Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lessons I learned from Creative Estates

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Me and Kara

Amy and I

panel discussion with Amy, Jen, Cindy and Kim
I'm sure you've seen a lot of blog posts popping up about Creative Estates.  Lots of pictures showing lots of fun.  It was most definitely a lot of fun.  But I'm not here to rub it in if you weren't able to go.  I'm here to share with you a few of the things I learned from my experience.  And, since there are so many posts, I'm not going to share much of what I learned from the panels, but more of what I learned as a person and a blogger.

Don't think I'm a heretic but I'm here to tell you that YOU are in control of your blog and your blogging experience.  There are many things you can do to promote your blog and increase your influence in the world of social media.  You can facebook, tweet, use pinterest, stumble upon, linkedin, and I'm sure there are more out there already and tomorrow there will probably be another next BIG thing.  You can do any or all of them, but the choice is up to you.  You don't HAVE to do anything.  Think about your goals, your priorities, your circumstances and DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU.  After all the whining I have done on my blog, to my husband and friends, I have finally realized that where my blog is at is because of the choices I have made to limit how much time I am willing to expend on it, and I am OK with that.  I have chosen to take it slowly and look at the time I'm spending right now as laying the groundwork for the time in the future when I will have more time to commit to my blog.  There are no blogging police who will come and expose you for not doing EVERYTHING you COULD do.  Sorry for all the caps, but I feel very strongly about this.  Can you tell?

The next thing I have learned is that the reason I love blogging is because I love people.  And the people are amazing.  They are generous, giving and kind.  But, they are also just People.  The blogs you admire, the projects you drool over, the photos that make you swoon.  It's easy to put people up on pedestals and imagine their lives filled with perfect lighting and ample time to do everything you only dream about doing.  But the reality is that they are just women trying their best to balance all the parts of their lives that they love.  Trying to be good moms, trying to be good homemakers, trying to be bloggers and trying to exert their influence on the world.  And sometimes they rock at it, and sometimes they flounder.  Just like you and me.  So be kind to yourself, and be kind to the real people behind the blogs you admire.  Let's all give ourselves a little more wiggle room. :)
The final thing I learned is really personal.  I won't bore you with all the back story, but the biggest thing I learned is to believe in ME.  Char said something to me in the hallway, in just a passing conversation that completely changed my life.  Something that wasn't a big deal to her I'm sure, but profoundly changed the way I thought about myself and my blog.  She said something kind and encouraging.  And she was sincere about it.  So, if you see something you love, if you are impressed with the things people are doing- tell them.  Spread the love.  You don't know how many lives you might change.
So, sorry about not giving you the nitty gritty about what I learned from Creative Estates.  Jamielyn from I {heart} naptime had a great post summing up everything I wanted to tell you from the panel on Saturday, so go check it out.  The time I spent at Creative Estates changed my life.  In all the best ways possible- and in ways I never would have imagined.  All the worrying I did, all the stress I put myself through- it was all worth it to get to this moment in time when I know that I am a valuable person with things to share.  And I am so grateful.

I hope you will make plans to come next year if at all possible- it's going to be in my neck of the woods and I can't wait to plan some fantastic things.
xoxo,
Amy

p.s. As a follow up- I managed to give away at least 50 of my business cards.  I'm really proud of myself. :)

18 comments:

Mandi @ Vintage Revivals said...

Am!
I loved this post! This is exactly the type of info that I have been wanting!

You are amazing and wonderful!

Love your guts
mandi

Tauni said...

A,OHMYGOODNESS. Your post made me want to cry...You see, this is exactly the message I had hoped people would take away.

I think everyone should know what tools are available and how to use them, but at the end of the day you have to do what works for YOU! Hence, the lack of blog posts on my own site :)

I am simply thrilled that you had a good experience last weekend. I really hope that you'll stay in touch, because I think you're fantastic!

Kendra@My Insanity said...

I totally agree with your message here. I've been trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, but there isn't one way to do this thing, and it's all about what is most important to us, isn't it?

