A coincidence ignites a spark that one hopes will lead to something more meaningful.
Last Saturday, I attended the Travel & Adventure Show in San Diego for the first time. It was also the first time I met a New York Times Bestselling author!
The show was great. I moved from kiosk to kiosk grabbing all the brochures they offered at their table and talked with a few experts. I left the show that day with over 100 brochures and travel guides for destinations all over the world. I can’t wait to go through each one to take notes and make lists. I love lists.
The highlight of the event was meeting Patricia Schultz, New York Times Bestselling Author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. I didn’t realize she was there when I purchased her book. The sales lady asked if I wanted my book signed by the author and I stood their with my mouth open. Is this really happening? Am I about to meet a renowned travel writer?
It may not be that big of a deal for other people, but I’m an aspiring travel writer and I’ve always been a big fan of literature. So it was a big deal for me to meet a published author, a New York Times Bestselling author at that.
I did not think twice to ask for advice. I mean, how often do I come across a renowned travel writer. I asked what advice she would give me as an aspiring travel blogger. She was honest to point out that she doesn’t know much about blogging, but assumes it’s a very competitive niche and one needs to put a lot of hours into it. I just nodded and smiled, agreeing this was true.
Patricia continued to talk about her experience as a writer and I stood there wishing I had a tape recorder. I did not want to miss anything she was saying. So I took a deep breath and I took it all in. This is what I learned from her:
You have to have passion to be successful at something you really want. Becoming a paid writer/blogger requires hours of hard work and time spent on research and finding your voice. Don’t go into travel blogging thinking you will find instant success and start receiving sponsorships, paid travel, and commissioned projects after a few months. Always remember why you are doing this. If you make your passion the priority, rather than the money, success will come. Stay patient and creative. Find a gap in the travel blogging community that requires attention and fill it. Love what you do, all the time, and doors will open for you.