Mackenzie Patel On Writing and LearnTravelArt.com!
Mackenzie Patel is the writer behind the www.LearnTravelArt.com, a blog that focuses on Mackenzie's travels and her favorite elements of art and history. She's also a self-published author who recently released her first book, Vitae Romanorum.
In a recent interview, Mackenzie discussed her love of writing and the subjects that inspire her most!
Mackenzie Patel made a name for herself sharing nonfiction articles about her real-life experiences and opinions on traveling, culture, art history, literature and the environment.
"I am a very eclectic person so nearly anything interests me," she said. "I write the most about traveling and art history though because those subjects are my true passion. I have a secret desire to either be the head curator at the Prado Museum in Madrid or the female version of the PBS travel tycoon, Rick Steves."
Recently, Mackenzie has also delved into fiction writing.
"That allows me to be so much more creative with my content," she said. "My characters can do whatever I want them to do, and this freedom of deciding my own stories without having to include factual jargon attracted me to fiction."
Mackenzie tends to write short stores, as they're not as mentally demanding as longer pieces. However, she has started working on her first novel, with about 10,000 words written so far.
"I'm starting to want that connection with full-blown, developed characters," she explained. "Simply writing six or seven pages and a narrow plot isn't what I really want to do anymore."
She's drawing inspiration for her novel-in-progress from Stephanie Perkins, author of the romance young adult novel Anna and the French Kiss. Perkins' earnest yet captivating approach made Mackenzie want to try her hand at writing YA.
"I'm not much of a romantic, but the creative freedom Perkins had with her books made me want the same thing for mine," she said.
Still, nonfiction will always be Mackenzie's great passion. She loves when her writing can be informative, dispensing knowledge about compelling topics on the history of art and incredible places.
"Instead of having to pull characters from my brain, I can look up facts and history about places I have visited or art that I have seen," she said. "I'm the stereotypical book nerd, so learning quirky facts and dorky tidbits of information is in my DNA."
Mackenzie said she's inspired by fellow travel bloggers, as well as vloggers on YouTube.
"I am an avid YouTube watcher, and perusing travel 'vlogs' infected me with the wanderlust bug," she said. "I'm not much of a filmmaker and I haven't filmed any of my travels, so I thought writing would be a better outlet for me. Also, I wanted the chance to educate my audience about the history, art, and culture of the places I have visited."
Though Mackenzie has a history as a travel vlogger, she believes that any experiences can be the inspiration for great writing.
"Take every writing opportunity you can get," Mackenzie said. "I started off writing for the school literary magazine, but I realized I loved to write when I took AP English Language and Composition sophomore year. Make sure to take the most advanced english classes you can because in order to be a successful writer, you have to know the mechanics of language in general."
She said that even confounding literary terms like anaphora, onomatopoeia and polysyndeton are valuable writer's tools.
"Also, take things into your own hands," Mackenzie said. "I wanted to have a platform where I could write anything I wanted, so I created my own website, www.LearnTravelArt.com. Don't just wait for opportunities to come walking to your door; you have to run outside and meet them head-on."
Mackenzie blogged regularly for a full year before bigger chances arose. It was because of her dedication to the craft that she was able to advance her literary career.
She also recommended that aspiring writers seek out opportunities to be a guest author.
"I got experience writing for other travel and art websites simply by emailing the owners and asking to be a contributor," she said. "This way, my name and my content was on other sites, generating more viewers."
Her final piece of advice is perhaps her most valuable.
"Whether you're a nonfiction or fiction writer (or both!) treat everything around you like it could be a potential story," she said. "That amazing restaurant that you just ate at with interesting Greco-Roman architecture? Write about it. The Greek man in the Crêperie restaurant telling you about his travels in Paris? Write about him. Nearly anything can be interesting in one way or another—it just matters that you write what is interesting to YOU."
Be sure to keep up with Mackeznie's writing and her travels on her blog at www.LearnTravelArt.com. If you're an aspiring writer, you can also share some of your thoughts with us at Sweety High, and stay tuned to learn more about Mackenzie's book, Vitae Romanorum!