Posted: May 27, 2019
There isn’t an obvious connection between contributing to sustainable development, travelling, and doing an online writing course, is there? But these are the perfect ingredients for what it takes to make an impact as a travel writer.
Becoming a writer is a calling. But learning to be a writer who contributes positively to the world is a journey where the hard work pays off.
What difference does it make whether you say “anti-animal cruelty” or “animal conservation”? Why does it matter whether you talk about “responsible travel” instead of just “travel”?
It matters because when you write something that people love to read, you can start to change the way they think. It matters because when you become a freelance writer you have a rare opportunity to make a difference – if you’re thoughtful about it.
The first reason to do a travel writing course is obvious: You’ll come out a better writer. Whether you’ve been writing since you could hold a crayon, or you’ve studied English or creative writing at university, or you write as a hobby, or you’re a professional writer, an intensive writing mentorship will improve your skills.
But even if you don’t have dreams of becoming a professional freelance writer, doing a writing internship will give you highly valuable soft skills to set you apart in any profession. And an online writing course? That means you can reap these benefits from the comfort of your couch, anywhere in the world.
Studies have shown that writing improves critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In a writing internship, you work closely with an editor to polish your writing and problem-solve together. This means there’s an objective eye to point out areas for growth and guide you to excel in your strengths. You’ll find your blind spots and be empowered to see through them more clearly in the future.
You’ll be developed and encouraged to improve your research, logic, structure and creativity. Up-to-date learning materials and dedicated feedback ensure you’re supported as you grow in your skills.
You’ll also learn better communication. From how to reduce errors in your writing to how to choose and use empowering language, you will learn to look at words in more depth.
Doing an online writing course also improves your creativity. From coming up with story ideas to fit a brand framework, to using description and narrative techniques effectively, you’ll be flexing your creative muscles constantly.
But travel writing isn’t just any writing. Travel writing is about sharing the love of wandering the world. But how do you write about your adventures in a way that someone other than your mom would want to read? How do you get people to care?
It’s 2019. People are waking up to the development challenges we face globally. People are realising that it takes more than a retweet to make a positive impact on the world.
You may be wondering how you, as an individual, can contribute to sustainable development. When you’re passionate about the world and the environment, it can be hard to know how to use that passion to make a positive impact.
When you do an online writing course with GVI, your work is firmly rooted in our ethical ethos and our promise to make an impact. Everything you write with GVI will be within the framework of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
You’ll report on programs and projects making an active leap forward to achieving those goals. You’ll research and write about how anyone can volunteer abroad to be part of those projects. You’ll develop your own reflections as you learn to become a thought leader in causes from marine conservation to women’s empowerment.
You won’t just be any old travel writer. You’ll be a responsible travel writer. You’ll transcend the generic Instagram picture with a travel quote that everyone’s seen a million times. Yes – your words will inspire people to travel ethically and responsibly, wherever they go.
Imagine this: You write an article about coral bleaching. A reader clicks on your article, then something clicks in their mind. There’s a lightbulb moment. They understand. Their inspiration leads them to sign up for a conservation volunteering program in Fiji.
Fast forward a few months and they’re in a wetsuit working with local partners to collect scientific data that contributes directly to conserving life below water.
It’s a tough world out there for writers. And if you’ve ever thought about following this dream, you’ll probably have scoured the web like a hungry spider wondering how to get started as a freelance writer.
It’s not an easy answer, but you’ll soon find that the best online writing courses should encourage the following for freelance writers:
And the best online writing course will teach you to grow in all of these skills. Here at the GVI Writing Academy, our team of development editors will work closely with you as you learn your individual strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
They’ll encourage you to keep refining each piece you hand in. You’ll be given constructive feedback. You’ll also learn to develop and pitch ideas for stories.
Writing to a deadline is hard. But it’s an essential requirement. It also helps you refine your process and keep your ideas under control. An online writing course that holds you to deadlines ensures you don’t lose yourself in procrastination or self-doubt.
It also forces you to learn to manage your time. If you want to write and travel for a living or get paid to write, learning to stick to deadlines is imperative.
Not only does the GVI Writing Academy teach you travel writing, it also teaches you how to write for an organisation, and to customise this content for the web. This is vital if you want to be an online content writer.
With so many aspiring freelance writers out there, it’s vital that you stand out. When you become a freelance writer, you need to have a niche of expertise.
In the GVI Writing Academy you’ll learn to write about responsible travel – a content niche that’s important for travellers who want to make a positive impact on the world. And responsible tourism is increasingly important for travellers.
It’s also an online writing course that offers the top writing interns a chance to get published on the GVI website. When you have a portfolio of insightful articles from a highly-rated international brand, you have a headstart in a writing career.
Can you think of a moment from your travels that made you feel excited to share on social media or rush to tell a friend? Maybe you saw the world in a different light from the top of Kilimanjaro or held your breath as you took in the vastness of the Angkor Wat temple complex.
And can you think of a moment from your travels that challenged you? Maybe you saw the impact of plastic pollution and wondered how you could decrease your plastic consumption.
It felt good to share that story with your community, right? And when you learn to write professionally, you can share those stories even further.
As a storyteller, you have the power to shift mindsets. And that, of course, comes with responsibility. Travel writers, in particular, have the responsibility to break down stereotypes and employ narratives that treat every culture with respect.
As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says in her deeply insightful TED talk, The Danger of a Single Story, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
As a travel writer, you see the world and you communicate about the world. An alumni of the GVI Writing Academy aspires to write about their travels with wisdom, respect, and ethics.
They choose the narrative that empowers, instead of writing a single story from the perspective of a privileged tourist. They seek to find words that create understanding, instead of words that skim the surface. They dive deep into the meaning of words, to find and share “aha moments” that bring people all around the world together to make a difference.
So join us on our mission. Apply now to take the online travel writing course that teaches you to be a better communicator, how to be a freelance writer, and how to make a difference.