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The whir of the drill close to my right ear brought me back to reality. Lori Sweet - on how to get started in travel writing

Close to an hour into my root canal, the realization dawned on me that I had actually been working on some travel-writing story ideas in my head. My hand itched for my normally ever-present pen and notebook that sat just out of reach in my purse on the nearby table. 

I have definitely been bitten by the travel-writing bug. 

Last fall, I was sitting in a hushed ballroom in New Orleans with 140 other like-minded people, absorbing as much information as possible at Great Escape Publishing’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop. Each one of us had high hopes that this was what we needed to get started in travel writing.  

My husband took the program, as well, feeling this was a great idea for something we could do together. Excitedly, we both worked on a travel story about our visit to one of New Orleans’ many famous cemeteries.  

After writing our stories, we split up into small groups where each person read aloud what they had written. Each group was led by a professional travel writer who offered us constructive criticism and feedback. As I waited for my turn, many thoughts ran through my mind: I had never written anything for publication in my life. Could I even do this? 

Fast forward six months. To date, my husband and I have had one article published together, and I’ve just recently landed my eighth byline, with several more in the works. 

Following the roadmap from this workshop has changed my view of the world. Everything around me is now a potential story. My own hometown and surrounding area suddenly have become a wealth of inspiration – a place that people, even people who live here, would love to visit.  

I have always loved this quote from Oprah Winfrey: “Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every paycheck will be a bonus.” 

I’m well on my way!

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