Both strangers and friends ask me for the steps and the secrets to become a travel writer especially now that I am listed as the #1 Expert on Travel Writing by Klout.
People ask, “Is it hard to get started? How do you get to the point where you receive trips and perks?” My answer is often to ask a question: “How do you eat an elephant?” The way to tackle any new or giant task is one bite at a time.
When I began my site, I committed to writing once a week, every Sunday. I chose to publish on blogger because it was free and I did not need a new password. Those were my requirements; I was willing to begin but it had to be free.
Commitment to yourself and your project is one of the most important parts. I encourage you to join nearly two thousand writers who have shared their stories in my ten travel writing competitions. The We Said Go Travel Gratitude Writing Award (our 11th) is now open and accepting entries. One of the best parts about this award is that we publish all the entries that meet the requirements. By participating, you will have an article on a top travel site and people can learn about your travels and travel style.
Please help me welcome our two judges, Alexa Meisler founder of both 52 Perfect Days & Break Into Travel Writing, and Dr. Jessie Voigts, founder of Wandering Educators. Both are strong travel writers, advocates for new writers and on the top seven Travel Writing Expert list by Klout with me!
When I wonder if I am making the right choice, I often think of the Room of the 1000 Demons. I hope it helps you as you navigate your next steps to having your new dream career!
ROOM OF ONE THOUSAND DEMONS
A long time ago high up in the mountains of Tibet there was a Buddhist monastery that once every 100 years had a ceremony of enlightenment. All of the students would line up in their white robes, and the Tibetan priests and the Dalai Lama would line up before the students.
The Dalai Lama would begin the ceremony by saying, “This is the ceremony of The Room of 1,000 Demons. It is a ceremony for enlightenment, and it happens only once every one hundred years. If you choose not to go through with it now, you will have to wait for another one hundred years. To help you make this decision, we’ll tell you what the ceremony involves.”
“In order to enter The Room of 1,000 Demons, all you have to do is open the door and walk in. The Room of 1,000 Demons is not very big. Once you enter, the door will close behind you. There is no door handle on the inside of the door. In order to get out, you will have to walk all the way through the room, find the door on the other side, open the door (which is unlocked), and walk out of the room. Then you will be enlightened.”
“The room is called The Room of 1,000 Demons because there are one thousand demons in there. These demons have the ability to take the form of your worst fears. As soon as you walk into the room, the demons will show you your worst fears. If you have a fear of heights, when you walk into the room it will appear as if you are standing on a narrow ledge of an extremely tall building. If you have a fear of spiders, you’ll be surrounded by the most terrifying eight-legged creatures imaginable. Whatever your fears are, the demons take those images from your mind and seem to make them real. In fact, they’ll be so compellingly real that it will be very difficult to remember that they’re not.”
“We can’t come in and rescue you. That is part of the rules. If you go into The Room of 1,000 Demons, you must leave it on your own. Some people never leave. They go into The Room of 1,000 Demons and become paralyzed with fright. They stay trapped in the room until they die. If you want to take the risk of entering the room, that’s fine. If you don’t want to go in and decide that you want to go home instead, that’s fine. You don’t have to enter the room. You can wait until you are re-incarnated, come back in one hundred years time, and try it again.”
“If you want to enter the room, we have two hints for you.
The first hint: As soon as you enter The Room of 1,000 Demons, remember that what the demons show you isn’t real. It’s all from your mind. Don’t buy into it; it’s an illusion. Of course, most of the people who went into the room before you couldn’t remember that. This idea is very difficult to keep in mind.
The second hint has been more helpful for the people who made it out the other side and became enlightened. Once you go into the room, no matter what you see, no matter what you feel, no matter what you hear, no matter what you think, keep your feet moving. If you keep your feet moving, you will eventually get to the other side, find the door, and come out.”