Monday, 8 September 2014

The Buzz of a Byline

I still get it. I've had quite a few now but every time I see my name in print, I still get a little tingle of excitement. Nothing kills the buzz quite so effectively as the title in question spelling my name wrong though. Why is that? Obviously, a little bit about ego. I want people to chance upon that article and see that I wrote it. I want them to be impressed that I got a pitch accepted, that the Sunday Times Travel Magazine thought I was good enough to write for them. I want to feel validated as a writer! So many pitches have been turned down; at least let me savour the sporadic victories.
Bloody inaccurate sub editors

More than that though, it's all the bloody work I put in. Ok, a travel writing gig seems like a pretty good one to have. And they can be - I've written before about the wonderful experiences you can have that are beyond your salary scale when you're writing.

This particular feature was a long and drawn out process. I initially pitched in September 2012. Once accepted, I enlisted help from PRs and local tourism organisations. That went pretty well - a couple of hotels were promised and they also provided a car. I took the trip early in June 2013 and spent a hectic week trying to experience as many hotels, restaurants and things to do as Rhodes had to offer. The feature was submitted soon after and for quite a long time, I thought it had been spiked as the features editor could not confirm when it would appear. Then, at the beginning of July, I got an email to say it was going to make the October issue but that the format had changed a little and could I do some rewrites?

Even with the misspelling, it's all still worth it. When I was in Rhodes and met people, they would ask me what I did. I would say 'I'm a writer. I'm over here writing a piece on Rhodes for the Sunday Times Travel Magazine.' And that felt pretty good.

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