Hi I'm Isabel aka Princess Karaokey, founder of Words of Healing utilizing the Lerma Therapeutic Writing Method. This started about 9 years ago. First it was The DrunkWriters.comtm and The Drunk Writers Paristm In 2012 I moved to Paris, France from San Francisco, CA because my youthful dream was to be a starving artist in the city of Lights and be inspired in my favorite city in the whole world. So I took my broken heart, "Eat, Pray Love" style like Elizabeth Gilbert without the funding, and decided to make art.
I was begged not to resign as one of the top performers in my company and instead take a 6 month leave of absence as a corporate A VicePresident, Banking Center Manager, sold my car, gave up my beloved Victorian rent controlled apartment, all my "fancy" things and decided at my family's horror to run off to Paris.
I was homesick, didn't know the language, had no friends, and lots of other hurdles like apartment hunting as a foreigner, during one of the worst winters Paris had ever experienced. I started Drunk Writers a month after I arrived and 4.5 months later I told my job I wasn't coming back.
It was a simple concept, everyone brings me a bottle of wine and I run timed writing exercises and we challenge each other to write uninhibited for 5 minutes. Our motto is "Write Drunk, Edit Sober" which may or may not have been stated by Ernest Hemingway.
By the end of the night we will have laughed, cried, and hours later we will have wanted to share at the next DrunkWriters meeting.
I travelled all over Europe hosting impromptu DW events and through word of mouth it grew. The ripple effects and networking by being a moderator have led me to incredible collaborations with other artists in fashion shows, fundraisers, painting, photography, film, books, song writing etc., as well as experiencing what it's like to be a temporary local in the most beautiful settings an artist could ever ask for.
My confidence soared and I loved when self-described introverts would utilize my writing prompts and use it to create successful blogs such as "My Love for Paris" by Nhan Nguyen or would be visited by best selling Amazon author Dr. Geryn Childress who wrote "The Boy who Couldn't Stop Farting" and was given a free audio book reading by Chris Rock who couldn't stop laughing.
They inspired me and we inspired each other. I wrote the lyrics to my first song "My Last Cigarette" on a trip to London with my talented friend Keith Turner who I met because Gregory Leroy, my very first Drunk Writers Member invited me when he moved there.
We wrote and recorded it in 1.5 hours and I performed it live a week later during the annual "Fete De la Musique" World Music Day in front of a crowd of 300 Parisians and I even got featured on "Balitang Europe" (News in Europe) as a Filipino singer in Paris. That song went on to win 2nd place in "Fescetival" a song writing contest.
Gregory and I on our very first Drunk Writers meeting wrote "An Ode To Drunk Writers Pissing Soup" where after drinking several glasses of 1.50 glasses of wine at my neighborhood cafe bar on boulevard de Port Royal we took turns writing lines for the poem with Gregory teaching me how to pronounce words like Butter and Water with a British accent.
I left Paris in 2015 and I'm happy to say not only is that group still going strong, but other unofficial chapters have sprung up all over the world when expats left and started their own groups and I hope to @drunkwriterstravel each one and co-host a Drunk Writers session live one day.
Until then, let's all connect on DrunkWriters.com and please come to our virtual events.
Please help me by giving me your honest feedback on how to make DrunkWriters.com a place to help authors, artists, book and film enthusiasts connect, collaborate and publish amazing works of art to be shared with the world. Thank you!
The Drunk Writers Code:
1. You are never expected to share anything you write, but you will be encouraged to. You can write in any language you like!
2. There is never any badmouthing or criticism allowed during writing sessions. This is a positive and uplifting space.
3. We respectfully ask that you respect other's rights to confidentiality. We cannot guarantee it, but you can always change names and other details if you want to share something personal or difficult.
4. You can drink anything you are legally allowed to drink. Its not about being drunk on alcohol, it's about writing uninhibited for 5 minutes. :)
5. This is not a dating site so please be mindful of any unwanted advances and please reach out if you need help asap.
6. Come wanting to write. There is time to socialize before and after I promise!
7. I will set up timed writing exercises for those not working on a project. Feel free to ignore what I've said and do your own writing. For example: I could set up an exercise to write about your favorite meal for 5 minutes. You could write about your worst meal instead if you like or your current book/poem/blog etc.,
8. I will say something to you if I see you thinking instead of writing. The goal is to write uninhibited in this group. Our motto is "Write Drunk, Edit Sober" (DW Tip: if you don't know what to write... Write that sentence or whatever is in your mind over and over until your brain catches up.
9. Edit on your own time... expect that your work is gonna "stink" because the goal is to get used to writing even when you don't feel like it.
10. Expect that in that "stink" writing... you will find some gems and you will be glad you didn't waste all that time thinking about the perfect line because you're worried about sharing. (don't share if you care that much) or share it next time after you've edited it.
11. HAVE FUN and let me know if you want to start a Drunk Writers unofficial chapter where you live. I'd love to give you some tips on how to get it started. When I'm able to, I hope to visit all the chapters to cohost a live Drunk Writers Session. Follow us on Instagram @drunkwriterstravel and join the treasure hunt! Then when your group is ready to go public in our open mics please sign up!
The Drunk Writers Paris was Founded in November 2012 by Isabel Lerma. Unofficial chapters have spawned across the globe and we hope to have a beacon driving them to DrunkWriters.com which is a place for artists to be seen, share their work, collaborate and get published. Please come be a part of making a global impact with your art!
Keep Writing! Bisous! --Isabel Lerma aka Princess Karaokey
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