What does it take to become a travel writer and build the creative life of your dreams? How do you go from hoping for a big break to creating that big break yourself?
In this episode of Character Test, I talk with an outdoor adventurer and television host about what it takes to make it in competitive creative fields.
Eric Hanson is a writer, outdoor adventure photographer, and outdoor filmmaker. He’s best known as the host of the TV show Epic Trails on Outside TV and Fox Sports. His work has also been featured on the Discovery Channel, NBC Universal, and the Weather Channel.
But achieving these features wasn’t easy. In fact, for a while, Eric wasn’t sure whether his adventuring and photography was going anywhere at all. For two years, he pursued his passion with very little reward—and with the looming risk of not being able to make rent and having to pitch a tent in the woods.
I resonated with a lot of Eric’s story. We’ve both experienced long, risky periods of famine as we’ve pursued our creative careers. For me, that produced the book Crowdsourcing Paris. For Eric, he’s now living his dream of traveling around the world and sharing his adventures.
What does it really take to make it as an artist? In this episode, we talk about Eric’s journey of passion, creativity, and dogged perseverance, including:
- Why Eric felt shame about his past—and how he overcame it
- How he used his free time to explore his creativity in Zion National Park
- How he got a television deal!
- Why his most difficult years of creative work came after he got the deal
- The extreme risks Eric is willing to take for his passion
What’s an area where you feel shame or embarrassment? Write it out on a piece of paper.
How does it feel to acknowledge it? Take five minutes to feel and acknowledge your feelings.
Then, tell us in the comments how it feels to acknowledge that area of your life. (You don’t have to share what you wrote if you’d rather not!) Be sure to leave encouragement for your fellow writers, too.