A Blogging Conference, Friends, and Me
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the fourth annual Arkansas Women Bloggers conference in beautiful Rogers, Arkansas. This is the third time I’ve been to the conference, and it has always been a wonderful experience. But this year was different. Instead of driving to the conference alone, I met a group of Southwest Arkansas Women Bloggers, and we carpooled. I knew I liked these ladies from having regular blogger meet-ups with them, but on this trip I really got to know them and am blessed to call them friends.
What’s great about these friendships is that although we were brought together by blogging, we found a lot of common ground beyond that despite age differences, different educational choices for our children, varying religious backgrounds, vastly different decisions about hair length and whether or not to color gray hair 😉 , music preferences, and other things that sometimes cause issues in relationships between women. We all accept and appreciate one another “as is,” and that’s refreshing.
Of course, the conference itself was amazing too! We had great fellowship, sessions full of information about branding, freelancing tips, taking great pictures with your smartphone, living great stories to tell great stories, and more. We also heard inspiring stories from conference sponsors who are providing jobs and creating products right here in Arkansas!
I am already looking forward to next year, and the venue and dates haven’t even been announced yet! If you blog and are in a state served by The Women Bloggers communities, or even in one nearby (they’ll adopt you), contact them and get involved!
Here are some of the highlights of the weekend (lots of selfies!):
- A wonderful selfie of the Southwest Arkansas Women Bloggers before we started our road trip. The photo was taken by Karen and is used with permission. From left to right are: Shelia, Alicia, me, Karen, and Jessica.
- Me with Tiffany, a new friend and colleague (we’re working on a writing team together) who was also one of my roommates at AWBU. Janeal, my other roommate, has been my gratitude partner since AWBU 2013, but I didn’t want to use her photos without permission, and I haven’t gotten it yet. 😉
- Me with Karen Jordan, an author I met at last year’s conference, who also happens to be the mother of a friend of mine from church! It’s a small world we live in.
- Me with the wonderful Robin, who represented sponsor Riceland Foods very well. (Grab some tissues before you watch the videos on their site. They’ll pull at your heartstrings, these families who grow our food!)
- The lovely Kellee modeling a dress made entirely of rubber bands to showcase some products from sponsor Alliance Rubber Company.
- Me with Heidi! I met her at the very first AWBU; she’s also the mother of a child with special needs.
- Me with Jamie, a faithful friend online and off. I’m excited that I got to visit with her more this year than last. (She’s giving me tips about freelance writing too!)
- Me with Jackie. She has great ideas on her website. Reading one of her emails inspired me to research and start a bullet journal, which has done wonders for my writing/blogging productivity. She’s got great ideas about branding too. You should follow her if you’re in any kind of business. She’s brutally honest, but only because she wants you to do your best work!
- Me with Taylor, who runs the Texas Women Bloggers community and is a fellow blogger and Pinterest rock star.
- Last but not least, me with the founder of The Women Bloggers / Arkansas Women Bloggers – Stephanie – and Yavonda!
(I had other pictures, but some were blurry or the lighting was even worse than some of these. Maybe next year. )