A Writing Lesson from Japan

It was a Thursday night in Tokyo. I was having a blast at a get-together with a bunch of ex-pats at a bar (the fast bonding that is depicted in Lost in Translation is real), but I was getting tired. I was still a bit jet-lagged (a thirteen-hour time difference is no joke), and my introvert side was yearning for the soft bed in hotel. 

But then karaoke came up. 

As tempting as it was to bow out (I was barely keeping my eyes open), I said, “Heck yes!”

So as a group, we shuffled over to the subway station to grab a train that actually ran on time (can you tell I am a bitter Washingtonian?). As I sat in a car, Sophie sat next to me. While she was part of the group, I never had a chance to talk to her at the brewery. She immediately turned to me and said, “We are the winners. We actually grabbed a seat.” I burst into laughter, and we became instant friends. (Isn’t it amazing to think you can meet a friend halfway around the world?)

We eventually reached Shibuya and wandered into one of those multi-story karaoke places.
It was magical.

Sophie chose a ridiculous pink bunny costume, and we took an elevator to the thirteenth floor. 

Thirteen must be the new lucky number because I had the best time. We mocked the cheesy stock footage of the lyric videos, and everyone sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” with enthusiasm (the better of us were even able to hit those high notes.)

It was one of those nights where you feel like you are in a movie. 

If I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

So take a chance and do something different. Stay out a little bit later. Say yes to something you would normally say no to. You would be surprised by how much it helps your writing. After all, some of the best writers lived a full life (I am looking at you Fitzgerald). Everything is writing material.

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