As I try to find my place in the wide world of travel writing, and of recent, in the Blogosphere, I am still seeking a proper balance of the hours and hours spent sitting down doing research, typing, and editing–hey, you think the stuff you have read here just flows on to these pages like so much effluent pouring out of a broken sewer main (…wait, don’t answer that)–balanced with having a life outside this little screen; oh yeah, and getting more than five hours of sleep.
And as I try to find my place in the wide world of travel writers, I am trying to find–as the real writers call it–my voice as a writer. I won’t even start discussing my mental gymnastics as I try to figure out if I should really be spending my time aiming my writing for the “conventional” media of magazines and newspapers, rather than blissfully blogging the hours away.
Since I have started down this new road of travel writing–where the minefield of puns is never ending–I continue to find a plethora of examples to peruse. I have previously commented on the genres of travel writing, such as guidebooks and literary style.
Obviously many blogs are simply online journals or diaries of “how I spent my summer vacation,” replete with plenty of personal slides that are mostly of interest to the blogger and his immediate family (and probably in many cases, not even to them).
With my time of discovery still in the formative stages, I have read with interest in recent months “confessionals” of various travel writers addressing the supposed dark side of the “industry.”
My first inkling that not all was well in the writing front was a story in World Hum.
And now, more recently, stories about a writer at Lonely Planet are popping up, including at prominent places such as the New York Times and discussed over at Killing Batteries, and then cussed about at same.
Some might say much of this is nothing more than self-generating publicity.
The bottom line is that I will continue to seek out quality guidebooks from authors like Rick Steves and look for well written prose in the form of travel literature from writers like Tim Cahill. As to the rest of the many, many other sources: caveat emptor.
While the current discourse may not yet be at the low level worthy of a Jerry Springer episode, the recent revelations are at least elucidating if not entertaining; maybe even muckraking.