There I was hanging out with 198 fabulous women - and 2 brave men! - listening to some of the brightest people in the publishing industry.
I am fortunate enough to live just a train ride away. I woke up at 4:30am that Friday morning, showered and dressed, and drove in the dark to the train station. (BONUS: I was on one of the new trains! It didn't smell like homeless people! The seats were clean! I could hear them announce each stop clearly!)
The day was filled with fabulous speakers, break-out sessions, and even a small group round table in a focus area of your choice, with a real live literary editor! We got to pitch our ideas, talk about our blogs and novels, and get useful feedback.
My key takeaway: everyone has a story. From breast cancer to young war widows, having babies with illness to overcoming internal fears, each and every person there had a novel inside of them.
And everyone was at a different stage of their writing journey - one woman had written a novel a few years ago, then put it on a shelf (!) and was now ready to do something about it. One was just starting her query letter, one was just starting her blog.
For me, I was absolutely enamored and inspired by these fellow bloggers. Being there put things in perspective for me. It made me want to WRITE. Which is why I decided to do NaBloPoMo. (And, naturally, why I said I'd do NaNoWriMo and fail on the first day. I didn't change THAT much.)
I also learned that I should market my blog a little bit. Which is ironic, since I am technically a marketer. This means being on Twitter, mentioning new blog posts on Facebook and just being out there. This will hopefully prove to be a better method than the one I'm currently using, which is: write a post and pray someone stumbles across it and reads it, and - gasp! - leaves a comment!
I created a twitter handle. It's naked right now, but if you'd like to follow my musings, find me at: @kkworksforshoes
And perhaps the best part: I made 200 new bloggy friends!