Why I Write (a Travel Blog and Other Things)
Why I Write is part of a ‘blog hop’ which I was invited to join by the lovely Aussie travel bloggers Linda at JourneyJottings and Steve at Expedition Australia. Thank you! I am honored.
You may already know that my route into travel blogging, travel writing and social media started when I moved to Australia in 2009.
After just having spent 18 blissful months off the grid in the jungles of Costa Rica, I wanted to learn about blogging and social media so I could better help my digital marketing clients. I never realised how much my blogging experiences would benefit me both personally and professionally.
So I thought the Why I Write blog hop sounded interesting because I’m always curious about people and if you’re a blogger or writer I’d love to know why and how you write too. Please consider that an open invitation for you to join the blog hop and write your own post following the format below!
Why I Write
I always loved reading as a kid. I was a big fan of Babar (the famous elephant!) and later the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton(!) both of which gave me a lust for adventure and travel.
I started recording my own adventures at a young age writing songs, books and diaries which now span decades. I hardly ever reread them though because they’re mostly insanely boring and filled with people I can’t remember any more!
I do love the chickenpox diary I gave my mum when I was seven though. It’s all packaged up in a yellowed old matchbox and details the heat, itchiness and black currant Ribena drink she gave me as a treat. I was easily pleased.
I’m a word nerd who spent hours pouring over the dictionary and thesaurus as a kid and I still love writing as much as I did then. I love that I’ve turned my writing into a copywriting career writing Web copy and reports for businesses of all sizes.
But my travel writing has been published in print too (thus ticking that off the bucket list!) and I’ve written about everything from business to personal development on some of the biggest sites in the world including the Huffington Post, Gadling, Zen Habits, Copyblogger and Problogger. I’m proud of that.
But most of the writing I do like here on Get In the Hot Spot is written purely for pleasure, fueled only by my love of writing, sharing and creating connections. Basically my name’s Annabel and I’m a writaholic.
Other highlights of my writing career to date include:
- Getting my first blog comment from a stranger;
- Selling hundreds of copies of my book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps and helping thousands of writers and bloggers improve their writing and businesses at Successful Blogging site which I created in 2011 and sold this year.
- Winning a competition after writing 25 words about why I want to go to Zanzibar – which effectively got me paid $400 per word and makes me a prize winning writer! Though not the Pulitzer kind…
What am I working on?
Too much! I love coming up with new ideas and starting new projects so I’ve always got a lot on. At the moment I’m setting up a new business at Marketing Business Lifestyle to help people who work freelance in the marketing industry set up a thriving business.
I’m developing a report, blog posts and business collateral for that and looking forward to sharing it as soon as I can.
I’ve got a manuscript called Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Adventure which details my 52 Exercises Quest. I planned to complete it this year but that’s not going to happen now unless I can find a fairy god-editor to help me with it. Just let me know if that sound like something you could do!
Why do I write what I do?
I really only write for fun so unless I’ve got a paid job I write about what’s inspiring me at that particular moment. All my writing is still just a personal diary really but I try to make it funny and useful so that it helps other people.
I guess I love to write about travel, business, people and personal development because those are all things I love and always want to learn more about.
But I can get inspired about anything and when I do a copywriting job for clients I always end up convincing myself that what I’m writing about is absolutely essential and wanting to buy the product! It’s a bit scary really.
How does my writing process work?
I follow my heart when I pick the topic and don’t worry about whether the writing will be published anywhere. Anything I start writing and don’t finish, or complete but don’t think is good enough for publication, is just good writing practice.
But often when I’ve written something I know it will work on my travel blog, my business blog or as a guest post on someone else’s blog. Then I’ll spend a lot of time tweaking it to improve the headline, story and content in the hope it will reach as many people as possible.
My biggest tip to writers which really goes against my background as a journalist is to always include some personality and personal writing in your stories. That really makes your writing sing and creates bonds like nothing else.
It’s thrilling to get emails or comments from people who say they feel exactly the same way or that they thought they were the only one. I know my writing has helped many people all around the world with a lot of different problems and that feedback motivates me to keep at it.
