writers block – Stuff for articles?

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  jamesintheworld 11 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #3131

    Stuff for articles

    I have had a bit of a writers block lately so I was wondering if the well rounded and traveled folks here could give me some suggestions for short articles that travelers, adventurers and such would be interested in. nothing long, just a few paragraphs of interesting or funny info, something like the quick articles in magazines like Maxum.

    Here are some of the ideas I have been thinking about:

    -Several different articles on adventure jobs
    -Cost of living in countries
    -Ways to make a buck wile traveling
    -That’s it, may brain locked up after then

    What do ya think and could you suggest more?

    ~James

  • #9640

    mikethehack
    Participant

    The first thing to do is compare and contrast the different house styles of the different magazines. Maxim, FHM and Esquire are different for different reasons. That will give you a good idea of what to aim for.

    Then go through their archives and see what they have done or not. Look closely at how they lead in on articles, look at the body of the content, even look at how the spelling, punctuation and grammar is applied. Work out the average number of words per page, or column.

    Then ring up one of the features or rather assistant features editors and ask them what they want, how long (how many words) and when for. They will want an email from you about your idea, a bit about who you are (a mag’s reputation is everything and god help you if you drive the advertisers away) and what you do and some samples of your work. If you have none, then they will ask you to submit something as a sort of exam. Remember to have closely studied their house style. Write like they do, not like you do or you won’t have a chance.

    If they like it, then they will ask you to send in something, although it is highly unlikely they will give you a spiking fee (payment for something not run, which is usually 25-50% of what they would give you if the article ran) because you are new to the game and are not a regular and reliable contributor. That assumes they pay you at all, which is not unusual. If they like it, they will run it, but they will not promise you anything.

    As for ideas?
    Either stick to what you know best, which is what I recommend;
    Or go totally out of your depth and try looking at something with an unfamiliar set of eyes and give it a fresh perspective, something I like to do when the first becomes stale and dull.

  • #9641

    Great advice but I was referring to writing Adventure/expat/travel/ect.. stuff for my website – not submitting articles to mags.

    But thanks anyway

    ~James

  • #9642

    ROB
    Keymaster

    i think one of the best i have read lately was your rundown of costs in Indonesia. Really useful stuff.

    I was thinking the other day – there are heaps of travellers guidebooks, but no series on guidebooks fror expats – people actually MOVING to a country.

  • #9643

    Anonymous
    Member

    I have encountered a series of books called “Culture chock” I guess you can call that a guidebook for people moving or spending a prolonged period of time in another country. The quality differs widly in my opinion.

  • #9644

    @ROB wrote:

    i think one of the best i have read lately was your rundown of costs in Indonesia. Really useful stuff.

    Yep – I have a allot of those lined up – its going to be a regular feature

    I am doing a cost of living for Bangkok this week

    @ROB wrote:

    I was thinking the other day – there are heaps of travellers guidebooks, but no series on guidebooks fror expats – people actually MOVING to a country.

    I have thought the same thing for years, the Expat stuff is going to be one of the big parts of the site

    @LiveLife wrote:

    I have encountered a series of books called “Culture chock” I guess you can call that a guidebook for people moving or spending a prolonged period of time in another country. The quality differs widly in my opinion.

    The Culture shock books are way spot on, the one on Jakarta is the best and most accurate I have ever read about Indonesia

    Thanks

    ~James

  • #9645

    Jimbo
    Participant

    James-The cost of living in Bangkok is going up,up,up…it’s the little things that you deal with everyday from a bus fare to a can of soda, As prices go up salaries (commercial & government) remain the same. The only thing that hasn’t gone up is taxi fares. Food is probably the one item that increased in price in a very overt way. For example I used to buy a small wedge of Danish Blue cheese for 80 baht, now the price has jumped up to 170 baht, and cheese is something I don;t consider a luxury item. Granted you can still get Thai food cheap. I supposed it’s all the imported stuff. The strange thing is that Thailand is supposed to have some special kind of trade deal with Australia in an attempt to keep imported food prices low, but it aint working out that way, gee, I wonder why….I’d be curious to know how Bangkok rates against other SE Asian cities in terms of cost of living. Another thing to consider is that Bangkok is not the most expensive area in Thailand, I believe Phuket & Pataya are more expensive for expats…

  • #9646

    mikethehack
    Participant

    Jimbo is the victim of the rise in commodities prices. But that is the price you pay for having a (relatively) free market economy. A free market will always find its own level. Simple supply and demand. That is why some Afghan poppy farmers are beginning to grow cereal crops instead.

  • #9647

    @jimbo wrote:

    James-The cost of living in Bangkok is going up,up,up…it’s the little things that you deal with everyday from a bus fare to a can of soda, As prices go up salaries (commercial & government) remain the same. The only thing that hasn’t gone up is taxi fares. Food is probably the one item that increased in price in a very overt way. For example I used to buy a small wedge of Danish Blue cheese for 80 baht, now the price has jumped up to 170 baht, and cheese is something I don;t consider a luxury item. Granted you can still get Thai food cheap. I supposed it’s all the imported stuff. The strange thing is that Thailand is supposed to have some special kind of trade deal with Australia in an attempt to keep imported food prices low, but it aint working out that way, gee, I wonder why….I’d be curious to know how Bangkok rates against other SE Asian cities in terms of cost of living. Another thing to consider is that Bangkok is not the most expensive area in Thailand, I believe Phuket & Pataya are more expensive for expats…

    Yep – its pretty much the same in Indonesia

    The Thailand (along with several other articles about Thailand) will be written by a ling time expat in Bangkok (our first reporter – WoooHooo. lol) so it will be spot on and accurate

    James

  • #9648

    ROB
    Keymaster

    Will theses articles be on the professional adventurer website, James?

