Monday, August 27, 2012

Inspiration and Perseverance: AWBU Recap

Over the weekend, I spent some quality time in Mountain View with some amazing bloggers thanks to Arkansas Women Bloggers. It was awesome to see so many women with the same love of writing that I have. And Mountian View is absolutely beautiful. A hidden gem in the Ozarks.
This is just one of many beautiful site to see at the Ozark Folk Center.

I was super nervous when I got to the conference center Friday night. I only knew one other blogger who was going. So stepping into a room of bloggers was pretty crazy on the emotional side of things.

It kinda felt like the first day of school. Sweaty palms, awkward introductions, lecture halls.
But as the weekend went on, a sense of comfort and unity was created. A we-are-all-in-this-together feeling emerged. Bloggers unite.

After listening to keynote speaker Lela Davidson's The Why of Blogging, I sat in my seat at a crossroad. Why am I doing this? Who am I online? What is the point of this journey?

I mean it's questions like those that slap you across the face and tell you to get it together. But it was not until I was sitting in a content workshop listening to a powerpoint on archetypes and a panel of experts until I get slapped with inspiration and purpose.

Kyran Pittman, author and blogger extraordinaire, was spilling her heart and soul to us about attitude and passion. "If you don't have powerful emotions about it, it's going to be weak," she said.

I sat there in awe. Mouth agape. Mind reeling. Stunned into a silence I haven't known myself capable of to this day. Clearly this woman is brilliant. The way she spoke and what she said was everything I needed to hear.

Later that evening, another blogger and I were discussing freelancing options and questioning the world of writing when Kyran sat down in a chair next to where we were standing.

It was one of those pivotal moments in life where you are terrified to say something to someone you feel is a genius, but you know you have to say something because this is the one chance to get some serious one-on-one insight into things you want to know about.

I choked down the lump in my throat and took a leap of faith. I was completely honest about my current situation. And she was completely honest in her response.

She said...and this is my interpretation of what she said...not direct quotes...but a summary.

It's not easy. You're in the place where you need experience to get experience. It's a tough place to be, but you gotta keep going. Push passed it. Don't get discouraged. If you give up and quit, you will never get it back. It's gone. So just keep plugging away and know that you can do it.

Ummm....did you hear that?!?!?!?!

If you give up and quit, you will never get it back. It's gone.

How completely terrifiying is that??!?! Then it hit me. People say that all the time, just not like that. Most people say follow your dreams. I have never ever heard anyone say if you give up and quit, it will never ever happen for you. The dream is gone. Completely gone.

I felt like I had been hit with a Mack truck. I fought back tears because I knew she was right. So incredibly right.

I've been wallowing in my depression and current situation. Basically waiting for someone to hand me the most perfect job. And it's not going to happen that way no matter how much I think I deserve it or how easy the writing comes to me.

I've been teetering on the edge of quitting and giving up with the thoughts that I can always come back to someone who gets a law degree and chooses not to practice.

The difference is I can't just come right back to it when I'm done wallowing. It will be gone because I gave up on the passion to write. And to be honest, I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I got stuff to do. Things to say. And no one can push me to move forward but me.

Now everyone raise your glass or mason jar....
Because I'm not giving up on this dream. It's not going to be easy, but it will be awesome.

Ching-ching, friends.


  1. Keep truckin my friend..

    1. Cheers to that! Keep truckin', runnin', writin'! Loved meeting you over the weekend :)

  2. Yessssss!!!! Say that! I wouldn't let you give up anyway Ash! You are to GREAT of a writer. Keep it movin' (like we all are). We all hit brick walls at some point in life but you must not give up. I know...I have been there! :)

    T. Leep

  3. Shannon - It was great to meet you, too!!! I hope we can stay in touch. :)

  4. You are an incredibly talented woman and I wish I had half the brain you have when I was 24. We all feel unsure about what we are doing, but most of us quit before we reach the coveted prize. KEEP GOING, NO MATTER WHAT!

  5. I adore this post!!!! Ashten, I'm SO glad that you could join us this weekend. Sitting in the focus group with Healthy Families, I thought how neat you and your story are - I'm sorry we didn't spend more time together this weekend.

    ABSOLUTELY, keep on writing. I'm thrilled Kyran's message was meaningful to you, and can't wait to see where you are going next!


  6. Wonderful post! Great to meet you at AWBU!

  7. Ashley, Beth and Michelle---

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It was so wonderful to meet each of you, and I plan on staying in touch. So get ready to be BFF!!! :)

  8. I'm so very glad this conversation/realization happened for you at AWBU. There is almost nothing like taking some time to reflect and then having a pivotal conversation. You are going to make it! You were brave enough to talk to Kyran, you will be brave enough to push through your other challenges.

  9. Thank you Sarabeth! It's amazing how one conversation can change your whole perspective on an issue you are dealing with. I'm so thankful for moments like that.

  10. Love your post! You are so sweet and I loved hanging out with you Saturday night. Praying for sweet cousin.