Donna Long, Travel Writer

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Donna Long, Travel Writer: Episode 27

Donna Long started her location independent life after her kids left home. She knew she wanted to travel and explore, and becoming a travel writer fit her skills as well as her passion. Though the road to freelance writing can be hard, Donna wants you to remember that if writing is what you want to do, keep going, you’ll get there. You can find Donna at empty-nestopia.com, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and by email.




If you want to write for print and online publications, you’re going to have to pitch. A lot. The good news is, it will get easier, and you will build up a contact list. This is definitely a case where starting is the hardest part. What tone should you use? How long should the pitch be? When should you send it? There is no one right answer, and you’ll learn what works for you, as you go. Cover what needs to be covered to pique the editor’s interest and go from there.


it was kind of a wake-up call for me in that all of a sudden I had to redefine who I was and what I wanted. And I guess I wanted to see and explore more and in order, to see and explore more of the world. ~@traveling_donna Share on X


Donna in her outdoor office

Fear of Rejection

Now that we no longer need to be afraid of wild animals chasing us on a regular basis, our brains find other things to “protect” us from. Our brains want to keep us safe and bless their little metaphorical hearts, they do try. A bruised ego is not fun, but neither is it dangerous. This is one of the few areas where I agree with the tech bros of the world. Risk rejection, as often as you can, and it will build a version of you who just isn’t concerned with being rejected. If an editor ignores your pitch, nothing happens to you, except you learn to improve your pitch over time. And maybe, that editor thinks of you when a more appropriate piece comes along.


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Response Rates

Starting out, you’re an unknown. And as an unknown, editors are less likely to respond to you. When Donna was first starting out, the low response rates were a problem. She didn’t know if her pitches had even been seen. So, she started using a tracker in her email so she’d know if one didn’t get opened and then she could decide how to progress. I use Streak to manage my contacts and email for Compass, and I’m forever appreciative of the included tracker. If you have Gmail, I suggest checking it out.



Binders Full of Editors Seeking their Freelance Writers and vice versa

Binders Full of WRITING JOBS

Women Who Collaborate

Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs


Download the transcript here

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