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Post conference boost and a busy week!

by Andrea Updyke

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This has been a really great and strange week for me. First off, I attended the Type-A-Parent conference over the weekend and came home totally refreshed, pumped, and excited about blogging again. It was everything you want in a conference; learning, great conversation, and amazing food.

Yes, Type-A was a smashing success (said in a British accent even though I didn’t get to stay for the party).

If there is one thing I have learned about blogging, it’s that you can’t force it. Believe me, I have tried to force it. In fact, if you went back through my posts, I bet the days where I was checked out are glaringly obvious. It’s a valuable lesson to me though because the ebb and flow is not a measure of success or failure. It is simply part of the process.

Why do I blog? Sometimes it’s because I want to work through my thoughts and writing it all out helps me make sense of things. Some of those are the posts with zero comments. On those days I am tempted to clam up and think oh well, no one likes me. I guess I won’t write anymore. But feedback isn’t always the goal when I write. Sometimes I write to share a sweet story about my family or relate to parenting on a very real and in the moment level. Sometimes I review products or get paid for my words. Sometimes I write for other websites. Sometimes I do technical stuff that has nothing to do with writing. It’s all part of the big picture and I think I was so in the thick of things that I lost sight of that picture.

One major takeaway from the weekend was to just keep writing. I like to think of Dory from Finding Nemo singing those words because it sounds less daunting from her cute little voice. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing writing writing. 

Writing makes you a better writer.

Since I have been home, I confirmed some new gigs for the end of the year that will allow me to bring in some income behind the scenes and give me a little room for some good old fun blogging. You know, the kind that makes me (and hopefully you) smile. That’s how it all began after all.

I’ve also spent a lot of fun time with the boys this week. I took Oscar on his very first field trip with school. We went to the Fire Station and had a blast. I sat on the floor with Calvin making towers and coloring. We took the family out to dinner last night and today I spent time researching elementary schools for next year. We read stories and sang songs and laughed and spun around.

Earlier today, I participated in a live Google hangout about Blog Monetization with Amy Bellgardt from Mom Spark. I worked through emails. I did laundry, I made and cleaned up after meals. Somehow, I managed to switch hats with ease.

The point of all that is to say even though I don’t credit the conference with my ability to take my son on a field trip, in some ways I do. I didn’t realize how stuck I had been in my grind. I was really just spinning my wheels with no where to go and no desire to go there.

Last week, I told my husband I didn’t want to go to the conference. It just felt too hard. Too tiring. Too “on”. I had lost my spark. Who knew I would find it in Atlanta?

Since I’ve been home I have been falling in love all over again. In love with my husband, my family, even my responsibilities. I don’t have to do all of these things. I get to. I get to love and be loved, write and be heard, listen and learn. My life isn’t about hard versus not hard. It’s about perspective. I love the last post I wrote because I think in part that is how I am learning to see.

Sometimes you have to take a step back to really see the beauty that is right in front of you. I’m so glad I did.

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Kristy Rodriguez October 3, 2013 - 9:27 pm

So good, Andrea! I always appreciate your honest posts. My favorite part: “I don’t have to do all of these things. I get to. I get to love and be loved, write and be heard, listen and learn. My life isn’t about hard versus not hard. It’s about perspective.”

Lilkidthings October 4, 2013 - 9:22 am

Thank you Kristy! I feel like I keep re-learning the same things over and over but it’s always so good. Too good not to share 🙂


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