I’m just back from the first ever BlogHer Writers Conference. I was so excited and fortunate to attend but really had no idea what to expect. As I usually do, I went to the conference in NYC more or less unprepared.
On the plane ride there, I actually caught up on the pre-conference homework. I’m not going to recount the learning but it was fantastic and informative and just a really good read.
I met so many other bloggers (some I knew, some are brand new) and it was a different vibe because we were all there for the writing. It was a small and intimate community ranging broadly in age and I enjoyed meeting every single person.
I was admittedly intimidated by the published authors, Penguin editors, and the bloggers who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do. I’m still floundering. I have breakthroughs once in a while but I definitely felt like a flounder at this conference (completely of my own doing). So instead of floundering on a decent post about the conference, I thought I’d dump it for my stream of consciousness. It will give you a sense of the madness in my head.
P.S. If you do have specific questions about the conference, feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to answer them!
The things I learned at the BlogHer Writers conference can be generally lumped into 2 categories.
Things I already knew:
– I am a writer. A good one. I’ve been writing all my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t a good writer. But writing has taken on an entirely new meaning for me over the last 2 years and I’m still trying to figure out what that is.
– I’m not well-versed at creative writing. At least not in the storytelling sense of the term.
– The more you write, the better you get. I never would have believed that writing requires practice but it does.
– I need to read more. The more you are exposed to different styles of prose, the more you can get a sense of what’s good and what’s not. I think either consciously or subconsciously, it will make you a better writer.
Things I’m figuring out:
– Do I have a book in me? I always envisioned myself writing a book but never really envisioned what that book would be. I’m so comfortable writing about what I know. That’s what this whole blog is about. But can I create a compelling story that people will want to read?
– How can I be so old and feel so behind? I’m a self-admitted late bloomer. It’s hard to be the oldest at your table and feel like you’re the least experienced. This wasn’t totally the case but it was how I made myself feel much of the time.
– I want to practice writing more. I want to try my hand at fiction. I want to create literary moments. I want these to be stepping stones to what I write in the future. I’m just not sure if I want to do them here or in another space entirely.
– Apparently, even if I get a book published, I’m not going to magically appear on Oprah and get super rich. (Yes, I know Oprah’s show is off the air and being super rich isn’t my motivation but you get the idea).
– No matter how you pursue a career in writing, it’s always good to have alternative sources of income. I have some of those. Just figuring out if I want to keep doing all of those.
– Self-confidence and self-esteem play wicked, wicked games with your mind. I need to decide how I feel about my abilities, feel confident about what I want to do, and just shut up, quit the whining, and do it.