Lakeland Boating is based in Chicago, has a circulation of about 40,000 subscribers and covers inland and Great Lakes sailing and power boating in the Great Lakes region. I had no idea how popular it was in Marquette until the article came out and every boat owner in the region sent me an email. That was very cool. Freelancing is a solitary lifestyle and it's good to hear from readers, so thanks to all of you.
You can download a PDF of the article off my site by clicking the image below, then choosing "download original file" off the site page, or follow the link at the bottom of the page for a Google doc link.
Most travel writers have it easy. I've always found that inspiration comes freely when the scenery is changing every day. New places, new stories and new people offer the lens and the page a constant creative fresh start. Blank pages and blank pixels are vessels easily filled when in a new place. Plus, you don't have to worry about who you piss off when the article comes out, because you'll be long gone!
My career has been a strange brew. I'm a travel writer--but I mostly write about where I live, Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the surrounding Lake Superior regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario. The cool thing about that, other than that it's an amazing place to work and play (and stretch the relatively meager bucks that come with this career :-)) is that I get to write about something I know and love intimately, not just a place I'm passing through or people I'll only know superficially, if at all.
The danger is in knowing too much about a place, which makes it difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out. Also, it's a constant exercise to think like someone visiting the area for the first time--to stay fresh. Marquette is a super cool town with a great history, but when you live here, eventually the ore docks that blow the minds of tourists become as common as the gulls trying to kill your picnic. Also, I have to live with the people I write about, which can make it tough to be honest and well liked, but so it goes.
WARNING GRATUITOUS BUT MOSTLY HARMLESS SEXUAL HUMOR AHEAD: Someone once told me that writing about your hometown is like making love with your spouse: It's important that you know each other well enough to get it right, but equally important to pretend you've just met so it stays interesting.
Read full Marquette Michigan feature article in Lakeland Boating here
Aaron Peterson is a photographer and writer based near Marquette and Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. For more of his work visit www.aaronpeterson.net