Tuesday, April 4, 2017

CWBN Conference Midwest: Writers Gotta Write


Photo Credit: Katzie Truso
 A couple of weekends ago I had the privilege to help organize the Midwest conference of the Catholic Women's Blogging Network. Nearly 40 women from across the Midwest gathered at a beautiful mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota to talk about blogging, network with each other, and support each other as Catholic bloggers. I also discovered that my mostly introverted self needed over a week to recover from the non-stop fun of the weekend.

When Anna and Jacqui asked me last summer to help them plan the conference, I was not really sure what it would all entail except that it would be fun. The work was definitely worth it, even if I was just on the back end of the planning. My co-planners had a vision for this conference, and I was happy to support that vision and help them plan. Which was probably a good choice since I have a lot of things on my plate these days. We managed to pull things together fairly smoothly, even with our last-minute location change. I had the pleasure of cooking way too much cabbage, chick pea, and wild rice soup for our Saturday lunch, and sending jars of it home with several people.
Photo Credit: Katzie Truso
The conference began with breakfast and short introductions. Then my sweet friend Nell gave a talk on networking, branding, social media use, and things along those lines. She was awesome as always. And her blog really shows her ability to do the things necessary to be authentic and network on her blog. Laura followed her up with a talk about writing--how and when to write. She gave great tips on how to plan writing, and how to actually do it.
Photo Credit: Katzie Truso
After lunch we had technical and writing workshops where our bloggers were ask questions about their own blogs and writing. Then Haley gave a talk about her own blogging journey through the forming of a mastermind group and how she manages and runs her blog. Last on the blogging agenda was a question and answer time with our three speakers.

Then everyone went to Mass, but I stayed back to rest... plus, we always go as a family early Sunday morning and the professor had been parenting solo for nearly 36 hours by the time I got home Saturday night...

Dinner from Gardens of Solanica was amazing; really I was just thrilled to be eating delicious meat...

If you want to hear more on the conference, head over to the link up at Jacqui's blog!

We ended the night with giveaways from all of our sponsors!

Some of the donated swag came from: Lily Jade, Nena & Co, Kiki Koyote, Hatch Prints, Brass & Mint Co, Mata Traders, Pink Salt Riot, and Magnificat.

Thanks to all of our sponsors for making this day so wonderful!

Also, thank you to our awesome ladies who helped in the kitchen all day: Amy, Kelly, and Cara!

Photo Credit: Katize Truso
Katzie took beautiful headshots of all of us bloggers. Check out her other work at her website.
My personal take away from this day is that I am doing the right thing for me in terms of the blogging and writing. After T was born (nearly two years ago?!??! what???!?!), it dawned on me that being a writer is not just something I do on the side, but it is important for me to do as part of my vocation. I am a wife and mother, teacher to my home-schoolers, and also a free lance writer. It is weird to say that "out-loud," but I have found writing to be part of my calling, something that God wants me to do. And when I do it well, on top of all the other parts of my vocation, I find a fulfillment in serving God.

My main goal for myself after this conference is to make sure I am writing something everyday--not necessarily something I publish--but putting words on the screen or on paper. Practice makes perfect, right? The other goal is to post more of #theprofessorsdinner on Instagram, and prove that I do not make extensive, complex meals every night...sometimes I make things out of a can...


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