Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Penning the Perfect Travel Memoir

This summer has been an emotional roller coaster. But, honestly, it has helped me more than I could have ever imagined.

I started the summer in job mode: searching everywhere for potential careers, picking up numerous freelance jobs, and constantly scouring for more and more opportunities to build my portfolio/resume. I was working two jobs--one an unpaid internship--to fill my days, and on top of that trying to schedule in activities to fill my evenings. Apart from the work, I was trying to formulate a good workout and healthy eating routine, which takes a little more dedication that I think I was really willing to give. By mid-summer, I was burnt out.

I did not know what direction my life was going, I was stressing myself out with all my freelance work which I was voluntarily contributing to, and I was being pulled in every direction. It wasn't until my boyfriend sat me down in a teary-eyed state and asked me straight out "what do you want to do? what makes you happy?" It took me less than a second to answer...travel writing.

Yes, I am aware that this blog is about travel, so I am already doing something in my area of interest. But all these other tasks were just deterring me from my passion. I did all these things--internships, freelance--because I thought I was suppose to in order to get a writing career off the ground. Yes, they certainly help and I have accumulated a number of writing samples because of them. But in reality, they were becoming too much to handle.

Now, it is the end of the summer. I have let one of my freelance jobs go, and I'm keeping one just so I can continue to build my portfolio. My internship is ending this week, so I will no longer be stressing about various assignments about beauty trends and innovative packaging. I decided to slow down on the job hunt, because I do still have a year left of graduate school to finish and therefore a decent amount of time to search for future careers. But most important, I am writing my travel memoir.

I am now dedicating about 15-20 minutes a day writing down my travel experiences. I have decided to focus on my Europe trip last summer that lasted 7 long weeks. Already I have written three chapters or essays--not quite sure how the structure is going to be laid out. The important part is that I am writing and feeling good about the material I am producing. I can tell you, truthfully, that I feel a lot more relaxed, collected, and happy about where life is going now that I have a focus. After I get a few more chapters/essays finished, I am going to try to send the manuscript to a few agents or publishers and hopefully get lucky. I know it can be a long process, but this is something I truly love to do, so why waste my time doing anything else?

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