Go For the Knowledge, Leave with Inspiration—Learn about Travel Writing with La Carmina and Odigo

If you think that spending your Saturday in a day-long travel writing workshop sounds exhausting, then you didn’t make it La Carmina and Odigo’s writing workshop held at Ryozan Park Otsuka. I learn a lot and I left more energized and inspired than I’ve felt all week. La Carmina is a tv presenter, blogger/video blogger who covers counter-culture all over the world and has a huge following. Odigo is a new travel app/service designed to help visitors access locals’ insider knowledge in order to enjoy a more authentic travel experience in Japan.

Eric Bergemann, La Carmina, Melissa Rundle at workshop with Odigo
La Carmina (middle) with team members Eric Bergemann and Melissa Rundle

In the morning, Marla Hall presented a basic workshop on travel writing. We covered different types of travel writing and had a chance to start or continue an article and do peer critiques. Marla’s presentation helped me refine the angle I will take for writing more about my recent Zao trip.

In the afternoon, La Carmina, and her team members, Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann generously shared their expertise on what makes a successful travel blog and how to make a living from travel writing. They were friendly, extremely organized, and direct about their experiences.

I’ve been to a lot of different classes and this was the best presentation I’ve attended about blogging and social media. Using examples from her blog, La Carmina talked about the importance of creating a great experience for readers and how to maximize your blog’s effectiveness.

Eric and Melissa are screenwriters and film-makers and had lots of tips for making effective videos. They talked about the types of gear they use and what they do with it. Melissa an Eric also gave practical tips for editing segments to create a professional video. I haven’t really done much video, but after listening to Melissa and Eric, I’m keen to start experimenting.

My favorite tips include naming your media files with key words and hyphens to increase SEO and always filling in alt tags for images. It’s an easy thing to do but it’s an easy thing to overlook. I hadn’t realized how much difference it would make. I usually name my files in an unintentionally cryptic way that works for my projects but aren’t helpful search terms. I am changing how I do that today.

La Carmina emphasized that it is a process and that it takes work and that generating a successful blog doesn’t happen over night. When they finished their presentation I had renewed respect for how much work it all takes, but I also left with the feeling that I had been shown some good steps that I could use to grow. From talking with other participants, I know they also feel the same way.

Melissa Rundle, La Carmina, Ryozan Park Otsuka, Odigo
After the workshop with Odigo.

Community Manager Lauren Shannon gave an overview of Odigo’s purpose and goals then led a roundtable discussion about writing and blogging goals in general. I’m pretty excited about the concept of an app based on local knowledge helping people get to know Japan. I’ve been here a long time and there is a lot to see and do beyond Tokyo Tower and Kaminari Mon in Asakusa.

We finished the day over snacks and conversation with La Carmina, Melissa, Eric, Lauren, Marla and other participants. It’s always good to meet people who share similar interests. When you get a chance to learn from friendly people who are doing so well it’s even better!

Thanks La Carmina, Melissa, Eric and Odigo for the great opportunity.

I’m Hosting a Workshop at Tokyo Spidering Show at Hagiso Gallery

Tokyo Art Byte is holding their first group show called Tokyo Spidering at Hagiso Gallery in Yanaka in Tokyo. I’m really excited to be part of this group. Members range in age and media types but really come together to discuss art and help each other progress their studio work.

Art Byte is holding a series of events and workshops during the show. You can read more about the events here. I’m hosting an event on two different days.  It will be a fun relaxed event so I hope you can drop by. Japanese information follows.

Character Building from a Scribble.

DATES:
Sunday, October 20 , 13:00-15:00
Sunday, October 27. 13:00-15:00

Kaiju Grocery Shopping
Release your creativity and create a character from a scribble. Scribble on paper then choose lines to keep or erase to bring out the character within. Characters will be created on hagaki-size cards. Workshop members are free to take their creations home with them.

Materials: pencil, papers, eraser, colored pencils, felt pens provided by me.

Workshop Size: Drop in but only 6 people at a time.

Duration: 2 hours.

03-5832-9808
October 15-October 27, 2013
12:00 – 21:00
月曜日定休(月曜祝日の場合火曜)
-営業時間変更のお知らせ-

落書きからキャラクター創造しましょう (Loriさん)
10月20日(日)13:00 – 15:00、 HAGI-ROOM/HAGI-ARTで ((誰でも参加できますですが6 人まで一度に)
10月27日(日)13:00 – 15:00、 HAGI-ROOM/HAGI-ARTで ((誰でも参加できますですが6 人まで一度に)

03-5832-9808
October 15-October 27, 2013
12:00 – 21:00
月曜日定休(月曜祝日の場合火曜)
-営業時間変更のお知らせ-
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