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locationSalida, CO

Micah Ling

Creative Outdoor Adventure and Travel Writer
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About me

My life revolves around outdoor adventure – I spend as much time as possible taking on mountain experiences such as trail runs, backcountry hikes, and bike rides and turn that into high-quality writing. I specialize in outdoor adventure and travel magazine writing and gear test relevant products.

My roles and specialties

Articles & Blog Posts Writer

Outdoor Adventure, Cycling, Running

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What is your primary focus as an independent professional?

At the moment, I'm very focused on increasing diversity in my field. Many populations are underserved when it comes to outdoor adventure, so I try to find the stories of those people that have been traditionally unrepresented and write about them. I also do a lot of gear testing for different publications.

What makes you uniquely special?

I taught creative writing at a college level for ten years and taught in an MFA program, which has given me a sharp editing eye. It also taught me how to interact with anyone – I  taught writing to all kinds of academic populations, including veterans, private university students, and people exploring new careers.

How do you keep the creative fires burning?

I’m constantly outdoors, seeing and doing incredible things that inspire me to write. My day-to-day life sparks ideas for pieces. For example, I might go to a local bike shop, pick up a topography map and realize that the people who made it are local and have been making maps for 25 years. That will prompt me to write a story about them. Or, I could be on an incredible bike ride, discover a ghost town or old mining equipment, and turn that experience into a travel piece.

Who inspires you?

The mountains are a constant inspiration, but when I was an undergrad, I had a professor who wrote features for Esquire magazine. Until then, I had thought of magazines as just something you read at an airport, but his work taught me that it’s all about the writing. If you’re a good writer, you can make any topic fascinating.

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love telling stories that could inspire someone who might not otherwise be inspired. I recently worked on a piece about a cyclist on the Paralympic Team USA, and she told me that if she had known as a teenager that bikes could be modified for her, she would have started cycling much earlier. Representation is so crucial, and I love writing stories that need to be told so that others know what’s possible.

Have you always been independent? What has your career trajectory been?

Before I branched out into freelance outdoor adventure and travel writing, I worked for many years as a creative writing instructor at a college level.

How do you continue to grow your professional skills?

I look to veteran magazine writers for advice. It’s great to have a support network of people doing the same job.

How have you benefited from mentors in your career?

I’ve benefited from professors and colleagues in numerous ways, particularly when I moved into magazine writing. For instance, I was given a lot of advice about how to pitch stories.

Who are some of the clients you have worked with?

  • Runner’s World
  • Bicycling Magazine
  • Triathlete Magazine
  • USA Triathlon
  • 5280
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Outside Magazine
  • Colorado Traveler

What is the most significant (to you) project you have worked on?

I’ve been a runner all my life and an avid reader of Runner’s World, so writing for them is particularly special for me. I did a feature for the magazine about a Navajo runner who started a race on reservation land. That project was amazing to work on and turned out really well.

What does the perfect job look like to you?

I love having the variety of working for publications on different projects.

What kinds of projects are you open to?

I’m open to different projects, but I specifically enjoy working in the outdoor adventure space. I love to work on representing underserved communities in that space.

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