Online Daily Travel Writing
The motorcyclist Cihan Karadag told me in Istanbul that he does not know how much he is going to write online during his journey through the Middle East because he wants to have the time to think about his experiences and impressions before he publishes them.
“Yeah, wouldn’t that be nice,” I said in a bought of self mockery.
Karadag’s goal is to take the time and write a good book about his travels, whereas I publish my thoughts and impressions everyday with little editing or backtracking.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Silopi, Turkey- March 30, 2009
Travelogue —Travel Photos –Travel Guide
Click on map to view route of travel.
This are two different ways of travel writing. They are both good and ultimately meet similar ends, but their means of composition are vastly different. Online daily travel writing and writing for travel books are like different genus’s of the same species. They can often be mated together, but the offspring will be infertile.
I once thought that it could be interesting to read the writings of well know travel authors in a defacto sense as their journeys continue to play out and evolve. I thought that it would be interesting to read their writings through some sort of an online daily travel writing medium- whether it be a blog, travelogue, daily magazine, or whatever you want to call that which you are reading right now. But I now know that the arts are different: I do not think that a travel author would be hard pressed to write their transmissions daily online.
Publishing daily online is a very naked way of writing, as there is always a startling chance that you will write something stupid.
It is much different to write of a journey as it is happening than after it is finished. It is much different to write daily from the road than to sit down in a cozy room in your own home with an endless library and internet resources at hand to retroactively construct a completed trip from notes, fanciful memory, deeper research, and well placed edits. It is easy to make your self look real smart if you have months to edit out all of the stupid things that you’ve done or said.
The aspect of a travel book in which the author is physically traveling is only one part of its construction, as there are months and months of edits, rewrites, fact checking, working in editor’s and publisher’s feedback, and further research that go into the construction of the final product.
The online daily travel writer who is perpetual motion must write and publish quickly, continuously, and more than often without the further research aides of librarys or even steady internet access. There are no blankets to hide behind if you write of your travels daily, there is nowhere to run to, nowhere to cower. This is writing in the raw, and I think that this is this genre of writing’s biggest attribute: you can see how journeys and people evolve, you can see how opinions form and change, you can read about how someone really comes into a place and then leaves.
But this writing must always be done in rapid succession at a break neck pace. You must take note one minute and publish a fully completed piece the next. It is a fast, ongoing, continuous way of writing: it doesn’t every stop, there are no breaks. I try to publish three travelogue entries a day. I usually work from seven to noon in the morning and then work on articles for print publication in the evening. The time inbetween I spend outside, talking to people, finding information, taking photographs, and making videos.
I think this is fun.
Both forms of travel writing have merit, but they are different, and it is my impression that should be taken as such. In a travel book you can read of a fluid journey that is backe up with facts, history, cotext, and a broader sense of what is taken place. In online daily travel writing you can read about a journey as it is forming in the raw. You can see impressions arise and fall, opinions change, people change, and gaze upon a traveler’s dirty laundry each and every day.
Daily online travel writing has the potential to make a traveler look real stupid, but it also shows the guts of the opperation: the innards of traveling the world.
The author of travel books looks suave, becomes famous, and gets money.
The online daily travel writer is a chump begging for donations, spending more money than he’s making, and getting inboxes full of comments telling him that he is an idiot.
Perhaps the commentators are correct, but I like riding this run away train.
Online Daily Travel Writing