How did Viki start blogging?
I had never planned a career as a travel or dive blogger. But I remember well that I started to bring my ideas to paper – as soon as I could reasonably write. Juggling this passion with letters and words, shoving them back and forth to breathe life into them, bringing them into order – yes, that’s exactly what it was and still is that fascinates me about writing today. But was it all coincidence that I became a scribbler – or has it been a long time coming?
Writing | more than just a hobby?!
Even in elementary school, I regularly wrote short stories and longer would-be novels with a friend. We worked on action plots for weeks, discussed ideas until we had to go home and spent more time writing than swapping Pokémon cards. Our stories were always praised by the teachers and it was highlighted how creative and skilled we were with using words.
I spent my pocket money on new books, always wished for more reading material for my birthday because I loved to learn new words and escape the real world.
Writing Workshop | first feedback from other scribblers
Even later in high school I lever lost my passion for writing. At some point, my German professor gave me an invitation to participate in a writing competition. I can not remember the topic anymore and my entry did not win. The jurors seemed to like my story enough because I was invited to attend a writing workshop in Deutschlandsberg.
On a bank holiday weekend, I took the train to West Styria. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. It was paradise in my head: I could continue to ponder over my stories AND share them with others. What I did not know – and was not ready for – feedback was given on my writing skills.
I was stunned and scared all the same. I had never been given feedback before and my audience so far consisted of my life-sized stuffed dog Maxi. 15 other young writers and experienced authors judged my work: handkerchiefs were sorely needed. I wanted to burn my pens and paper and never write another word again. I was also the only participant to attend such a writing workshop for the first time. The others were familiar with the process. Another girl even told me during dinner that her first time receiving feedback had been waaaay worse than mine. Since I found her stories really good, it gave me a little hope and I decided not to throw in the towels just yet. I participated in other writing workshops, changed my writing style and never stopped learning. And then? The following year, my stories were even published and printed in the annual school reviews.
First steps online | my first blog
In the summer holidays between the 6th and 7th grade, I started my first blog. This online diary accompanied me through my student exchange in Venezuela. My parents always read it and even printed it out to my grandmother, so she knew what I was up to.
Many of the other exchange students had also set up blogs. Most of them lost interest in the first few weeks. I remained steadfast and documented my entire time in Venezuela with daily posts. Of course, some of the contributions sounded more like this: “I was in school today, not much has happened, and my Spanish is getting better.” Other contributions were more sentimental and full of love for Venezuela and the people around me.
Towards the end of my time in Venezuela, I found it increasingly difficult to write in German, as I hardly spoke any German anymore. I muddled Spanish and German and some of the word jumble I produced should probably better stay in the past.
So the internet was my new playground. Or at least I thought so at the time. The following two years nothing, apart from status updates on Facebook, was published by me.
Abroad again | Chronic Wanderlust is born
During my undergraduate studies, I spent the third and fourth semesters in Spain. The old blog, however, remained buried. I wanted to start writing again, and this time not just for my family and friends at home. With the help of YouTube videos, I found a web host and registered my domain chronic-wanderlust.com. Slowly, with step by step instructions for guidance, I started my own blog. For a year I wrote at more or less regular intervals. Writing was still fun for me, but I had no idea where this blog would take me in the future.
First cooperation | it is getting serious!
After just one year, the first cooperation requests arrived in my inbox. The fact that bloggers get invited to press trips or to review products for a blog – that was new territory for me. My first real press trip took me to Israel. I had no idea what I was doing while I was there, but I think the work I delivered afterwards was pretty good!
Self-employment as a blogger | Self-discipline with a pinch of fighting spirit
After my bachelor, I took a break for two years. During this time, I worked as a research assistant for 20 hours a week. The rest of the time I dedicated to blogging. Already, after only two years of blogging, the step into self-employment was necessary. I use the word necessary because of course, I wanted to write more and more, but I did not want to deal with issues such as insurance and tax returns. Now I know that everything can be figured out.
And even now in the third semester of my Master’s blogging still excites me and I look after my own customers. The biggest challenge? Time and especially self-management. How do I get it all under one roof? An excellent question, which I often ask myself. Unlike most of my fellow students, I spend my afternoons and evenings in front of my laptop working as they are out to party. Does that bother me? No, because my work, my independence – it fulfils me – I chose this career path for me and 98% of the time it is really fun.
I’m just getting started, I use almost every opportunity presented to me to take my blog and my independence into the spotlight. Would all this have been possible without my passion for writing and the desire for independence? For me, I know that it was necessary. My passion for writing guides me and it probably always will.