Mission Inspiration: Get Wowed: #1

When life gets crazy, inspiration shoots out the window. You look around, think, “man, oh, man…I’m pretty sure there was a little inspiration here yesterday.” But no, you’re running, and inspiration is nowhere to be found.

I’ve been racing around a lot lately—in my head, life, process, work, family, etc.—and as I hunker down into “maker mode” (remember?), I’m inviting inspiration back into my world. In any way it would like to arrive.

So I think I’ll share some of inspiration with you, hoping it might make a difference in your day, too.

The first boost of “wow”?

This dream:

The other night I dreamed that both Anais Nin and Virginia Woolf had a writing ritual called “The Sixth Activity.” They each obsessively wrote about any sixth thing they did, said, or discovered. In one dream scene, Nin was writing about the sixth step in a long staircase. And in another, Woolf was writing about the sixth stone she found on a beach. Woolf also listened for the sixth word in all spoken sentences.

I woke inspired. How could I not?

 

#38Write: Register Now For December’s “At the Party” Workshop

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag (#38Write) and a group Pinterest board. Lots and lots of good work getting done.


Looking to add a little writing cha-cha-cha to your holiday season? The December #38Write workshop is the perfect spot to do so. Here’s how it will work:

  1. Register for #38Write.
  2. Let Kristin know when your party is taking place.
  3. Receive a suggested reading list and your #38Write | At the Party! writing adventure guide from Kristin.
  4. Go to your party!
  5. Sip a little wine. Find out it’s cheap. Make a face. Trade it in for a whiskey sour.
  6. Sneak into the john & write about the cheap wine.
  7. Check out the shoes of all the women at the party.
  8. Send yourself an email from your phone about the silvery pumps with the red-hot bows (snap a picture, too, and add it to the #38Write | At the Party! Pinterest page).
  9. Listen to conversations buzzing around you. Take notes on your palm documenting the fight the super-tall couple is having about whether or not the gift they brought was culturally appropriate.
  10. Eat a few appetizers.
  11. Tweet a picture of your favorite! (using the #38Write hashtag)
  12. Eat a few more appetizers.
  13. Excuse yourself to the bathroom. Once safely locked in, jot a few notes about the party decor. Compare and contrast it to that of parties you went to in Budapest, Barcelona, and Boston.
  14. Dance. (No, no, no, not in the bathroom, silly! You can come out once you finish the notes about decor.)
  15. Snap a few more party pics. Pin them here!
  16. Talk to guests about their cultural expectations of the party. Tweet about how theirs compare to yours. (again, hashtag #38Write)
  17. Head home when exhaustion sets in or the host kicks you out (whichever comes first).
  18. Get a few hours of sleep (or not!).
  19. Write.

Ready to register? Grab your party shoes & click here!

#38Write: December’s Virtual Writing Workshop Is Open for Registration

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag (#38Write) and a group Pinterest board. Lots and lots of good work getting done.


OPEN FOR REGISTRATION!

Whoop! Whoop! The December #38Write writing workshop is open for registration!

Topic?

At the party!

When?

Any 38-hour period between Friday, Dec. 7, and Wednesday, Dec. 19. (Your pick this time! But you have to be going to or giving a party!)

Cost?

$38 (U.S.)

How to register?

Easy peasy. Click over to the CLASSES pages.

WHAT IS #38WRITE?

#38Write is a writing adventure workshop designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

In June, I launched the first #38Write online writing adventure with #38Write | Description.

In July, I continued with #38Write | Structure, which went forth with 16 writers in 9 countries. One of the assignments for that workshop was to define culture without using a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference tool. It sparked some pretty spectacular definitions (read them here) and a lively conversation on Twitter.

In September’s #38Write, writers wrote about square peg, round hole situations. Read a few examples here.

#38Write has been growing ever since.

Most recently, in November, 15 writers in 9 countries took a look at habits—cultural, personal, and writing. (You can read a few of their short pieces here.)

**Ready to register? Click on over to the CLASSES page.**

THE UNIQUE ASPECTS OF #38WRITE

• Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)

• Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story (but you might accidentally do so). Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing; all will encourage you to engage with and explore the culture in which you’re living.

• During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)

• You’ll also get to engage via a Pinterest group board. (Read more about how I use Pinterest in the workshop here. And check out the group Pinterest boards for #38Write | Structure and #38Write | Peregrination.)

• You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)

• You have the option to participate in peer critiques.

• Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, memoir, or poetry.

• Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and encouraged to join. There are some of each (and everything in between) in every workshop.

• It’s affordable. A single #38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).

**Ready to register? Click on over to the CLASSES page.**

WHY DID I CREATE #38WRITE?

While living, writing, and teaching writing in the U.S. and Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).

2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.

3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.

4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)

IS #38WRITE FOR YOU?

#38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

So, yup, if you’re asking, #38Write is probably for you.

To learn more and sign up for #38Write | At The Party, visit CLASSES.

 

 

#38Write: Register for the August Workshop Now

#38Write—my [new-ish] global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board. In the July workshop, we had 16 writers in 9 countries!


Looking for a unique writing workshop that nurtures your interest in place, culture, maps, journeys, odysseys, travel, etc.?

Perfect timing…because the next edition of the 38Write writing adventure series—38Write | Peregrination—is now open for registration. (Click over to the CLASSES page for lots more information about this specific workshop and to sign up.)

