Monday, May 4, 2015

Conference Thoughts {CWBN Mid-Atlantic}

Saturday was the CWBN Mid-Atlantic Conference. I woke up early, partly because I had a two-hour drive and partly because I was nervous. All week long I had gone back and forth between excitement and fear. But fear is something that I have been working on overcoming, so I kept giving myself pep talks and worked on getting the stuff done that I needed to do to help make the day a success. 

I had a wonderful day and enjoyed meeting some many lovely and talented women. I already felt like I knew quite a few of them from their blogs, so it was nice to be able to talk with them in person. 

There were many wonderful conversations, three excellent talks, and lots of good food. Julie, our host, was so welcoming and made sure that we had an enjoyable day. I could go on and on about the conference, but I am limiting myself to the top three points that I feel characterized the day for me. 

Thought One 

We are all God's "It Girl". We have unique voices. If you feel God calling you to share your story, to send a message into the world, don't shy away from it. You may feel like no one cares, or someone else can say it better, but God wants YOU to use your voice. Do the work He calls you to do and let Him do the rest. 

Thought Two 

Social Media is a huge beast, but it can be defeated. Some people naturally rock all platforms of social media, but I think most of us do not. It can feel overwhelming and like a major time thief. But there are ways to manage it and easily navigate through all platforms. Find a blogger who is doing it well (I am looking at you, Cristina), and reach out to her with questions. I guarantee you that she will be happy to offer advice. My advice is to start small, like with your favorite platform. Learn all the things about it, and then move on to the next one. You can rock social media, and it is not as hard as you think, but only you can decide if you want to! Once you set your mind to learning the tips and tricks, you will be a social media rock star, too. 

Thought Three

There is a common trait among bloggers/writers that I have met. Not all, but a lot of them are introverts, and some are shy, as well. It can seem very intimidating to imagine yourself spending an entire day with people you only interact with online. But believe me when I say that you need to do it! It will be more fun, interesting, and edifying than you can imagine. 

There were moments throughout the day when I needed to go off by myself to regroup or busy myself with a single task so I could put my head down and retreat within myself. I noticed other women went off to spend a few minutes alone, to stare out a window or breathe in a bit of fresh air. But I know that they were happy to be there because they said they were with sincerity. 

If there is a conference being held in your area, please go. I know you won't regret it! And if there is not one, then I want you to reach out to a couple other bloggers in your region and plan to get together. It doesn't need to be fancy, just meet at a restaurant or a park for a couple hours if that is all you can manage. Find a way to gather together to discuss your goals and plans for writing and brainstorm ways that you can encourage and help each other. Pray with and for each other. And if you are a hugger then, by all means, hug them. 

Find out more about the Catholic Women Blogging Network and upcoming conferences here
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