The Traveling Writer community on Twitter

A writing friend just joined Twitter, and I’m trying to come up with suggestions of tweeps for her to follow. That got me to thinking: wouldn’t it be awesome if I could give her a list of all the readers of this blog?

A while back I built a Twitter list that includes members of our Ning group for writers of travel memoir. It’s been a great way to grow our community outside of Ning, helping us communicate on another platform.

I’m a huge fan of Twitter lists; I need to find time to build more of my own. They serve as a filter so you don’t miss important tweets, help you find people to follow and showcase your knowledge of players in your industry. Wow, I’m realizing I should write an entire post about how to create lists and use them effectively. They are one of Twitter’s best features.

For now though, I simply want to create ONE list, and that’s a list that includes all of YOU. It will help me connect with you and help you all connect with each other.

From now on, whenever I’m helping a writer or traveler or blogger get started on Twitter, I’ll have a list of tweeps for them to follow: TravelingWriterCommunity.

So leave your name and your Twitter handle below in the comments, and I’ll add you to our Twitter community!

Writers’ Roundup: August 6

You know the drill… Time for links!

  • Should you write for free? (I say no.) The Traveling Philosopher weighs in on what he calls the devaluation of words at the Huffington Post.
  • If you’re still not sure you should use Twitter (haven’t I convinced you already?), literary agent Janet Reid offers yet another reason. I nag, I know. Because I want you to succeed!
  • Author Mary Carroll Moore blogs about writing retreats and what happens when you’re alone with your creativity.

On a side note, I’m running my first-ever social media giveaway for a client this month. And it’s a damn good giveaway, which is why I’m telling you about it — a trip to Iceland! To enter, simply “like” Overland Experts’ Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and RT our giveaway tweet. Enter, travel friends! Here are the contest details.

Have a great weekend!

Writers’ Roundup: July 9

My favorite links from this week:

  • Chris Brogan on the importance of Confidence and Conviction. Always a good reminder. I’m a big believer that this can make or break you.
  • A post at The Fearless Journalist about personal freedom verses loneliness: Free to be lonely. Made me think.

Check back here Monday for Part II of Blogging 101!

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Writers’ Roundup: July 2

Wow, lots less time to go through my Google Reader this week now that I have clients! But it’s a good trade. Here’s what I’ve got for you:

  • Punky Brewster is coming out with a memoir! Well, the woman who played her is, anyhow. Who else will buy this?

[tweetmeme source=”alexisgrant”]

Happy holiday weekend!!

Writers’ Roundup: June 11

As usual, my favorite links from the week! Pretty eclectic mix today:

  • Advice on asking questions from a reporter-turned-stock-analyst. I love the art of asking questions, and Andrea James is right on the mark.
  • Climbing a Tree, Uncovering a Duck: Writers on Writing, from The Millions. Because writers can’t get enough of our own analogies.
  • If you haven’t seen this proposal video, you’re missing an opportunity for a good laugh and a good cry.

Happy weekend!

Writers’ Roundup: May 14

Thanks to all of you who left encouraging notes on my good-news post this week. I feel your love!

My list of links is short this week:

  • I recently discovered this site on taking a career break to travel: Briefcase to Backpack. Let them inspire you.
  • The Gatekeeper begs us not to compare our books to Eat, Pray, Love. I’m guilty of doing this and I bet some of the writers reading this post are, too. We should all think twice before doing it again.
  • Moonrat says when it comes to your book, you’ve got to be your own evil drill sergeant. Because you can’t count on anyone to fix things later.
  • After experimenting with Tumblr for a few months — because I might want to know how to use the micro-blogging platform in my next job (whatever that will be) — I’ve decided to turn it into What Lexi Reads, a running commentary on the many books that make it onto my nightstand.

This weekend I’m heading to the first-ever Compleat Biographer Conference in Boston. I hope to report back next week that I learned a trick or two.

A dozen tips for independent travelers

During my backpacking trip through Africa, there were so many moments when I though to myself, I’ve gotta remember this for the next time I travel.

Like most independent travelers headed for developing countries (independent = travelers who aren’t with a group and figure out accommodation and other details as they go), I knew to bring a money belt, invest in a pair of durable shoes and abide by simple food rules: boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it. But I learned a few more tricks along the way, ones you can use for your next travel adventure.

My tips for independent travelers:

Mom shows us how easy it is to use a stand-alone net.

1. Love your mozzie net. If you need a mosquito net, buy one that includes poles and sets up like a tent. (I use this Skeeter Defeater from Long Road Travel Supplies.) Hangable nets are useless when there’s nowhere to hang them.

2. Learn to Skype. Skype, a free service that allows you to make calls over the Internet, is the cheapest way to call home.  The drawback: for it to work well, you need a solid Internet connection, which can be hard to find in some developing countries. If you plan to Skype often, you may want to bring your own headset.

3. Be your own office assistant. Create sticky labels with addresses of anyone who deserves to get a postcard. You won’t have to carry an address book, and you’ll know you sent all required postcards when the labels are gone.

4. Buy visas along the way. It takes a little planning, but buying a visa in the country adjacent to where you’re going is usually cheaper than buying it from home and requires less paperwork. Just make sure there’s an embassy for country #2 in country #1, lest you get stuck without one. Also remember to ask about multi-country visas, which also can save you money.

5. Cipro for the sicko. Convince your doctor to prescribe several doses of Cipro, or Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic that treats bacterial infections — pretty much anything that forces you to spend your entire day squatting over the toilet. Since travelers often suffer from stomach bugs in developing countries, it’s smart to have this drug handy. Bring Bacitracin ointment, too, and use it; even small cuts become easily infected when you’re not at home.

6. Make room for music. Ditch something in your pack so you can bring lightweight, portable speakers for your iPod. You’ll use them at hostels, on the beach, everywhere you want to share your music with others.

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