I’m a writer. So I like to write about writing. I have also compiled a list of Writing Resources, which I may update from time to time.

On Spec Or Not On Spec?

I’ve got one of those nasty summer colds right now, so my head isn’t quite right today. So it seemed like a good day to browse the net – also the BootsNall Boards – to see what was going on.

I come back to the topic of travel writing, in general, and writing “on spec,” specifically, because it is one of those topics that I can’t seem to find agreement on, either on writing sites or within myself.

Writing on spec – or, on speculation – is one of those no-nos they tell you about in Travel Writing 101. Here’s the scenario: you query an editor and the editor likes your idea but asks to see a fully-written article before he/she agrees to pay you for it. In 9 cases out of 10, you will put in a lot of hard work for little or no gain.

I’ve technically written on spec once, but thankfully was paid for it. But what of the hundreds of queries I have sent out and never fully fleshed out?

What Travel Writing Should Be

I have been absolutely riveted by Richard Bangs story on his Tour of Libya for Slate.com.

As much as I may like to fancy myself a travel writer, I’ve certainly got a lot to learn from Bangs and others who occasionally write engaging pieces.

Last year, I tried querying Tom Swick of the South Florida Sun Sentinel with several article ideas. All were rejected, sadly, but he did direct me to read his article that details what makes a good travel story. Hopefully he won’t mind if I post it here – maybe he’ll get better queries from us so-called travel writers.