Sunday, May 22, 2005

Writing the travel piece, just for the writing

MICHOACAN, Mexico - Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle (and its online version) had a wonderful piece about a stretch of Mexican coastline between Manzanillo on the north and Zihuatenejo on the south.
  • A Mexican paradise

  • I know the stretch, having sailed along the 200 or so miles in my 48-foot boat. The coastline isn't good for boating, not much in the way of anchorages. But if the travel piece is any indication, I need to go back, by car or bus, and check it out. It sounds like paradise.

    Travel writing is a tough thing to break into - at least to get paid for. But if you want to get any kind of shot at it, start writing short pieces about places you travel to, even if you just post them blog-style. It will get you where you need to be to take on a travel assignment. And you will have clips, maybe lots of clips, by the time you get started. And it will teach you that every place is interesting enough to write about - even those towns in Iowa I make fun of all the time.

    OP-ED IDEA FOR TODAY - This past weekend there were lots of graduation speeches at colleges and in a few weeks, there will be tons more at every high school in America. Check your local high school and find out if anyone famous is going to speak. And if not, consider a funny column about if, say, Warren Beatty spoke at your local high school's graduation. Or Ward Churchill. Or Snoop Dogg? Or anybody your can image. (Reese Witherspoon would be my choice.) What would they tell the graduates? What would you want them to tell the graduates?