From deep inside: Writing about travel enriches the journey

For Judy Reeves, just traveling to exotic locales isn’t quite enough to nourish her soul.

Instructor Profile: Judy Reeves, "Write the Journey: Introduction to the Travel Narrative”

Her passion, wherever she goes, is writing about those experiences.

“Writing about our travels gives our memories a sense of permanence,” said Reeves, a creative writing instructor at UC San Diego since 1999. “We’ll look at a photo and want re-tell stories we remember from that moment in time. That’s why we’re writers.”

Starting July 14, Reeves will again teach “Write the Journey: Introduction to the Travel Narrative,” a four-session course that has its origins in her own adventures.

In the 1970s, Reeves was affiliated with San Diego-based Project Concern International, a role that took her to Bali, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Brazil, and Guatemala.

Since then, she’s traveled nearly the world over, though not yet to Africa and Cuba, which she hopes to visit soon. Plus, she’s been to 48 of the 50 U.S. states, excluding “one of the Dakotas and another state I can’t recall.”

To learn any kind of writing, one trait is essential: “You can teach the craft,” said Reeves, “but the passion has to come from deep inside."

And how does Reeves bring out that passion? “I tell them it’s all about being willing to be vulnerable on the page,” she said. “For some people, that can be kind of scary.”

As for her favorite authors, she counts Annie Dillard, Annie Proulx, John Updike, Paul Theroux and Pico Iyer, among many others.

Measuring her effectiveness as a writing instructor often comes later, after the final session.

“When my students tell me later than they’ve kept writing,” she said, “I know I’ve tapped into something that’s deep and lasting.”

Posted: 5/21/2014 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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