My 12 Takeaways from an EPIC Writing Workshop in Italy

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1. It doesn't matter how rich or well-known or successful you are - if you ain't nice, you ain't sh*t. Likewise, if you're kind and genuine and inclusive and curious, you are complete sh*t (in the best of ways).

2. Inject as many concrete details into your writing as possible. Delete the rest and tighten it all up. The more specific you are, the more you'll connect with your readers. It's the difference between a day spent in Italy and a day wandering the narrow streets to eventually find yourself leaping from rocks jutting from the cliffside into the clearer-than-clear water under the hot Italian sun. 

3. Write. Write every damn day. Not only is it a wonderful way to keep you on top of your writing ability, but it's also one of the most precious gifts you can give your future self. 

4. Be kind to everyone. You never know where your next enlightening conversation, business connection, or kindred spirit who loves swimming in the sea or closing down the wine bar just as much as you do will come from. 

5. It's OK to feel intimidated at first. Feel it, breathe it in, and then quietly smother it with a pillow. You're here for a reason. You're in the game. Show up for yourself. 

6. Ask questions. If something peaks your interest, learn all you can about it. Become obsessed with it. Learn especially from the people who are currently right where you eventually wanna be. 

7. If you get to a point where people know you or follow your work, treat them as the real MVPs. It could be the difference between an unshakably loyal customer or follower for life vs. them feeling majorly disappointed and letting all of their contacts know to think twice before investing their time, money and/or attention into what you're selling.

8. Continue seeking out these types of events that will put you in touch with your people - and even more so, with the you you most want to become. If you get goosebumps and your nips start perking up in response to major mindset and business talk with a bunch of chicks, that's when you know you're having the right kinds of conversations. 

9. Go in with a learning mindset - be ready to play and have fun learning some cool new brain goodies.

10. Take advantage of any delicious, free food that you can get your grubby little hands on all so that you can go to town later on with great wine, chocolate-mint gelato, and calamari cones.

11. Lay the groundwork to stay in touch with awesome new friends. Don't sign off with a HAGS! ("Have a great summer!") like your crush disappointingly scribbled in your high school yearbook with his stupid handwriting. Cultivate the relationships and connections that feel good and that tug at the corners of your lips before they pull your mouth into a full-fledged smile before you remember you're in public and need to keep it together. 

12. Learn how to split test your headlines, email subject lines, and ad copy. (Not a great end-with-a-bang-er, I know, but totally necessary.)

P.S. An enormous, whale-sized THANK YOU to Laura Belgray of Talking Shrimp and Bianca Gignac and the Italian Fix gals for the most incredible workshop (in the most gorgeous of places, no less). Consider me a total groupie now for anything organized by either of these amazing ladies. 


Stay cool, stay creative - 

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