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    Advice for the Would-Be Travel Writer

    The Ailment: I'm going on holiday soon and am thinking about using my experiences as articles upon my return. What kind of advice would you give to a would-be travel writer?

    The Cure: Before you go on your trip, do as much preparation as you can about what you will see and the places you will visit. Then make a list of possible articles you could write. Next think of all the information you will need in order to write such an article and write it down in a notebook you will take with you.

    Whilst you are on holiday, make the notes that you need answers to in your notebook. Add any observations that come to mind especially those that touch the senses. Describe things in great detail so that you will be clear about them when you come home. Ask other tourists what they think so that you can intersperse comments if you choose to do so. Ask questions to the locals that you think someone in another country might like to know. In short, collect as much information as possible whilst you are there - because there are any number of articles you could write about once you get back, if only you gather enough information. Look at things from the perspective of a disabled person, of a mother with small children, of older people, of younger people, how easy is it to have a good time if you don't speak the language, what happens if you have an accident whilst you are there, what's the transport system like, etc etc etc.

    If you are eating out, make a note of the name of the restaurant, then add to this what the atmosphere and service were like, was the food good, was it overly expensive, what kind of price range did the menu cover, etc. If you can, find out what their house speciality is - many restaurants have one. Don't be afraid to ask other guests whether they are enjoying their meal - or if you don't feel like disturbing either your own table, or someone elses, revert to the writer's time honoured tradition of eavesdropping and see if people generally seem happy with their meal. Many publications seek "fillers" in the form of restaurant reviews - now if you could add a photo of the restaurant, and or the staff, you could have a nice set of possible articles!

    Speaking of photos! Take two cameras. Keep one for yourself and "family" pictures. Keep the other one for taking shots you might want to use with your articles (good financial boost if you can add photos to your article). Then when you get back, develop the family photos in the normal way, but check the publications you want to submit to before developing the other - if they are ones that require slides you are then in a position to develop the film in this way instead of committing it to photograph format first. Don't forget, if you take a photograph of someone, get them to sign a piece of paper at the time you take the photo that states they allow you to use their photo for publication purposes - most editors will ask for this. Your preparation could include creating this simple form and printing off a bunch to pack in your luggage - and don't forget to carry some around with you during your holiday - you never know when you might need it! Remember also to identify the form with the number of the photograph on your roll plus some other identifying feature so that you know which form applies to which image when your film is developed.

    Hope that you find this helpful. Happy Holiday.

    Copyright © 2001 Katie Gustafsson

    Katie Gustafsson is an English freelance writer/translator/poet who lives in Sweden with her soul-mate/husband (whom she met online), Mikael, and their baby son, Jake. Her writing credits include print and on-line publications in short stories, articles and poetry. Recent articles include work for Amateur Chef magazine, and where she is the guide for the USA for Foreigners section. She is owns the Wake Up Writing site.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

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    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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