I’ve been trying to think of ways to sell the sort of writing I do here in the blog (only more polished, of course). I’m not coming up with much. Travel mags in general want articles about fun places, not someone’s experiences in them. They are not looking for what goes by the name “narrative nonfiction”; instead they want descriptions (and photos) of local landmarks and tourist attractions. They don’t care about the pretty bartender in some back alley pub, or my musings on a conversation overheard, or about a man with no nose.
I suppose I could write in a more traditional travel style, but there are lots of people gunning for those gigs (“Paid to travel? Cool!”), and while few of them are very good, that still leaves more than enough to fill the void, people whose style is naturally more matter-of-fact than mine. Articles for those who actually go to the attractions when they visit a place are best written by people who travel the same way, rather than some guy who prefers to hang out in dark and quiet bars and watch the locals.
Magazines and Newspapers often have columnists who are more or less free to ramble, as long as they keep the focus relevant to the readers, which generally means “local”. The only place I’d be able to contribute something like that would be a rag catering to ex-pats in Prague, but in general my “local” is much different than theirs, and when I write about how annoying ex-pats can be, it may not go over very well. Still, it’s something I should look into. Maybe someone’s looking for an irascible voice that will piss people off. The other tricky part about that is that I would have to lead a more interesting life, and write about it with fewer words.
Gonzo Travel Magazine, that’s what I need. Maybe Letters From a Bowling Alley, or perhaps Rock Stacking World. That would be a sweet gig, traveling the world on assignment, hanging out in rocky places, meeting other stackers, and just generally screwing around. Remind me to search Writer’s Market for rock stacking.
Any of you guys have any ideas? Do you know any magazines or newspapers that actually exist that might like this sort of thing?
Meanwhile, one of the waiters here at the Bowling alley is blindfolded. I bet there’s a story there.