Rethink “reflection”

One thing I always try to remember is that the story is not ultimately about me, it’s about the place. That’s what the reader wants to know about. My experience is the vehicle that illuminates the place.

(George, 2014) 

Post-travel, what do you tend to write in your journal? Maybe you wonder what should go online as travel writing and what should stay in your journal.

Are you like me? When I write about travel, I tend to focus too heavily on my inner landscape, my mentality during the trip, and how I responded to the place of my physical presence. Though this can help me process and often can be useful insight for a piece, it has the potential to also detract from the most interesting meat and potatoes of a trip that would speak to a stranger, not just your mother.

With this in mind, try writing about a recent (or preferably “in the moment”) experience by switching back and forth between writing paragraphs with and without personal pronouns. In other words, leave yourself out of your writing at times to cast focus on what’s doing the “affecting,” what specifically is making you realize new things.

…Write notes on the spot, not at the end of the day (or trip); don’t make yourself the focal point of the piece, it’s the subject matter that should be the focus.
— Fred Mawer