A quiet year on 501 Places


Good intentions and all that…

This time last year I wrote a post which, foolishly as it turns out, explained what I thought I’d do with this blog in 2014. “Posts on almost daily basis”, I promised. After an early flourish I’ve barely managed one a month. So what’s happened?

For a start, I’ve had a busy year. Working on various projects has meant a lot less free time than in my first five years of freelancing. The opportunity and the inclination to write on my blog has suffered as a result. Secondly I’ve had a better time of late with pitching stories for the trips which we’ve taken. Not wishing to put stuff up on here before it appears in the publication which is paying me, I’ve delayed posting about almost every trip until I’ve got to the point where the details and the experiences seem too far away to trudge up for a blog post.

Similarly Sam’s photos, which I thought I’d share on here on a regular basis, have happily appeared in various online and print publications this year. The photos she takes on a trip are, quite rightly, pitched first to editors and only later added to her blog or onto here.

Despite the freedom to write what I want about any topic that takes my fancy, I’ve been pickier than ever about what I do publish. This piece about the rights and wrongs of whale hunting in the Faroe Islands was one which I enjoyed writing; it’s something which I knew would have no success in any commercial outlet, but which I was keen to write.

So what’s the point of keeping up this blog, and will it serve any purpose for me in 2015 and beyond?

For a start I don’t want to just pack up and go while the site is getting a steady flow of traffic. Despite doing almost nothing with it, this blog still attracts around 9,000 monthly visitors, who view around 30,000 pages; the advantage I guess of being around for a few years.

I’ll certainly keep 501 Places alive and will add posts as and when I find a suitable topic. Another trip to SE Asia beckons, and while I’ll be covering some of the costs by writing posts for at least two other sites, I hope I’ll get to share a few on here too. I’m as enthusiastic as ever about the idea of having my own place on which to write what I want, and despite my obvious neglect in the past year, I don’t intend to give it up.

As for making any grand plans for the year ahead, given my wild predictions last year, it’s something that’s probably best avoided.

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Freelance travel writer

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