Inspired With Write Words

Session Days, Dancing Nights
 Women writing words; this was the group of bloggers I joined in Las Vegas last month. It was the annual Bloggers At Midlife Conference...the very first one for me. These friends I've made through Facebook and Blog posts greeted me in real life with hugs, laughter and excited chatter including "come sit here" and "you look exactly as I thought you would!" I could feel the instant camaraderie as we danced the night away at the Osteo Bi-Flex Disco Party!
We enjoyed two days of sessions filled with self discovery, branding and publishing expertise and technical updates. In reflecting over my notes and my time spent one-on-one with many of these new girlfriends, I kept noticing key words..words that empower me to get back in the game with my mind and eyes opened wider. I call these motivating terms Write Words.

                                     The words that inspire and motivate me include:

We influence our readers with every word we write. We should be using the power of our words to influence the market place, the social conscious and the younger generations. As someone who is aging actively and positively; I need to view my writing as a message; public relations, advertising, medical, educational and entertainment fields need to realize it's time to drop the "old folks" image and focus on the youthfulness of boomers and beyonders. Walker Thornton and Lynne Spreen discussed ways to shine a positive light on the strengths, wisdom and power of growing along. 

The beautiful Glenda Harrison presented this word while discussing the loss of her beloved mother; "great pain can lead to a greater purpose" she told us. I too found healing in loss; found my ability to go it alone without my editor husband in the next room. To me this means always digging deeper, going the extra mile. By continuing to participate in blogging communities, attending this conference,  branching into difference genres...I've discovered an inner strength that's reflected in my writing. Thank you for such a beautiful word that describes perfectly what we do, Glenda.

Several panelists spoke about the importance of evergreen pieces...those that are usable again and again or can easily be repurposed. I've totally had this wrong; believing it was lazy or pushy...sort of like saying "you didn't read it a year ago so I'll try again!" Now I see the benefits of reusing my Mother's Day tributes or my Dad's war story every Veteran's Day. Whether a timely piece or one for the ages; our archives of essays are still empowering and meaningful! Thanks to all of you who made this word take on greater meaning.

A hug from Tammy Bleck
The idea of branding our blogs or our name can be as simple as using a constant theme in our posts. Glenda does this with her fashion and style theme, as does Tammy Bleck with humor and Jodi Okun with finance. So many of you do this, while writing about other things as well. Your posts are presented with a familiar graphic or photo that draws us in; reminds us this is a credible source and interesting read. Gramcracker Crumbs started as a grandma with tons of grandchildren pictures and tales. I now bring my teaching and reporting background into my posts; write about fitness, aging, travel and becoming a widow. I learned my blog is considered 'lifestyle' and I'm free to write about anything. But...great food for thought here; should I rename it, 'brand' it or continue by using images that reflect grandmothering? 

Another word used be ourselves, to shine a light on our uniqueness. I found this word on several note pages; underlined, circled and with arrows! This is a BIG one for me. Worry that someone else just wrote about the same issue. Unsure if my piece is polished enough or 'Elements of Style' worthy. I heard the words "no competition" and "everyone has a story" mentioned throughout the weekend from presenters, table mates and fellow pub crawlers. How many times did I ask students to write on command; to write about the theme/story starter on the board!? I loved reading the uniqueness of each one; their voice, their word choices, their various perspectives and experiences. I am grateful to you dear BAM friends, for this boost to my confidence!

What a fun way to hook followers, present a point and give your words visual variety! Thank you, MJ Tam and Debba Haupert,  for the wealth of  information, techniques and products. Although you also spoke to videographers doing live presentations; there are many ways to incorporate clips here and there into our written posts. I've taken lots of video and I now know how to upload them to my blog. Next up will be lining up interviews or action for a purpose. This is very new and scary for me; but I appreciate how your presentation beckons and intrigues me!

Signed copy and a new friend!

Other words I highlighted in my notes were Pinterest, promote, branding, quality and clarity. Each of these fit nicely into the comments above. I'm learning to better use Pinterest to promote myself and broaden my audience. I notice the authors who value quality over quantity, and appreciate those who consider clarity a tool to enhance rather than a necessity for the clueless. I was awe struck while chatting with  Elaine Ambrose, Kathy Gottberg and Doreen McGettigan; published authors who've shared their hearts and uniqueness to succeed.

B@M Managing Partners

BAMC16 was a gift. I learned so much and met so many amazing bloggers. Thanks to all of you who took the time to chat with my daughter and I around the table or over dinner and drinks. Thanks for the Marriott experience; the walking, the pool, the spa and shops. Most of all, thanks to our Fab Four... Anne, Teresa, Beth and Sharon...who set it all in motion!