What’s the worst thing about writing guidebooks?
For me, it’s the fact that as a writer you are set up to be a hack. Sure you can drive yourself insane over doing all of the research and writing and you can take on a few thousand dollars’ worth of personal debt to get close to researching everything, but there is only so much that someone can cover and cover honestly—especially over and over again if it’s your career.
And the best thing?
The research stage is never dull. That’s not to say that it’s all good times, exotic cocktails and memorable sunsets, but you do get accustomed to an extremely high level of stimulus in daily life. For me, at least, it became an addiction. I think that’s what really brings the writers back time and time again. However, like any addiction, it is painful when you are without it and, in this case, must spend the following months in solitude, typing up reviews in templates. After my first book, a fellow guidebook writer confided, “I always forget how painful it was to write the last book just in time to sign on for a new one.”