6 Great Reasons You Should Build a Global Writing Community

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few weeks ago, I did a videochat over at the most-marvelous GlobalNiche about global writing communities and #38Write (my monthly online series of writing workshops for place-passionate, cultural spelunkers around the world). It was a terrific conversation (click thru to watch here).

Since then, a few writers have asked, Why do I need a global writing community?

Ask and you shall receive:

1.  Because our world is changing & changing fast. As technology and globalization draw us closer together, it’s more important than ever for writers (and all humans, really) to:

  • become culturally literate
  • learn to communicate with folks who are different than us (speak different languages, practice different religions, follow the laws of different political systems, etc.)
  • work/write on the fly—we’re more mobile; we get around faster, farther, and more often; we need to have writers/artists/creators in our lives who get this
  • use social media tools to enhance the writing process, share work, boost creativity, offer feedback, engage in discussion, etc.

2.  Publishing is changing (shocking revelation, I know). Opportunities to share work with a global audience are popping up everywhere. You’ll need a global writing community to stay relevant and informed.

3.  If you’ve ever belonged to ANY writing community—local, global, live and in person, virtual via the Internet, etc.—you know that belonging to such a community is not just about getting feedback on your work. It’s about connecting with a group of people who share your passion for words, stories, place, communication, adventure, culture, etc. It’s about giving and getting support for the delightful yet arduous life of a writer.

4.  Belonging to a global writing community is exciting. It’s exciting to give and get feedback from someone in the Middle East. From someone in Australia. From someone in Turkey or Egypt or China. It broadens your world, enhances your perspective, and makes you step back and consider things in new ways.

5.  To those who say it’s impossible to create trust and intimacy in a virtual, global writing workshop/community, I say phooey. Yep, it takes time and commitment, but all good relationships do, don’t they? Social media tools—Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube—are perfect for worldwide community engagement; their true potential has yet to be tapped. (I’m a’tapping…)

6.  Finally—and perhaps most importantly—building a virtual, global writing community is about cracking open…your mind…your heart…even that dark place deep inside where we hoard judgment and fear. (Don’t forget, I EAT FEAR!)

Cheers! Hope to see you in a #38Write workshop soon!

 

2013: From Gaaaaaahhhh! to Gaga

Welby ? India ? Tin Treasures ? Friction Bump n Go ? Spaceship ? Commander Ship ? BowWelcome to 2013, writers, creators, storytellers, artists, and visionaries around the world!

We’re about 10 12 hours into the New Year. I woke not having a clue if I would blog this morning. Sure, in the past, I’ve always had something astoundingly brilliant and profound to share with you at the new year. Like in 2011, I shared my three non-resolutionary words. And in 2010, I visited and wrote about the Longhua Temple in Shanghai.

But this morning, feeling uninspired, I poked around the Internet for inspiration.

Maybe I’ll make a list of things I learned in 2012, like the Communicatrix, I thought. She’s cool. Always cool. Hip. Always hip. Bald. Not always bald, but bald by choice in 2012.

Or…maybe I’ll create a kickass Pinterest page for my vision for 2013 like my brilliant friend, colleague, and sister global-nicher Tara Agacayak, I thought.

Or…maybe I’ll create a gorgeous, expressive image that represents all I do and believe in like the oh-so-talented Catherine Bayar in Turkey (check this out).

Or maybe…

Or maybe…

Rackham_fairy_ring_WikimediaThen I popped over to Now Write! where I read Dinty Moore’s post called “Writing and Creativity as a Peculiar Crossroads” (read it here). It’s lovely and it sang to me. This idea of the “smidgen of enlightenment” and the ongoing search for it…in writing and life.

It sang to me because for months—for all of 2012, really—I knew I was at a major crossroads—though often I’ve felt this crossroads is more like a fairy ring in Ireland which is lovely & magical, but from which there is no exit…see photo to right. (You can hear Christy Moore sing about a fairy ring here.)

It’s not any kind of unusual crossroads. Millions and trillions and gazillions of you are probably right there with me, trying like hell to solve the mystery of how to be a mom, writer, cultural spelunker, world citizen, and teacher at the same friggin’ time.

Sometimes I find that smidgen of enlightenment, and other times, I just want to yell,

“Gaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!”

Suggestions for the title are received with thanks

So I’m officially dubbing 2013 as my year to do less “Gaaaaaahhhhhhhhh”ing and to better synthesize all that I love, believe in, and am passionate about—as a writer, a mumma, a cultural spelunker, a global-nicher, a teacher, and a human. Like Lady Gaga. Because no matter how you feel about her less-than-usual appearance and approach to things, she’s pretty damn good at synthesis.

LadyGagaJuly2011-3_Wikimedia

Cheers, my friends! Here’s to a creative, synthesized 2013! See you here at Writerhead and #38Write!

Join Me on December 21 For a Talk About Global Writing Communities

A few days ago, I wrote about how I’m heading into “maker mode” and will be quieting down here on the blog for a bit. I imagined myself disappearing and hunkering over my metaphorical potter’s wheel, but since I wrote that and have been sinking into “maker mode,” I find myself more inclined to blog and to connect…just in different ways.

To this end, on Friday, December 21 (10 a.m. Pacific), I’ll be giving an interactive web-video talk at GlobalNiche about global writing communities. No matter where you are in the world, you can log in and participate live and in person. We’ll engage for one hour, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Some aspects of the global writing life that I’ll be exploring:

  • how globalization and technology are changing the ways writers work, coexist, communicate, share, make change, create, and more
  • making sense of our cultural connections in the world
  • how writers whose lives/families/hearts/jobs straddle borders, time zones, and oceans can create, build, and nurture vibrant writing communities
  • innovative ways writers can use social media
  • #38Write (my monthly writing workshop for place-passionate culturally curious writers around the world )

The GlobalNiche community is a terrific one. So join me…join us…creative folks around the world who identify themselves as writers (fiction writers, nonfiction writers, journalists, etc.), as well as creative entrepreneurs, expats, repats, bloggers, travelers, artists, travel writers, and more.

Ooh, I’m loving “maker mode”! (now…back to my metaphorical potter’s wheel)

More Info:

  • To find out more about the nuts & bolts of GlobalNiche and how to access the conversation, click here.
  • To view the Facebook event page, click here.