Have you ever attended an event, and left it saying, “Dang, I actually learned something!” If you haven’t had that pleasure, then you my dear are missing something serious. It was magical! Last Friday, I attended Conversationalist & Blogger Tyler Young’s Cupcakes & Creativity: #GirlsWriteIn.
This event wasn’t just catered to bloggers, but aspiring authors and digital strategists. Honestly, if you are interested in improving your personal brand then this was the event for you. Cupcakes & Creativity had awesome workshop facilitators including Author Alicia Dervin who wrote “Sex Isn’t Enough,” Digital Marketer Davida Jackson, and of course Tyler Young. I learned so much from all of them. I could share more with you about the event, but I rather send you to GirlTyler‘s awesome re-cap for that! Plus, she has a great photo gallery!
While I have learned so much, and tweeted some of highlights as well. I managed to compile five lessons from the event:
- “Just Write Through It”As an aspiring author, I was eager to hear what Alicia Dervin had to share about writing and getting published. We all know that I’m near the finishing stages of my first novel, but I got stuck with the block on multiple occasions. Dervin shared the best advice ever about pushing writer’s block.
“Just write through it,” she said.
My inner praise dance commenced at that moment. I started back with The Write Block to help push away writer’s block. However, it doesn’t always work. I’m taking her advice, and I’m going to write through it.
- Expand Your Network
Networking was an essential part of this event. There were women from all different walks of life with one common interest – to write. Sure, everyone had their own focus, but they were interested in connecting with someone new. The ladies weren’t throwing shade or felt intimidated by the next person. It was an opportunity for everyone to soak in the information, improve their brand, and meet new people. Again, magical!
Both Tyler & Davida shared the same idea of expanding your network and building a strong community. Oftentimes, we share our information social media and hope that your friends will read your posts or at least share it. Unless you are talking about something juicy or someone, they aren’t as likely to read it. I have several friends who say they saw my posts, but haven’t read it. Now, that’s supportive!
I learned that instead of hoping they will read and support my blog, I need to expand my network and develop a community of cheerleaders.
- SEO & Google Analytics
One Word or Phrase: SEO. What’s an SEO anyway? It’s called Search Engine Optimization. It’s purpose is to make it easier for people to find your blog or website. Davida and Tyler are the SEO and Google Analytics gurus. I haven’t played around with it much, but I learned that if my titles are searchable then more people are likely to read it.
- Imaginary Friends are Real
Weird right?! However, when I refer to my imaginary friends, I’m not talking about the childhood or psycho version of it. As an author, I have 13 characters who all have different personalities. However, my main character, Daiely, sometimes has a mind of her own. I outlined the entire book, but somewhere in the middle of the novel her character started shifting the book’s direction. At first, I got a little frustrated because I am a notetaker, outliner, and planner (regardless if I stay on it or not). She went one way, and I wanted that moment to go differently. I honestly thought, I was the only person until Alicia shared her experience as an author and her imaginary friends (characters). As an author, yes you are the writer- the keeper of the key strokes or pen, but your characters can shift your perspective whether you like it or not.
- Be Authentic
This last lesson goes without saying, but I must share it because authenticity made the event. All of the speakers were their genuine self especially Tyler. Her presentation was the perfect reflection of who she is – full of personality. She told us to be authentic.
“Tell your story. Nobody wants to work with robots. Show your personality,” she said. “Authenticity will get you places.”
What event have you attended where you felt empowered once you left?