Inspiration!

This whole thing with my blog started a long time ago, out of my growing desire to move away from the US. Why? That’s an issue for another post. 😉

Because of my desire (need) to move out of the States I’ve been a subscriber and reader of International Living magazine for decades. They’ve given me inspiration and lots of good information.

So why am I still here? Good question! I’ll move as soon as I can figure out SOME way to support myself outside of the USA.

I’m too young to retire and I don’t believe social security will be there for me anyway. I can’t leave the US til I find another country to accept me and no other country will allow me to move there and take a job away from one of their native citizens.

That’s where the travel writing and photography comes in. 🙂

I’ve been trying for YEARS to find SOME way to earn an income where I don’t have to be physically present on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. I have been trying to find a way to earn an income where I can really enjoy life instead of always being at work at a job I no longer enjoy.

So far I’ve tried vending machines, rental property, stocks and now travel writing/photography/blogging. I’ve been working on all of them off and on since at least 1995. STILL working on most of them, tho I did pretty much give up on the vending machines. 🙁

IL Editor Jennifer Stevens came out with a travel writing course through the magazine that I did on my own at home years ago. I never followed through to send anything in to any magazines. 🙁

Later IL worked together with AWAI (American Writers & Artists Inc) to start offering workshops.

They have workshops on travel writing and photography (and other things like copy-writing, etc). I’ve gone to a few workshops and enjoyed them all.

I have tried to get my photos accepted twice now on a couple of the stock photography sites. I’ve been pretty discouraged. I’m told I don’t have a good enough lens in my camera for my pictures to come out with a high enough quality to be accepted. 🙁

I don’t have the patience to spend hours on the computer trying to eliminate every speck of dust that somehow makes its way into my camera lens (even on my favorite Sony camera)!

I can’t bring a big fancy camera with me to work since I’m limited on luggage. I travel a lot on my way to/from work. So….

I heard there was a way to earn money from blogging. So I decided to start a blog as a way to get my writing and photography out to the general public without having to go through any approval process.

I wouldn’t need to get an editors OK for my writing. I wouldn’t need a big fancy camera for my pictures. 🙂

When AWAI (now GEP- Great Escapes Publishing) offered a blog add-on to their travel writing workshop in Boston last year, I signed up for it. I got this blog started in order to have something I could get feedback on.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I enjoy interacting with people from all over the world. I sometimes wonder how people are finding me and what caught their interest. Especially when I see people from really out of the way places.

I still have no idea of how to ‘monetize’ my blog. The recent Blogging 201 challenge had one assignment about that. I’ve been working through that challenge but I’ve been late and tho I’ve read through the Day 13 challenge on monetizing, I haven’t actually DONE it yet.

I don’t really see how I can make any of what they suggested work yet. I just don’t have enough views or followers yet. It seems I’m building my numbers, but VERY slowly. 🙁

I did just get some very encouraging news on my other attempts to get my work out there. 🙂

I was recently published (twice!!) in the Maritime Executive magazine! The first time, they used my photos in an article about ECDIS. The last time they actually used my entire article just as I wrote it and my pictures too!!

I had just returned from my latest GEP travel writing/photography workshop in Seoul, Korea. I had been thinking about this article for a while. When I got home and had a bit of spare time, I finally put it all down on paper (computer) and sent it in.

I was SO excited to hear it was published! I guess the workshops have been helping me after all. 🙂

I think the biggest challenge is just to ASK!

Check out this video from GEP. I met most of these people in Boston (or Chicago the year before). They’re all doing great. They’re very inspiring to me. I see that they’re living their dreams and making it work so hopefully I’ll be making more progress soon too. 🙂

0 thoughts on “Inspiration!

  1. Jill, you are just as much of an inspiration, and you’re just getting started. Your blog is so much fun, and so interesting to read, but I predict that you will also find an even bigger market for your writing, especially for maritime publications. Not all that many can speak from the kinds of experiences you’ve had, and manage to be able to write about them so well. Keep marketing, and you just might get some regular gigs with at least a couple of publications. Also, some of your experience on the high seas may put you in a position to do the kind of consulting work that you can do from anywhere.When the right opportunities come your way, you’ll know what to do.

    • Lana,
      Sorry to take so long to reply, thanks for your comment. I bet you must have some real strange moments. I know I did when I came back from school and I was only gone 8 months (and not spent in just one country). I had a major culture shock. I’ve been traveling as much as possible ever since then.
      Do you think you’ll ever feel ‘normal’ as an American again?

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