Nine Lives

Meet Patricea Chow, Wellness & Travel Writer/Publisher

March 12, 2016
Outside where we stayed, B&B Beromunster Alice.

I have a natural curiosity on what makes people and the world tick

Are you a long time user of Media Kitty or a recent member?

I first joined back in 2007, and used it for five years. I reactivated my membership in January 2016.

What do you hope to get out of the new relaunched Media Kitty?

As a writer, I hope to make new connections with PR professionals to get story leads. I am particularly interested in eco-friendly and wellness news.

How can Media Kitty members work with you?

By sending me leads that can develop into wellness travel or eco-friendly travel stories.

How have you benefited from being a Media Kitty member? 

Soon after I joined in 2007, I made a request for information about wellness travel as I was researching information for a story pitch to a magazine. I remember receiving pitches about destinations and tours that I otherwise would not have thought of. I was hooked!

What is involved in your job day to day?

As a freelance writer, I email editors and contacts to pitch story angles and obtain a written assignment letter. When an assignment is given the go-ahead, I will do research for the article, obtain images, and eventually write the story. The latter can be done in an afternoon or two, it is the former two that takes up more time and can sometimes take as long as seven or 10 working days.

What challenges do you face in your role?

Marketing my services so that more editors know that I exist!

What are the achievements in your job that you are most proud of?

There is personal satisfaction in seeing my article published with minimal edits. It means that I have met the requirements and style of the publication I wrote the article for.

What’s the most fun part of your job?

I love speaking with people and experiencing new things as part of the research for the story. In the process, I get to learn new things and establish new contacts.

What’s an interesting or exciting experience you got to have as a result of your job?

It is probably access to the people who make decisions, such as general managers and owners of wellness and hospitality venues, and tourism services. I get to see the business operations and and what’s involved in their role, it’s insightful to gain a window into different worlds.

What makes you good at what you do?

I have a natural curiosity on what makes people and the world tick. I approach everything with a personal interest—if it does not interest me on a personal level, I am not motivated to know more about it and share it with everyone.

What is the best way for other members to find out more about you and your work?

Connect with me on Media Kitty and visit http://patricea.com.

What changes or trends are you noticing in the market and your work networks?

There is a trend of using influencer engagement to achieve high viewership numbers. While big numbers are great, it is more important to focus on the quality of these views. Would you prefer to reach 10 of your ideal audience out of 1000 views, or would you prefer to reach 50 of your ideal audience out of 100 views?

What is your number one tip for working more efficiently?

Ensure that notifications are turned off for emails and all social media accounts. This way, you are not tempted to check emails or your social media accounts, and can fully focus on writing.

In your work background, how did you progress to your current role?

It would be a combination of experience gained through the years, a desire to have a location independent job using my passion of writing, and a desire to educate people about the ease with which wellness can be achieved.

In what ways does your job differ now from when you started out in your profession?

When I started, print publishing was still the preferred choice. Now, digital publishing is king. If you are not publishing online, you are missing out on almost 80% of your audience. Similarly, when I started, only people with training and skills could be called a writer. Now, as long as someone has a blog and writes regularly, they can call themselves a writer. However, I still disagree with the definition of a blogger as a writer.

What hurdles have you had to overcome in your career?

Most are mainly personal interruptions that prevented me from working. A question that I get often is “Are you a native English speaker?” Despite Singapore being an economic force in Southeast Asia and Asia, and even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg knows of our Prime Minister, my island state seems to be still relatively unknown. In case anyone is wondering, English is my native language, I was taught to spell with UK English, and I graduated from university with a degree in English Language and Mathematics.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your profession?

Write every single day. Read every single day, and read different writers until you find someone with a style that you would like to emulate. Have a notebook with you to take notes, as these will develop into stories in future. If you are a pictorial person like me, take images with your camera, and write short captions about the images into your notebook for future reference. And believe in yourself!

What inspired you to work in this area?

I have a lot of questions in my head, haha!  They include; What are we doing on earth? What are we thinking? What motivates us? Through asking myself these questions, I naturally wanted to know what other people’s answers are. In my teenage years, when my peers were cramming for school exams, I was sitting at the mall watching people and these questions went through my mind. I saw that each person has a story to tell, and I wanted to know what the story was. When I started travelling during my early adult years and met people from different cultures, I realised that people are shaped by where they grew up and their actions/reactions shape the place where they live in. It was a mutual relationship that set the stage for many stories to be told.

If you were not working in this area, what other area would you have been interested in working in?

I would probably have been a dancer. I love movement and the expression through movement. Perhaps that is why I love writing, because it is about expression through words.

What are your interests outside of work?

Trance music. Watching contemporary/ballet/Latin dance performances. Reading about spirituality and practicing it. Exploring new cultures and places. Being grateful on a daily basis.

What is your favourite travel destination?

It is a tie between Italy and New Zealand. I love wide, open, natural spaces.

What is your top travel tip? 

Go without any expectations and keep your senses open. On the practical side, organise your modes of transports and sleeping arrangements well. For everything else, go with the flow.

What is your special talent?

Does having good organisational skills count? Otherwise, it is the ability to ask questions that are fuelled by my burning curiosity about how things are done. I find that people love it when someone shows interest in what they do.

What is the last movie you saw?

A favourite of mine, Strictly Ballroom from 1992. It is an Australian production by Baz Lurhman, who also wrote, directed and produced Romeo+Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge! (2001), Australia (2008) and The Great Gatsby (2013) among other films. I have probably watched it more than 10 times already!

What is on your bucket list?

This is a long list!

Visit one of the Hobbit houses in New Zealand. It seems I cannot buy one, otherwise ‘visit’ would have been replaced with ‘own’.

Do a two-week long hop through all the Christmas markets in Europe and Northern Europe. There is something special about open-air markets during winter.

Travel through Northern Europe in a camper van for 6-months.

Stay 4-months each in London, Venice, and Mykonos to write a book about chasing dreams.

Dancing salsa the whole night in any of the Latin American countries.

Learn Italian or Spanish well.

Perfect the art of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Be driven in a Ferrari or Tesla car down the autobahn in Germany.

Spend a month in LA.

Connect with Patricea on Media Kitty!

 

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