Sunday, April 12, 2009


Writing and Travelling

by LuAnn Schindler

LuAnn Schindler is on vacation this week.

What happens when a journalist is absent from the workplace? Either she completes her assignments ahead of time or she submits while on the road. In my case, I'm submitting while I'm on the road.

Today, I'm blogging for The Muffin from sunny San Diego. Luckily, my sister has a computer (although I'm suffering with a 56K dial-up connection). The clear blue skies and the awesome ocean view provide a fantastic backdrop for the creative juices.

Even though I've been here since Thursday, I've still written every day - mostly longhand - but it's important to maintain a writing routine of some kind, even while travelling or on vacation. You never know when something you witness or overhear will spark an idea. Like many of you, I keep a small notebook in my purse and add notes whenever something grabs my interest.

Yesterday, we visited historic Julian, California, an 1800s gold-mining town that's now famous for it's apple crops. While there, I got caught up with all the history, the layout of the town, and the swarm of visitors to this berg located in the mountains. I had my notebook out most of the afternoon. Ok, maybe I put it away while we were munching on local BBQ or during the wine tasting. Actually, I didn't. I took notes about every single thing that stood out to me, because as a journalist, I know at some point I will be able to use the information in an article or creative non-fiction project.

Yes, I'm on vacation this week, but the writing continues.

And when you are away from home - even for a weekend visit - the writing must go on.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


Writing and Wanderlust

by Susan L. Eberling

I love to travel. I even love to fantasize about traveling. Sometimes I borrow Rick Steves’ travel videos from the library and watch them while I fold laundry. When my husband gets home I demand that we start saving for a 21-day backpacking trip through Great Britain and Amsterdam. (I think my husband is going to try to hide my library card soon.) When I read Barbara Hudgins’ article, How 2 Create a Travel Piece from Your Visit, in WOW’s July issue, I was once again smitten and glassy-eyed at the thought of combining my two great obsessions: writing and travel.

I have been stymied from becoming too excited about travel writing for a number of reasons. First of all, who doesn’t want to get paid to write about their vacation, thereby paying for some of the Mai Tai’s consumed at the pool or for Swiss chocolates nibbled on while gazing at the Jungfrau in the Alps? Travel writing is a competitive market, requiring writers to produces copy that snaps, is distinctive and informative all at the same time.

Another reason I’ve been hesitant to avidly pursue travel writing is because, when I do go on vacation, I want to relax and not think about deadlines or keeping research straight. What would I do if I get back home and forgot to see something or talk to someone significant to my story? This seems a bit stressful. Are there any travel writers out there who have found a good balance between work and play when vacationing and working on a travel writing piece?

After reading Barbara’s article I did a quick Google search on travel writing and found what seems to be a very alluring conference for the beginning travel writer. The Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference will be held in Corte Madera, California August 14-17, 2008. If you check out the conference schedule, you will find a diverse set of sessions taought by professionals in the craft of travel writing.

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