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:

INFLUENCER
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. 


UNEARTH
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.


EVERGREEN
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.


THEMED IMAGES
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? 


UNIQUE
Another word used frequently...to 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!


EXPAND WITH VIDEO
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! 

31 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Joan. I enjoyed meeting you.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine! You're a ball of fire and I enjoyed watching you schmooz and dance and light up the toon!

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  2. Joan it was so fabulous to meet you and your daughter. I am so grateful to you for reading Sophie's story. I am already dreaming of BAMC17

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    1. Thank you, Doreen...I'm grateful she thought to take our picture! I am halfway through and will write a review soon!

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  3. I picked up on a bunch of the same words and concepts that you did and it makes me smile to know that there is room for all of us midlife bloggers out there. Great to see all of your takeaways and try to focus on my own and decide what the next step is for It's Just Life. Thanks!

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    1. Glad I picked up on the important words! Takeaway is the right term....take and put to work for us! I love the feeling that there's room and support for each of us! Thanks for reading and commenting, Beth

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  4. Hi Joan! I think I was one of those who said, "you look exactly like I thought you would." It was wonderful to give you a hug, chat a bit (not nearly enough) and dance the night away. I too enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many awesome bloggers like you who I read and follow all the time online. And yes, finding a certain tribe of bloggers who also write and approach the world in a similar way was even more gratifying. There is always so much to learn and certainly ways we can all learn to be better bloggers and writers, but ultimately what makes the journey worthwhile is the deep connections we make. Thanks for being one of my BFFs (blogging friends forever!) ~Kathy

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    1. Yes you were, and I probably said the same to you! Your smile and enthusiasm are contagious...and your blog posts always pull me in! Thanks for your comments and support, sweet Kathy!

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  5. What an interesting and clever way to organize your BAM post. Gave me food for thought as I read through each word you elaborated on.

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    1. Thank you so much, ladies! I loved seeing the two if you together at BAM. I organized and elaborated for my own benefit...glad it's helpful to others!

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  6. Sounds inspiring. (as was your post about it)

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    1. It really was, Olga; really helping with my writing. Thanks for always commenting and being supportive, dear friend.

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  7. I read this before but couldn't comment because I was on my phone. BAM, indeed, was a huge huge gift

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog post, Carla! Yes!...a great gift in so many ways for us all!

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  8. Glad to read a recap! I've somehow either missed most recaps or don't know who/where folks wrote them.

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    1. Most are in threads on the BAMC16 page, Kim. There are so many awesome write ups...hope you find them! Thanks for reading mine :)

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  9. I enjoyed reading your take on BAM! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Sheila
    Making the Most of Every Day

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Sheila...I appreciate it!

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  10. Since I wasn't there I am having vicarious visits reading everyone's posts about the event. Thanks for your summary!

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    1. I'm glad it's helpful to you, Haralee! Hopefully our paths will cross at the next blogging conference.

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  11. Dear Joan, I'm actually quite grateful for your post. Because I was volunteering, and keeping the time for speakers, I was the distracted attendee. Reading each of your "words" reminded me of things I really HAD heard, but just didn't have time to dwell on, and soak in, which is a huge part of my writing process: the marination. Time for marinating has been scant lately! So, thanks!
    And by the way, the sentence in this post that spoke to me, that moved me the most, was this:
    "I've discovered an inner strength that's reflected in my writing."
    Yes. Yes, you have.

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    1. I'm so glad this was helpful for you to chew on, Susan! And your sweet words give me tears...thank you so very much for observing this and affirming!

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  12. Dear Joan, your sweet words really touched me today. Thank you. I had a recent discussion about UNEARTH with a friend, and why unearthing has far greater value. When an archeologist unearths an Egyptian necklace antiquity, that piece of jewelry will be deemed priceless - much more valuable that something we buy from a store and created in mass quantity. Get my point? When we move into something because it was unearth from within us, it is far more valuable and means a great deal to us. Far greater than if we do what everyone else is doing. That's why in branding, it is so important to be unique...priceless. Blessings to you on your journey.

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    1. Someone actually wrote in a condolence card that my "inner strength would be soon be unearthed"....it was true and hearing you use it so beautifully really made the point....we so very much must be ourselves. Our unique and one of a kind selves! Thanks for reading and commenting, Glenda...it means a lot!

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  13. I hated that I had to miss it this year! Hopefully next year we will get to finally meet up! If you decide you want to do some changes to your site let me know. Also, if you would like to switch to WordPress I do migrations. I would love to give you a whole new look, very reasonably I might add!

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    1. Me too...another year and our paths haven't crossed! But I've screenshot your message and will keep you in mind absolutely! Thanks, sweet Rena!

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  14. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

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    1. I sure did, Kc. And my daughter participated too...so I was doubly blessed to have three days with her too!

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  15. I'm sorry we didn't have an opportunity to get to know one another. I have read Doreen's book, however. What a couple to have given a homeless woman a place to live... and die.

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    1. Me too...being table mates a couple times was not nearly enough! Next time, Brenda! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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