During this weekend of thanks I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the incredibly supportive community of readers, writers and travelers that I’ve encountered during my stint as a Written Road contributor. Through this engaging interactive network I’ve been able to grow my very own global network of friends, colleagues and inspirational travel-lovin’ role models.
Although I intend to remain a loyal reader of Written Road, I will no longer be writing for the website. There are a handful of reasons for this, but I’ll keep the explanation simple: As I wrote to Jen Leo in an email recently, “I have discovered that I have writing inspirations that have nothing to do with travel and travel inspirations that have nothing to do with writing — and I’m going to start exploring these things from new angles.”
That’s the clearest way I can say it. I still have travel writing goals too, but I know that to get anywhere with any of this, it’s time to step back from blogging for now. And Jen tells me that there are already a bunch of terrific folks interested in writing for Written Road Version 2.0! So, I happily look forward to following along as others have the chance to play an active role in this fabulous community.
A few very important thank you’s:
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I will be forever grateful to Jen for giving me an opportunity to write here back in early 2005, and for truly nurturing my drive and spirit as both writer and traveler. She simply rocks! — as a coach, mentor and friend. Next, a huge thanks to the entire BootsnAll crew (Sean, Chris, Court, Dave and Mary, who I worked with closest over the past year, as well as the enthusiastic and knowledgable Boots board.) I would have never traveled as far as I did this year (nor found my way back home) if it were not for the help and guidance of my adopted west coast family.
And finally, to all the Written Roadies — from newbies like me to seasoned media professionals — please continue to inspire and motivate one another! The energy generated is awesome and addictive. As a parting gift, here are two final travel writing recommendations:
1) Take a Class! Amanda Castleman’s From Free Trips to Flat Tires travel writing class comes highly recommended for when you are ready to take your writing to the next level. I spent several weeks this fall immersed in rewrites and word choice dilemmas, juggling daily life with drafts and edits — And of course, it was worth every second. Great lessons. Great tips. Great critiques.
2) Read a Book! Try Barbara Sjoholm’s recently released Incognito Street: How Travel Made Me a Writer. This touching and beautifully written memoir tells the story of how Barbara’s early travel experiences shaped her writing life. Her shares insight on her own personal path from travel journal scribbles to a successful career as a writer, translator and publisher.
Peace and Happy Days, Hope to see ya on the road!