Travels in Africa
I am a travel writer and Korean content creator who recently published a travel essay called “Africa, the Courage to Be Exclusive”. At the same time, I was a university student. I’m also a speaker, novice YouTuber, Airbnb host and volunteer who temporarily protects abandoned dogs. Recently, I have been doing book-related activities such as lectures, radio guest spots, blogs, and Youtube videos. Now I am preparing for new challenges in 2019.
Many people have asked, “Did you think about writing before your trip?” But in my case, I never planned anything before my trip. During the trip, I wrote down episodes of my travels or my feelings and thoughts on social networking sites. Fortunately, my travel stories were introduced at Korea’s top travel community, “Travelholic“. And then more people started to follow me on Facebook and people have watched my travel stories.
Road to Publication
Two months after I came back to Korea, I decided to challenge myself to do more publications. It was thanks to a professor who I met at my university. The professor usually watches my travel stories on Facebook. then she called me in January of this year and said “Write your Africa travels and turn it into a book, Sehwa. I’m sure you can do it.”
The next day on I wrote the script, still went to my part-time job and cafe in front of my house. About a month and a half later, I wrote my own ‘publication proposal’ and started to submit my manuscript to various publishers.
I was grateful for the reply even if it was a refusal. Usually, I could not get an answer. I was ignored by many publishers. Even though I could have a meeting with a publisher, it is hard to be successful because they always said the market of Africa travel is too small and not attractive.
Finally, a month later, I got a call from the publisher that I really loved, and I happily signed a contract.
What it means to be a Creator
A Creator may be an unfamiliar word. So far, a job called “Creator” seems to be used to describe people who shoot videos for YouTube and upload them. But I think ‘Creator’ means people who create “whatever they want to create.”
My constant writing and uploading to personal Social Media is also a creative activity. Just as anyone who plays music can be called a musician, everyone who makes their own content can be called a creator.
In that sense, I can say that I am a video creator who makes and uploads YouTube videos, a writer who writes essays and a creator who makes travel information content.
I thought that ‘Creator’ is still difficult and excessive for me. When I heard an acquaintance say, “A person like you is a creator if you are not a creator, who is a creator?” I realized that I had a prejudice about the word ‘Creator’. I think it’s a modifier that anyone can use to describe a person who’s doing something with their own content.
I think the barrier to entry became very low because of the birth of a career called ‘creator’. However, it needs consistency because it is an area that anyone can challenge. If you keep developing and exposing your own content, I don’t doubt that you can live a lifetime as a brand, a One man business, as some creators have shown it is possible.
This book is ‘Courage’ in many ways.
In my book, there is a story about the reason why Africa travel became number on my bucket list and the process of leaving after a year of absence from my school. And also there are dangerous and happy episodes while traveling in my book.
In the final part, I interviewed local people and captured the value of their lives despite my poor English. The difference with other books is that my book has a QR code in the book. This allows people the chance to see the travel videos I made through the QR code. I was also able to interview people in Africa and show their life.
I recommend this book to those who wish to travel to Africa, but I also think I can recommend it to those who are hesitant to give it a shot. Most of the people who read my book wrote reviews of how it gave them courage.
These days my goal is to finish the last semester well because I have not graduated yet. It is a small goal of mine to complete all the scheduled lectures, but my big goal is to have a second publishing contract.
My only plan to go abroad is to travel. I am trying to improve my English and writing skills to increase my chances in many ways. I’d like to think about various possibilities because I’m still a student who wants to do a lot of things.