The process of writing can flow freely or come in fits and starts. Some of my best and most free-flowing writing has come out of the online writing workshops that I have taken with Pink Pangea, with co-founder Jaclyn Mishal as the facilitator. I always look forward to these workshops because thoughts and ideas appear, brought to the forefront of my mind by the workshop process she uses. I had signed up to take the Travel Writing Workshop online, and was intrigued by the description: “writing creates a space for us to process our experience in a way that we hadn’t before, and uncover new insights.” This is my third online workshop with Pink Pangea, and this is exactly what has happened for me each time. In this travel writing workshop review, I’ll explain why taking a Pink Pangea online workshop is such a good idea.
Pink Pangea workshops are not like most workshops. We started off answering questions that Jaclyn posed, ones that got us thinking. Questions like: What is one travel related topic or experience you want to write about? Or, in your wildest dreams, what publications would you like to see your writing published in? As the workshop progressed we were invited to share our answers, but it was completely voluntary. No one would judge your dreams or your writing. Jaclyn promotes a safe atmosphere by being encouraging while reassuring everyone that there are no wrong answers.
The questions I found the most intriguing were centered around the concept of telling someone in your life about your writing. The first part involved writing down what a non-supportive person would say to us about our writing. That was a bit uncomfortable. Then, we had to write down what a supportive person would say. That one was easy for me, but maybe not for everyone. These questions got the creative juices flowing.
Pink Pangea travel writing workshop review
As we worked through the writing activities, some participants typed their writing into the question box. Jaclyn then read a few out loud. A couple of people put their “electronic” hand up, she unmuted them and we heard them read their own words. I prefer hearing writers read their own writing rather than have someone read it for them, when possible. A writer always strives to add their own ‘voice’ to their writing, but reading their own work aloud adds another dimension to it. I had a chance to read my work out loud during a previous workshop but there wasn’t enough time for me to do so, during this exercise. I like the feedback that Jaclyn gives, as well as the feedback the participants give to each other.
As I progressed through the questions, I was surprised at some of my answers–or rather, lack thereof. Even though we were asked to write down a couple of answers, we were told not to worry if we couldn’t complete the exercise, because in Jaclyn’s experience, a thought might appear a couple of days later. I have found this to be true.
As Jaclyn said, “write, travel, do the things that make your heart sing”. I am blessed to be doing all of these!
This ‘warm-up’ led us to the main writing exercise. I was excited to hear what the topic would be. Only one topic in a previous workshop stumped me. Much to my dismay, this workshop turned out to have the same topic. The theme was ‘An Act of Kindness’. As I sat there thinking about the subject, an idea popped into my head and I found the words pouring onto the page. This was a great lesson in sometimes moving on from a topic or story idea but not abandoning it completely.
When the time for writing was up, I had a great outline for an article, one I hope Pink Pangea might publish in the future. The article is about someone I met at a live writing conference who appeared in my life at the right moment. As we got to know each other better, it appeared that I showed up in her life at the right moment as well. I truly believe, as the saying goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
As a result of the workshops I have taken with Pink Pangea, I have been inspired to write about a trip to Peru I took with my new in-laws! I was also able to generate a list of other themes from this trip. Another list of ideas came from someone reading their story. They had written about their own hometown. Writing local is a big theme. As Jaclyn said, “write, travel, do the things that make your heart sing”. I am blessed to be doing all of these!
Pink Pangea online travel writing workshop review.