Wish we could've talked more at CE! Thanks for this!

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

I LOVE this post! As much as I enjoy all the pics and the fun and am gonna do my darndest to go next year, I really like the authenticity you show in this post and encourage all of us to show on our blogs.

As I approach my 1 year anniversary of blogging I'm a bit introspective and really thinking hard about where I want to go from here. At times, I've felt like my blog hasn't grown that fast but then I ask myself why the heck am I comparing myself to other people and is that why I started doing this in the first place? Stop it and no!

And at other times, related to the above no doubt, I've felt like I need to get on the giveaway sponsor train but again, is that the authentic me? It would be if things are truly related to what I do and what I love. And now I'm rambling but thanks...your post hit home!

Amy @ Increasingly Domestic said...

Amy! I am so glad that you were able to go and learn just how awesome you are:)

I would love to go next year...looks like a blast!

RootsAndWingsCo said...

I don't think we met at creative estates. However, your post makes me wish we had. I walked away with the same thoughts! Thanks for sharing them so well!

Rebecca@RootsAndWingsCo

Char @ Crap I've Made said...

This is exactly why I continue to blog.

Glad you won the pass on my blog and even gladder we got to chat.

Holly said...

This is spot on. I have honestly thought about quitting because it takes so much time...but it takes so much time because I let it. I think this is my favorite CE post (don't tell anyone). I feel like I am stalking you now.

ellie g said...

AWW....Ameroonie. This is fantastic. And I love the insights you gleaned. Aren't we all just trying our best? Of course we are.

You are fantastically talented. And inherently sweet. And one of the first people ever to know who I was before I had to introduce myself. Guess how that made me feel? Like a ba-jillion bucks, that's what!

And you waited to walk me to my room. Which was awesome. And then you found 10,000 people who quickly realized how awesome you are....and I barely saw 'ya! :)

This is great. And you are too.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I am saving this post. I may print it out and frame it. I'm so glad you got to go to CE, Amy. You're glowing :)

I think Holly's comment may have just changed MY life.

Michelle said...

It was so fun to meet you for reals and get to spend a little time with you!

Great post I think we were all glad to hear that the best thing to be is ourselves. Enough comparing and doubting. Let's just be happy with who we are and what we've got!

Love your brilliance!

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

Amy it was such a delightful pleasure to meet you! This post is so spot on! Hugs to you, and please - let's keep in touch!

Nancy said...

Amy, so good to meet you at CE. I was impressed with how much you put yourself out there and met everyone. I had a few friends there and it was pretty easy to just hang out with them and not be as out going as I should have been. But I totally agree with your post. Sometimes we all just put the pressure on ourselves (the blogging police part made me laugh because I keep expecting them to come for me too). Anyway so nice to meet you. We need to have a Utah girls night out sometime!

Sara @ Mom Endeavors said...

Amy, I love this post! I am SO sad that we didn't officially meet at CE. I know I saw you, but don't think we really got a chance to talk. That's my only disappointment from the conference is realizing all the people I DIDN'T meet.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love the post and love your site.I'm a new follower thanks to CE! :)

heather {WhipperBerry} said...

Fantastic my dear!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your thoughts an helping to put it all into perspective. You are wonderful!!

kisses
heather

Suzanne said...

Loved this post and the perspective you gained from your attendance at Creative Estates. The second paragraph hit home to me -- it's exactly how I feel. Thanks for sharing these refreshing thoughts {and for your kind support of my blog through your sweet comments.}

{april kennedy} said...

I needed to read this post today. Thank you for writing what was in your heart. As I was doing the dishes I thought 'i should be on twitter' but that is not what is really important to me right this very minute. but it IS what I should be doing to grow my business. but then I remembered I'm growing children and a family and right now that is what is important. so i'm going to focus on that right now and the blog/business will be a little perk and you just totally validated me. Thank you!

c.w.frosting said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I totally agree as a full time student who blogs as a hobby to keep creative & sane!

-caroline @ c.w.frosting

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