as a nurse when I attended the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop the first time. But when I heard some of the presenters on the very first day of that program, a light bulb went off inside my head. This was it—the ah-ha moment. THIS was exactly what I was looking for.
The desire for a life of travel and adventure was so strong that I worked on my research and travel writing on my lunch breaks, days off, and anywhere I could seek out some extra time. And it paid off. I had 47 published stories in my first year.
The Doer vs. Dreamer Mentality
When someone finds out that I’m a travel writer, I can’t tell you how many times I get the response, “Oh, I wish I had a dream job like you.” Then I explain that if a nurse like me with 34 years of experience and no journalism background can transition to a successful travel-writing career, they can, too. Teachers, accountants, sales managers, and law clerks that I know personally have done it.
It doesn’t take having a superpower or even luck. It takes a “doer vs dreamer mentality.” It takes digging in and doing it rather than wishing it or dreaming about it. You can’t be a successful baseball player if you never even step up to the plate.
Getting that first published article does one thing for a determined writer. It pushes them to get the next, and then the next. In turn, a “no” from one editor doesn’t mean a “no” from all editors. Successful travel writers are tenacious and strive to succeed no matter what.
They hone their own writing skills and read other published works to see what makes a top-notch article. They join travel-writing organizations and network with other writers in the field. They research to find the perfect publications for their stories. They attend travel shows and reach out to tourism boards who can assist in setting up trips that include all the perks we love.
Their determination to succeed is strong. They believe it, see it, and go for it.
Like the incredible stories of Max, Sally, and Malala, travel-writing success comes down to the same 3 “Ds.”
With desire, having a doer mentality, and determination, you can propel yourself into a life of fun, adventure, and endless possibilities.