In ten days I will be attending my first blogging conference. That feels a little weird to admit since this blog still has it’s fresh-from-the-box shine. Yet it has been a dream of mine for nearly a year – which is why I signed up for a blogging conference 7 months before I wrote one word. Well, that and the fact that Ann Voskamp would be speaking an hour from my house!
But this writing thing has been in my blood all my life. Putting pen to paper is simply how my brain thinks, how I get the jumbled thoughts and emotions jostling around in my head to make sense. I love to craft a good sentence, to use big words properly, to capture the essence of our experiences and feelings in word pictures. Heck, I love diagramming a sentence! After majoring in creative writing in college, I applied to graduate school in the same field. I was not accepted anywhere, and it shook my confidence in writing for many years. If I’m honest, that rejection still haunts me when I consider describing myself as a writer.
When I think about connecting with so many other writers at Allume, I am alternately intimidated by their perceived expertise and filled with a palpable ache at the sheer pleasure of being surrounded by other women who get my love for the written word. It is a strange thing, this writing business. There is a raw vulnerability in sharing your life, your stories with an audience that can make your knees knock. These words are your children, separate from you yet still connected to your heart by thick, tangled cords. Meeting others who understand – who share – the same passion and fear speaks words of courage to your heart. I am choosing not to focus on the many things that bring me anxiety when I think about going to a conference alone. Instead I want to savor the sweet fellowship of women united by the words they type with that way-to-early morning cup of coffee, in the wee hours of the night after everyone else is asleep, and all the stolen moments in between. It’s going to be a great weekend.