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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Focus

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“All this time the Guard was looking at her, first through a telescope, then through a microscope, and then through an opera-glass.” Lewis Carroll

What is your own personal angle or curiosity?

In The Travel Writer’s Handbook, 2nd edition, by Louise Purwin Zobel, he lists twelve main article patterns that are often developed in travel magazines and books. Each of them can apply to your own personal journals whether or not you want to share with others. Also for those of you focusing on developing a memoir, note if any of these categories might also fit as an umbrella outline for your book length draft.

Notice too that although the material may have a similar foundation in each of these styles, the main focal purpose is the distinguishing difference, whether generalized or viewed under a magnifying class. These descriptive details will affect which category the content will be best presented. He lists four main categories with a sub- point in each.

“From your own Experience: Personal Experience. Advice travel. Humor Article.

Special Audiences: Who travel. How travel. What travel.

Readers On a Journey: Travel Flavor Article. Definitive Destination. Gimmick travel.

Easy Pegs: Roundup. Historical. Here and Now.”

Action Steps: Trip Exercise from a personal experience.

Choose a location from a day or weekend trip you’ve had within the last few months. As you brainstorm through the questions mix up your methods to discover different aspects from different angles.

1. Cluster/brainstorm all you can remember. What did you see? What did you do?  What was planned? Unplanned?

2. Set scene.

3. If you were to sum it up in one word or phrase what would it be? What specifically stood out to you?

4. Go back through your brainstorming and add in your feeling/reactions etc. Write them in with different color pens.

5. Choose a format: essay or article. Write your outline. Write your first paragraph. (More details in section 6)

6. Draft entire piece. Let it sit for a t least a week. Read it over and add in forgotten bits. Sit another week. Revise.

Or alternate version: Pick a place you’ve been to repeatedly and then tell it as if a one visit combining different insights.

Share: Were you surprised by a detail you didn’t notice before? What detail made it stand out?

Read deep, marcy


  1. In the last twelve months, I have traveled over ten times. And because I hadn't traveled much the first trip was a bit scary, in that the unknown was like opening the door to something that may cause me to shrink back. However, the more I traveled, the more familiar I became with tickets, packing, scheduling, and discovering more efficient ways to travel light. This past trip, I can describe in one word. Home. Why? I was familiar with not just the concept of traveling, but the act of traveling. And just as we are familiar in our own homes, we become familiar in our methods of travel also.

  2. Ten times! What wonderful journey opportunities. Thanks for sharing. :)


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