  • #9649

    @ROB wrote:

    Will theses articles be on the professional adventurer website, James?

    Yes, I have started a new category under “Overseas Life” called “Cost of Living Index” – all of the cost of living articles will be posted there

    I have another guy that is going to write another cost of living for the Philippines and I am going to write a few more about Indonesia, probably for different areas like Bali And maybe the Middle East

    ~James

  • #9650

    Jimbo
    Participant

    James-An interesting way to approach your project may be to poll a certain number of expats from the different SE Asian nations and ask them to break down or itemize their monthly expenses. For example I spend (per month) the most amount of money on smokes, #2 would be a tie between food and brew (brew for consumption at home) #3 would be entertainment (that covers stuff from a night out at the pub with friends or going to a flick or just about anything else that would be considered entertainment). $$$ for transportation varies from month to month. Also I pay very little for health and household cleaning stuff. Actually I pay only 300 baht per month for a women to clean my flat 3x per week, not too bad. As you already know Thailand is pretty much a service driven country and many services are very cheap, that’s one of the positive things about it, but then again countries like Indonesia & the Phils are pretty much the same.

  • #9651

    @jimbo wrote:

    James-An interesting way to approach your project may be to poll a certain number of expats from the different SE Asian nations and ask them to break down or itemize their monthly expenses

    That’s sort of what I am doing, but just with my expat buddies, but I would like to find some folks in countries outside of Southeast Asia, somewhere like South America would be good.

    Hey! Why don’t you write an article?

    Also: I will be in Bangkok in July – I’ll buy ya a beer

    P.S. The “Cost of Living in Bangkok, Thailand on a Medium Budget” article is up

    ~James

  • #9652

    fgmsociety
    Member

    Could you do an article uncovering rituals like fgm? Or is that too serious? G.

  • #9653

    fgm?

    ~James

  • #9654

    Lee Ridley
    Keymaster

    Female Genital Mutilation
    (female circumcision)

    Very tricky subject for a man to get close enough to write an informed article.

  • #9655

    fgmsociety
    Member
  • #9656

    Ok, yes I know about fgm – a terrible practice

    My web-mag probably wont cover subjects like that but I am sure Rob here at Polos Bastards would post a story if you wrote a first hand feature

    Also…

    You should move your website to a real domain (not a freewebs one) and remove the banner advertising.

    ~James

  • #9657

    I am still looking for writers!

    And I pay !

    http://theprofessionaladventurer.com/write-for-us/

    ~James

  • #9658

    Stiv
    Member

    @jamesintheworld wrote:

    I am still looking for writers!

    And I pay !

    http://theprofessionaladventurer.com/write-for-us/

    ~James

    Great site James well done.

    It’s got great spirit and attitude 8)

    Best,
    Stiv

  • #9659

    Thanks Stiv – you the man, man

    I actually have 8 new writers now from all over the world now– 3 are in South America so look out for regular articles on South America, also a guy in the Philippines, one in Australia, and a series of video articles about trekking in Nepal and another guy working in Africa, all coming soon

    James

  • #9660

    Jimbo
    Participant

    James-Nice website, the story about Thai women was funny, the writer forgot to mention how vain & immature Thai women can be, well let’s say they reach full maturity at the same time they reach menopause, while the vanity remains. But the writer is spot on regarding the difference between Thai gals and ladies from the Phils, which I would attribute to the cultural/religious differences. If I can ever find the time, I’d put together a story on why single female university teachers are sexually frustrated and how they vent their frustration out on unassuming male students.

  • #9661

    Thanks Jimbo!

    I just added a quick story from a buddy of mine that is in Darfur – he says everyone is on alert for an emergency evacuation

    He wrote a quick overview of the region with some piks:

    http://theprofessionaladventurer.com/sudandarfur-%e2%80%93-nyala-quick-overview/#more-129

    ~James

  • #9662

    I just completely changed the site around – using a new template I custom designed, I am also back in Indonesia full time so allot of stuff about Asia coming up

    Anyway – lots of new stories, I have over 20 people writing regularly now and I am on my way to Bangkok and then to Cambodia to update the Cambodia travel guide

    Anyway – let me know what you think of the new look

    ~James

  • #9663

    DrDave
    Participant

    I likes it.

  • #9664

    @drdave wrote:

    I likes it.

    Thanks Man!

    The site has changed again – now the Expat Articles and the Independent Travel Articles have been split up into 2 separate magazines

    I have a bunch of regular writers for the Independent Travel Magazine and a few guys who live around Southeast Asia are going to be writing regular columns for the Expat Magazine about expat life every month

    Any suggestions are welcome

    ~James

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