WHAT IS 38WRITE?

38Write is a writing adventure workshop designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

In June, I launched the first 38Write online writing adventure with 38Write | Description. In July, I continued with 38Write | Structure, whichwent forth with 16 writers in 9 countries. One of the assignments for that workshop was to define culture without using a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference tool. It sparked some pretty spectacular definitions (read them here) and a lively conversation on Twitter.

THE UNIQUE ASPECTS OF 38WRITE

  • Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)
  • Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story (but you might accidentally do so). Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing.
  • During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)
  • You’ll also get to engage via a Pinterest group board. (Read more about how I use Pinterest in the workshop here.)
  • You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)
  • Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, or memoir.
  • Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and encouraged to join. There are some of each (and everything in between) in every workshop.
  • It’s affordable. A single 38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).

WHY DID I CREATE 38WRITE?

While living, writing, and teaching writing in the U.S. and Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

    1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).
    2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.
    3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.
    4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)

IS 38WRITE FOR YOU?

38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

So, yup, if you’re asking, 38Write is probably for you.

To learn more and sign up for 38Write | Peregrination, visit CLASSES.

38Write: And We’re Off! Here, There & Everywhere!

38Write—my new global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, you’ll be connecting with me and 38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. It’s new. It’s different. It’s mad fun!


And so, 38Write | Description—the first in the monthly series—has launched.

13 writers in 7 countries:

China (Suzhou & Shanghai)

India

Australia

U.K.

France

Belgium

U.S.

At midnight-ish (U.S., Eastern Standard Time), I emailed the 38Write | Description missive. Writers have 38 hours (from noon on their Saturday, June 2) to complete the adventures and writing assignments.

We’re Tweeting the workshop at #38Write. Check out the conversation.

And if you’re interested in the next 38Write workshop, sign up for email updates. The announcement is coming soon!

Expat Sat: The Blogging Rut (& How to Get Out of It)

Welcome to Expat Sat, the culturally kooky, map nonspecific, sometimes bewildering, always fascinating intersection of expat life and writing. And where every Saturday, I offer tips for writing and publishing to expat writers around the globe.


5 Truths About Expats & Expat Writers

  1. Expats are not the same as travelers. Because expats hunker down and live in a country (as opposed to vacationing for a week or two), they have vastly different experiences than travelers and therefore very different perspectives. It’s much like the difference between marriage and popping in for a quickie; when you’re married, you know as much about the hairy wart on the left buttock as you do the sexy eyes that attracted you in the first place.
  2.  

  3. Expats are bursting with stories…literally bursting. Sit down for a drink with an expat and you will get your ear bent a thousand different ways. In fact, a common comment (complaint?) about many expats is that most of their sentences begin: “In _______ [ fill in name of host city/country], ….” (It’s hard to stop us once you get us going…)
  4.  

  5. Many expats become expat writers after moving to their host countries. In some cases, they’d always wanted to write, but hadn’t had the time or head space to do so. In other cases, there is just so damn much to tell that writing it down feels like the most natural step.
  6.  

  7. Expats write kick-ass blogs. They write funny blogs, informative and educational blogs, raw and revealing blogs, thoughtful blogs. (If you need proof, read Expat Harem or Mrs. Madison’s Dubai or From My Tingzijian.)
  8.  

  9. Expats write too many blog entries and not enough publishable essays, articles, etc. (Ouch! I know, I know…this one stings. But it’s true. Blogging is terrific—I’ve been a blogger for years—but it can become a rut.)

_________

Before we go on, I’m going to repeat #5 a little more loudly (raises bullhorn):

EXPATS WRITE TOO MANY BLOG ENTRIES AND NOT ENOUGH PUBLISHABLE STUFF!

_________

Now there are many solid, understandable reasons expat writers do this. For example:

  • They are new to writing and don’t know how to get started. A blog entry can take any shape, voice, tone, length, etc. It doesn’t come with lengthy, hard-to-navigate writers’ guidelines. That feels comfy and safe.
  • They don’t know how to finish and polish a piece to publishable quality.
  • They don’t know how to find markets (magazines, online pubs, lit mags, agents, etc).
  • They don’t know how to submit their work.
  • They don’t have a support group. (Being an expat is often a rather transient existence. Folks come and go every couple of years. It’s hard to establish a support group or class with all that coming and going. But having a support group is a vital part of being a writer. Yes, writing is done in solitude, but all writing is polished and improved upon with the help of others—peers, teachers, editors, and agents.)

The thing is, all of these challenges are a natural part of the expat writer’s journey. So what’s to be done? How do you move to a new level with your writing? How do you find a support group? How do you learn the ins-and-outs of publishing your work? How do you get out of the blogging rut?

Answer: Take my online writing workshop for expats. (No, this is not the only answer, but in my mind, it’s one of the best. )

So, if you are an expat/repat who is:

  • a beginning or seasoned writer
  • bursting with stories
  • looking to write short, publishable essays
  • interested in moving your writing to the next level
  • interested in learning how and where to sell your writing
  • longing for a supportive writing group

…sign up here. It starts on May 1.

Let’s go!

 

Q4U: Where do you fall in the spectrum? Beginning writer? Seasoned writer? Blogger? Published author? What are your goals as a writer?

____

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net