A few weekends ago I was blessed to be able to attend the Midwest Region Catholic Women Blogging Network. After the conference life got busy, as it is wont to do, and I have not had much time at all to write about it. This is not to say that I haven’t been reflecting on it, because I certainly have been doing that. There has been much silent musing, much soul-searching, and much reading on my part in light of the blogging conference, and somewhat ironically, very little writing.
On the eve of the conference, one of the hosts, Anna of The Heart’s Overflow, hosted a lovely social hour at her home. I am fortunate enough to go to the same Parish as Anna and have been to her home at least one other time. That casual acquaintance conquered my introversion enough to actually attend. Naturally, I was my shy, wall-flower self, tucked away on chair in the corner, hardly moving from the spot upon which I first settled.
But, it was a lovely time. I met Heidi, Ellen, Christina, and Diane. I got to talk with Ryian for the first time outside of Church. And I spoke briefly with the speakers for the conference: the fabulous Nell, the one and only Haley, and the exquisite Laura.
Saturday morning dawned in splendor as I readied myself for the conference itself. I arrived at the stately Summit Ave home in time to have a light breakfast, exchange pleasantries with a few other lovely ladies, and browse some of the products available by Nell and Shannon of Chews Life.
Nell gave a perfectly wonderful talk on using Social Media and branding. It was informative and uplifting. I took many notes, but a lot of her advice seemed geared toward the blogger I hope to be not the one I am now. Which is a horrible take-away because it is kind of the antithesis of her talk. But, if I am being honest with myself, I am not organized nor do I have enough time to dedicate to that level of detail. I am for sure saving to refer back on when I feel more organized.
Laura, whose writing is so lovely I can only dream to aspire to the foothills of its glory, spoke on finding your voice and finding the time. Um, yes please. Bullet journal version of key take-aways: ground every endeavor in prayer; good writing starts with good reading; when you get a moment to write DO NOT DO THE DISHES and DO NOT TINKER ON THE BLOG–JUST WRITE; don’t be afraid to write about the messy stuff but guard your heart.
Around the middle of Laura’s talk I became slightly aware of a familiar pounding in my head. A migraine. But of course. I toughed it out as best as I could. I excused myself a number of times to chug cup after cup of water in hopes that might subdue it. It didn’t. We had lunch after Laura’s talk and I did my best to eat. I do wish I might have had a better appetite because the food was lovely. Then the workshops- which, might have been so useful, but I could only sit in the shadows and pray the pounding might leave me.
Haley’s talk was wonderfully encouraging. I related so much with her story of her start at blogging. But, it took nearly all of my energy just to sit and listen during the migraine and not die, so I missed out on taking a lot notes. Key take-aways: Get a mastermind group (check), write a lot and edit even more.
After some Q&A the conference took an intermission to attend Mass. I called my husband to pick me up and waited in agony, feeling certain that at any moment I would vomit in the middle of the lovely house, or on their front yard.
Thankfully, I was able to keep it together. Well, mostly keep it together, until about 5 blocks from home when the urge was too strong and I positively leaped out the window of my van to vomit along the side of the road. I managed to not only sully the side of the van, but also get a seat belt burn across my neck from being unable to unbuckle as I lurched out the window.
Despite all of that, the conference was so helpful to me. It may not seem like it as I have been mostly MIA following the conference. But, it has given me so much to ponder over. I hope to share some reflections in the coming days.
Now, given my state, I took precious few pictures and the ones I did take were horribly blurry. So, check out the hastag on Insta and the linkup Jacqui put together for gorgeous visuals and the experiences of some of the other bloggers.