I love my blog so much because feedback from readers has motivated me to keep writing and keep improving my writing. So it’s really my blog and my readers which have enabled my writing successes – and the failures of which there are many, mostly draft posts on my blogs which no one will ever read!
That’s Why I Write. What About YOU?
Thank you again to Steve and Linda for inviting me to write about why I write. That’s the kind of invitation I love!
I’d like to invited Seana Smith and Johanna Castro to join in this travel writing blog hop and YOU TOO if you have a writing story to share!
Like to join in? Just write your own post and leave a link to it in the comments below anytime you’re ready. I’ll be here, writing away and looking forward to reading about why you write.
Want more HOT tips and inspiration?
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I loved reading about your journey … and the chicken pox diary amused me no end! In short the post is nothing less than inspiring. I’ll tell you all about my cringeworthy writing when I hop onto this blog hop for which you’ve so kindly nominated me :)
Can’t wait – and it’s so NOT cringeworthy!!
Isn’t it great when you stop to look back and can see just what you’ve accomplished over time!
And that collage of activities looks amazing – Can you believe you did a full 52 sports over 52 weeks? I think I should give something like that a go…. maybe after I’ve read your book ;)
Lol, well don’t let waiting for the book to hold you back ;)
Oh goodness, a new project! Can’t wait to find out more about that.
You are so unique, Annabel and have such a unique writing voice. That’s why your writing is so special to me. I’m happy you’re so successful with it and loved ready about why you love writing.
Thank you Sandra :)
Great perspective and I think the underlying message is the reason why you write is because you love to do it.
I love the idea of $400 per word, how we all wish we could be rewarded at that rate. If it is only 25 words I’d love to know what you wrote.
Ah, I remember that feeling of the first comment on my blog, it does feel good :-)
I still love comments so thanks for being here. You can read my prize winning entry here: https://www.getinthehotspot.com/travel-writing/ If I got paid at that rate for every single word I wrote I’m sure I’d be a billionaire :)
I agree with Sandra, you do have a unique writing voice Annabel, and a low key self deprecating humour which I hugely enjoy. You are witty, and that’s a treat to read. You’ve reminded me of my first published work so that will provide some inspiration for when I write this up myself… it’ll take me a wee while to get there, but I will.
Take your time and no pressure. So appreciate your comments – I’d like to write more funny stuff but you have to be in the right frame of mind :)
as always your post has inspired me to keep at it and just write for the love of it! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I always come away inspired and meeting you in person, was wonderful! And you are much taller than I had expected, funny that ;)
I love the way you write, your wit, the topics you chose and the fact that you can be so prolific whilst having hungry teenagers to feed!
Thanks for launching an open invitation to us all, it’s the kind of thing that gets my juices flowing…it might just take a moment to clear the decks, but I’ll take you up on it! Thanks so much for inspiring me to write and continue on this blogging journey of ours :)
That’s great – I can’t wait to read it! Here’s to lots more writing and sharing from all of us. x A
What a story! Those are some authority websites where you’ve been published. I like you write for the love of writing. I write to be free, really…..to express myself, to inspire others and to link how I’ve learned about blogging through my travels.
I just want to bring as many folks as possible with me to paradise, which is why I started my blog.
Writing has been such a blessing to me. I recall Bob Proctor – I think – noting that how if you wanted to connect with a monstrously large audience of people, to inspire them, learn how to write well. I took his advice to heart, and having just published my second eBook in about 2 months, and having another eBook half completed, I feel so honored to inspire folks through my writing play/work.
Way cool macaw pic BTW.
Thanks so much Annabel.
I’ll tweet this soon.
Wow Ryan! You’re a prolific writer – keep it up – I’m sure you will :)
I write because words have flowed through my veins ever since elementary school (was always above average) … since I have a natural aptitude for it, I leverage this strength to help build the life I live at present…
Great story, Annabel. You are certainly an accomplished writer but, perhaps more importantly to your blog readers, an entertaining and informative one. I love reading your travel stories which are always down-to-earth and often, humorous. Keep up the great work – you’ve inspired me to try and get published on Gadling and the Huffington Post, too :)