Lessons In Patience & Persistence
The life of a freelance writer can be tough. As with any creative art, YOU are the product, and you have to sell yourself on a daily basis if you want to keep working. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed paycheck, competition is fierce, and unfortunately talent isn’t as important as who you know and being in the right place at the right time.
Almost exactly a year ago, I pitched one of my long-term freelance accounts what I thought was a pretty awesome idea. The client, a major airline, was opening up a new route in the Caribbean, and the tourism board’s PR rep and I had come up with an extremely unique angle for the destination that had the potential to be one of the coolest stories I’d ever written. Unfortunately, my editor at the time wasn’t interested in ecotourism, and my story got passed over in favor of one about someone conquering their fear of diving.
Last week the same client, AirTran’s GO Magazine, sent out an email saying that they were looking for story ideas for their upcoming Family Travel issue. I sent them a few simple pitches, but didn’t honestly put that much effort into it, as my ecotourism pitches had uniformly been shut down by the previous editor. But this time the Editorial Director, whom I’ve worked with since 2006 and done quite a few celebrity cover stories for, came back and pushed me to dig deeper. So I sent him the exact same pitch that they’d rejected a year ago. To my surprise, he bit. HARD!
Now, that same pitch that wasn’t good enough a year ago is going to be part of their Family Travel issue’s cover story! So next week my daughter and I are leaving for the island of Bermuda, for a quick 5-day trip in which we will explore her interest in marine biology in-depth.
We’ll visit the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences to get a taste of their Ocean Academy and learn about their efforts in marine conservation. We’ll spend a day at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, getting a behind-the-scenes tour focused on their approach to conservation, education and research. We’ll hook up with the Bermuda Turtle Project and learn how they’re working to protect the world’s endangered sea turtle species (5 of which can be found in the waters around Bermuda). And we will certainly be doing a ton of snorkeling in Bermuda’s crystal-clear waters to see some of our favorite sea creatures up close.
We’re ridiculously excited about this last-minute trip. For one, it takes us to a Caribbean travel destination we’ve never been to before and gives us an opportunity to learn and share info about the work these important organizations are doing. For another, it’s our first ever travel-related cover story for Go, which has over 2 million readers each month! Knowing that my daughter’s dream of being a marine biologist and her love of nature and wildlife could in some way inspire others to develop an appreciation for the benefits of ecotourism is just icing on the cake.
We’ve put everything we have into building Green Global Travel and pursuing our mission to “Save the world, one story at a time.” From the Galapagos Islands and Yellowstone National Park to the Peruvian Amazon and Bermuda, great opportunities to share the joys of ecotourism suddenly seem to keep falling into place. We are extremely grateful, both to the Universe and to our readers, for the privilege that has come with our efforts. –Bret Love
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