[PERSONAL] The voice of travel writing

Then there’s travel journalism. I’ve been a reader of so many travel blogs that I soon lost the interest in completing paragraphs of any given article. I would scan a page and look at the pictures but never really took time reading what the writer has to say anymore.

So what makes people write about places anyway? Most of the studies I read about blogging point to the increasing number of people subscribing to certain websites only for amazing photos and great graphics There is a seemingly decrease in the number of people actually reading the material – word per word – and sharing the experiences of the author born and raised in the written language.

I am a photo enthusiast, yes, but I am also a lover of words. Those that make the beautifully written ones prod me to create my own.

I take time uploading entries here. I post-process photos (I am a believer of watermarks, people) and try to screen off things I scribbled down in my travel journal (and yes I bring one, people) so the time for processing a single entry expands to months. Perhaps none of these “things” I so wanted to share would even see the light of day, if granted.

I’ve always thought putting up this site was to share and make people aware of things I encounter as I go from place to place, but as I went by seeing spaces, houses, cultures, talking to people, writing and not writing about them, I seemed to realize that this page is all about myself.

Here are musings, things I collect as my footprints are embedded anywhere. I often pause to think “Should I even post this? No one reads this site anyway.” Then I would soon realize that this is all about denting into a limitless world my experiences as a Manilenya traveling, saving, swimming, eating and writing.

There are voices I try to avoid in writing; those that seem to reflect me quite a lot and they seem to not sound compelling for serious travel writing. They sound inane and often make me look like I hate the world too much.

I never write about anything I don’t feel strongly about, because I can never be “forced” to write. I only do it because I may have read something that makes me want to emulate the voice – and this makes me “voice-less” so to speak. So I read other people to write my own.

I don’t have my own tone. I am an emulator of linguistic ones that I oftentimes end up confused myself. One moment I am as sarcastic as the hateful Jessica Zafra and another I am as serene as my favorite Matadorian, Emily Arent. These voices vary, and as I read and read more about travel writing, my true feelings are exposed. Do I really need to write for people or for myself?

Zafra, an influence of my college days brought me to perfect essay grades. Arent taught me to pause and reflect. Then there’s this new guy, Bill Bryson, who unknowingly influenced me to sound just like myself – informal yet descriptive. He taught me journalistic skills are to be observed from people and it comes through listening to my own thoughts. He also taught me to write on a journal.

As I continue “blogging” about my experiences, I have slowly realized the very purpose of my travel writing. I want to start walking towards it – if only I can hear the right voice to write. Maybe I can get there before 2012 ends. Or if not, I still have more chances I can take.

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6 thoughts on “[PERSONAL] The voice of travel writing

  1. “This page is all about myself”

    You got me there. I confess I write simply to express myself. Writing provides solace. And it’s such a good memory aides ESP for those trips I’ve made! Keep writing.

    1. Yes. It took me long to realise that, more so admit it. Sometimes, finding that voice is hard, and I have to keep up. But then, I started to let go. I am not making an excuse for poor writing and poor discipling on posting. It’s just how it is I guess. Thanks for the note! 🙂

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