I am finally finished with The Project from both heaven and hell. Funny, just as I finished, a month of 12-hour days, hunched at the computer, I read a forum where this lady said:
“How can I get a job like Rick Steves and and Samantha Brown, travel around the world, and be PAID for it?”
If the forum wasn’t four-years old, I would reply: There is no job like that. And also, although I like Rick Steves, I am pretty sure Samantha Brown has no idea w-t-f she’s doing. Now Anthony Bourdain…
(Side note: Rick Steves and Expedia rejected me, so really, there is no job like that, even for me who has been travel writing for 2 years now.)
I also don’t REALLY travel the world, I expatriated and became a specialist in one specific region.
Travel writing, especially guidebook writing is A LOT of hard work. So please, think of us writers next time you toss a guidebook in the garbage. I like to save them, take notes on them, sort of like a journal of the trip. I imagine if you’re creative enough, you can make a cool collage or poster out of their innards.
I understand eventually, they’ll get tossed or (hopefully) recycled, but I hope people really appreciate and use them. Unlike with certain review sites, the writers are (theoretically) trained to taste-out the best restaurants, sniff out the best hotels.
Also, please don’t say, I Could Do Your Job. It’s insulting, like I just waltzed into it with no prior experience. The devaluation of writers is something I plan to tackle in a future post.
Travel writing, by far, with the exception of literary writing, the most rewarding type of writing I’ve ever done. I enjoy getting rid of restaurants who are obviously serving terrible food. And replacing those with ones I know visitors will have a great experience.
Here is a photo narrative of Quebec City cuisine.
Quebec City in Cuisine and Clouds
August 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm
As a children’s book author, I also sometimes hear comments that make me want to gnash my teeth. Stuff like “I’m gonna do that, too! It looks so easy!”
In short, I empathize.
Love your pics, by the way! I now must eat at a restaurant that serves a leaning tower of bread.
August 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm
Yes, comments like that make me bristle and I think as the written word becomes liquid text writers are becoming more and more devalued. Just a hunch. I also have a lot of people say this to me — I should have your job. Ok, do you want to work 12 hours a day? Or fly out of your own pocket? Or call 100 people in French. Have nightmares about typos? No, didn’t think so.
I want links to your children’s books. That sounds amazing. Also, leaning towers of bread are awesome and if you go to QC, I’ll let you what restaurant serves them.
August 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Yes, comments like that make me bristle and I think writers are becoming more and more devalued. Just a hunch. A lot of people seem to think travel writing is easy and fun, but I don’t think they realize the long hours, the nightmares about typos, and that fact-checking is the majority of the work.
Children’s book writing must be amazing (although not easy). How did you get into it? Also, leaning towers of bread are awesome and if you go to QC, I’ll let you what restaurant serves them.
August 12, 2012 at 12:37 am
I only have one children’s book so far, but it’s coming out in a few weeks! I can only hope it is the first of many:
I made the decision to get into children’s books a few years ago. I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and then figured things out as I went along, sending manuscripts out and making connections until I finally got that first contract.
I also write for a living; I am the editor of an alumni magazine. It’s a wonderful gig where I get to write about most every subject under the sun.
I’ve been to Quebec only once, but I loved it. I do hope to return. When I do, I will be certain to get some of your restaurant recommendations.
August 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm
Looks great! And please, contact me for recs.
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