Monday, February 6, 2017

02.06.17 I've arrived!

You know you've made it as a blogger (at least locally) when you are invited to attend BlogathonATX as an influencer, as I was recently. It was a blast!

When I started writing the blog in January 2015, it was about a goal - I set out to put up a post every week for a year.  The second year, it was about seeing if I could sustain the effort - I took a few weeks off over the summer - but I still posted weekly for eleven months.  So here I am at the start of my third year...and apparently that counts for something.

What IS BlogathonATX you ask... it's a one day conference in Austin with speakers and workshops open to everyone from complete newbies to seasoned professionals (you do have to register in advance).

If you've been following me since the beginning, you'll recall that I didn't exactly know what I was doing when I started...mostly, I was looking for something to fill my time when my youngest bird flew away (literally, to Boston).  I starting by simply writing about my personal connections to jewelry, topics that interested me, or once I started taking classes, the things I was learning.

I knew that after attending the conference, I would want to write something, I wasn't sure just what it would entail...but as often happens, once I've come up with a general idea for a post, things fall into place and the blog kind of writes itself.

In this case, it was arriving at the conference on Saturday morning and seeing one of the rooms set up as a jewelry showroom.  To my delight, Jennifer Cunningham of jenheartsart - someone I have gotten to know online, but had never met - was there!

Not only was she selling some of her great jewelry, but she was making hand lettered magnetic name tags for the bloggers in attendance - and of course I got one!

I've written about Jen before, she is one of the many activist artists who use a portion of their sales to support social causes.  It's artists like Jen who inspired me to think about ways to use my art for good (more about in next week's post).

I also met Maruxa Murphy, of Perky Perky Coffee.  In the course of chatting about what brought us to the conference, I told her that I had a "coffee lover" pendant in my Esty store - and before the week was out, her husband had purchased it for her!

I loved attending Blogathon - it was an opportunity to engage with other bloggers covering a wide range of topics and experiences.  I learned that I'm doing a lot of things right (probably because I've been writing professionally for a long time) - and there are some things I can do better.

Perhaps most importantly, I was able to connect with people who have both a message, and a mission, to share information and make the world a better place.  Given all that is going on - politically and socially right now - that felt like a very big deal.

Until next time.

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