Writing For Online Travel Mags


Back in October, around the time that I wrote my last post on here, I applied for a freelance writing gig with an online travel/tourism magazine Korea By Me. I sent in an example post of something that I had been writing for my personal blog. They liked it and I got the gig.

Link to article on Korea By Me
My first published article about Korean poet Jeong Ho-Seung and four of his books of poetry. Photo from Korea By Me website

Writing For Others

Link to Korea By Me article

Between working part-time at a kindergarten, and commuting back and forth across the Han River to go to tutoring gigs, I’ve been trying to spend all my free-time (not home time, but free-time) writing articles for the website. It’s not much of a mystery to figure out that I don’t want to be a teacher. One huge sign is that I never write about teaching on this blog. It has become a job that barely pays the bills and allows me to stay in Korea with Eun. I like the kids. They are cute, but it’s exhausting with very little monetary reward, and oddly, or maybe not oddly, the pay never increases. I’ve been teaching for 8 years, but my pay has either stayed the same or gone down. Anyway, not important.

I’m tired, my body hurts, I’m burnt out, and we barely have any money. We realized after our dog got sick, and we had to pay thousands of dollars to save her life, that we were living paycheck to paycheck; not much different from the U.S.. The big difference of course is that my options are limited due to lack of language and citizenship. So, of course once this opportunity opened up I wanted to go all in. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough money to allow me to only focus on writing, but I’m hoping that it is a small stepping stone toward something bigger.

I had at one time, maybe 14 years ago when I first started this blog, that I would be turning this blog, and the others I have, into some “Writing Empire”. I see plenty of success stories. However, I’m inconsistent. That’s all I really need to write. Inconsistent. Inconsistent in the content, in the posting, in the research to keep on top of the latest technology, and in my physical energy to write. My excuses were/are that I’m never be able to find the time and feel too tired. I would sit at the computer to write, and then suddenly feel overwhelmed with an exhaustion so heavy that I could not lift my fingers. My eyes got tired. I swear I felt like I could barely breath. I had thought something was physically wrong with me.

In truth, there is something wrong with me. I’ve been going to doctors, but so far there is no clear answer. I have constant pain throughout my entire body. It’s been going on for some years now. Chronic pain is of course exhausting, so I figured that the two just went together. Feeling constant pain equals too tired to write. Yet, as I sit here writing now, it has dawned on me that my exhaustion from the effort to write is far more psychological than physical.

The physical is there, but when I write articles for Korea By Me, I don’t actually feel my pain. It’s there, but no where near intense as it can be. My mind becomes distracted from the pain. If this is the case then why wasn’t I writing all the time? Because it was my blog. My unpaid, unvalued blog. I have put in many hours to Korea By Me, and gladly. I made a submission tracker. I write down all my ideas; the day I started an article; what’s in progress; what’s submitted. I take it seriously. Since I got the gig on November 11th, I have written and submitted eight articles, and have had four of them published. Five of the articles involved some research and reading since five of them were book reviews. In a little over a month, I completed eight articles, even though I’m working a part-time job, and have four separate tutoring jobs that meet twice a week each. I am commuting at least three to four hours a day back and forth plus I have my home chores like cooking and cleaning.

Yet, I write a post for this blog, once every three months, maybe. I now know that I do have energy, and I can make energy even while busy, and feeling pain, but only when I do it for other people. I don’t value myself as a writer. It’s abundantly clear to me that if I am doing something for me, for my personal joy or gain, if it doesn’t have a paycheck its worthless. I physically respond to this so much that I sabotage my work by getting exhausted. That’s pretty sad. And, pretty amazing what our brains in states of low self-worth can do to our body. At least it is finally clear to me.

What Now

I’ve had some good feedback with Korea By Me. Getting published feels a bit like a drug hit. I feel an actual surge of adrenaline. I like to go to the site and see my writings on the page. I know my work isn’t perfect. When I read it, I can see mistakes I’ve made; things that myself and the editor missed. I’d like to be better. I want to work on it. Yet, the content is good.

In November I was chosen as having the best article of the month. I felt really good about that. It is self inspiring. I’d like to leave the teaching jobs. My current contract is up in March. It would be so nice if I could find something writing wise that would supplement that income. It would be nice if I put as much effort into my own blog and really did build my “Writing Empire” instead of not giving myself the value I deserve. These are what I’m working on now.

The winning article about Korean photographer Atta Kim Photo from Korea By Me website

Although my blog is focused on travel, what I write for Korea By Me wont be the same articles obviously, so if you’re interested in reading my stuff at Korea By Me please check it out. If you are planning on visiting South Korea it is a great source of information and stories on Korea. My focus here is to build up my literary travel writing style. I’m not giving up. I’m tenacious.

Best Article, Photo from Korea By Me

One comment

  1. I woke up this morning thinking about you and then I open up my email and there’s your post! I’m so happy to hear that you have writing gigs! You’re very talented and I know you can make it as a freelance writer! If you’re looking for more gigs, years ago I used to write articles through a site called Text Broker. It matches writers up with websites and magazines that need copy written. There’s a ranking system but if you write well and are consistent, you rank up quickly. It helps to already have published material, which you do! This supported me for a little while on the road when I couldn’t find web design work. The ghost writer gigs are the best paying, or at least they used to be. I haven’t written for them since 2017 but you might want to check them out and see if you like it. Otherwise, do some looking around for freelance writer gigs and I’m sure you’ll find some. Now that you’re published, it’ll be a lot easier to find more gigs. I’m so excited for you! Send me an email when you get the chance let’s catch up?

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