Just Write: What I Learned at the Type A Parent Conference

I am going to be honest and tell you that I don’t know how to write a recap post. This blog tells my stories, so that’s what I’m going to do here. You and I both know that the internet will be flooded with recaps that will actually do the speakers justice, so you can check them out when you’re done here.

You’re not leaving yet, right?

Type A was my second conference ever. My first was one of the larger conferences and, while I got quite a bit out of it, it was too big for me. I’d been told that Type A was more intimate, more of a community, but seeing truly was believing on this one. The people, my goodness the people I met, made this such a wonderful experience that when I was in my room on Sunday night after the last party, I cried because I was leaving a new community that I’d come to really love in the previous few days.

I have a pile of business cards from wonderful people and a whole new group of blogs to check out. I heard some great stories and I look forward to reading more from these writers.  I got better at telling what my blog is and passed out a few cards of my own.  If you’re here for the first time, please do leave me a comment and say hi. That would make me so happy.

I have pages and pages of notes to read through.  I attended wonderful keynotes and panels and a hands on workshop run by amazing people.  I’ll give you a list at the bottom of who inspired me. The message that I kept hearing, because I really do believe that we take away from these things what we need to, that message was to write. To write it out. To tell my story. I need to tell it. I need to write. Followers will come (and go, but that’s OK), I may not have sponsors or paid gigs or receive free stuff and that’s OK, too. I need to write.


And no one can make that happen but me. No one will take it more seriously than I do. No one is going to move schedules and juggle responsibilities to get the writing done. No one.

Michelle, no one cares about this like you do. Sit down and write that story.

Over and over, it was as if the speaker was looking right at me and telling me to prioritize, to really think about what I’m doing and where I’m headed and to write. That’s a lot to take in over the course of a few days. My head is still spinning and my plate is just as full as it was when I left. And the writing will get done. It will get done.

I’d love to tell you that all of the inspiration caused me to run out and get myself a tattoo. It might have, but I beat it to the punch and got the tattoo first. I had wanted a third tattoo for a long time, but there was a long list of reasons why I didn’t. Notice I didn’t say couldn’t. I didn’t. But this weekend, I did.

Across the side of my right foot, I had myself inked with these words. So now, every single day, no matter what else is going on, the reminder is there to just write. To just sit down and write and the words and the story will come out. No one is going to remind me the way I can remind myself.
So that’s it. That’s what I have to say about the conference. I recommend it, the content, the speakers, the organization of it all, fantastic, wonderful, amazing.  It was worth my time, my money, my energy, missing my family, having to wait 24 hours to watch the series finale of Breaking Bad.  All worth it. I plan to go next year. I plan to leave more room in my suitcase for takeaways and wear some warmer clothes, but that’s it on my advice to you.
So which speakers really spoke to me? Here goes, in the order I saw them:
This isn’t to say they were the only good, and I know just saying that I thought they were awesome isn’t enough and they deserve better, but it’s all I have, what with  my swimmy-brain and exhaustion and all.
Ooh, one other thing.  If you’re reading this and you are one of the lovely people I hung out with, spent time with, chatted with, please know you left an impression. Your words, your passion for your subject, your life, your advice to me, all of it mattered. There are too many to list and I would forget someone and feel just terrible about it.  But I want you to know, if we spoke, even briefly, I’m grateful you made the time to chat with me. Thank you.
When all is said and done, when I’m back sitting on my couch thinking on the weekend I just had, it comes down to this:
If you have a dream, go do it. That’s it. It’s that simple (yes, and that hard, but that’s not the point here). No one will make your dreams come true for you. Go make yours happen. I’m going to go work on mine.

I’m adding this to the yeah write challenge grid. If you’re new here, click the badge above to be taken to one of the most inviting writing communities around.

29 Responses to “Just Write: What I Learned at the Type A Parent Conference”

  1. I was trying to figure out where you got that tattoo! I think the side of your foot is awesome. I love that you had such an incredible time at the conference. I am off to write “Just Write” on a post-it and stick it to my desk.

    • My reply didn’t come as a reply to you, I made a new comment. So in case you actually read the notification I replied and want to see it, it’s here, I’m just making you hunt for it!!

  2. It’s a perfect location because I will see it every single day, but I can tuck it away when I need to be corporate. I love wrist and arm tats, but they don’t work for my life at the moment. The conference was perfect and what I needed it to be. And I have lots of those post its and what not all over too.

  3. Just Jen says:

    Loved chatting, even briefly, with you at Type A. Good luck on your Journey!

  4. Erica M says:

    This all sounds so exciting and so overwhelming. Here is to a better life because of the experience.

  5. It was a great conference and I like you learned — I might not be the best marketer or sponsored/brand blogger but I love the community and I love writing. And that’s enough. I was great to meet you and get to know you. And see that tattoo in the flesh. j

  6. Awwwww. So exciting. Very happy for you. And inspired. Did the tattoo hurt?

  7. Ken says:

    Good for you! I’ve tossed about the idea of attending one of those blog conferences, but they all seem to be so far away from me, held at bad times for me, and have so many women! Not that a lot of women is a bad thing, but as a fellow, I’m just not sure how comfortable I’d be as a visible minority?

    I love your writing tattoo. For what it’s worth, I have a writing one as well, for inspiration. Very nice! :)

    • This conference actually had a panel of daddy bloggers and there was a fair amount of men there. Definitely a small minority, but they were there and there was content geared toward them. Easy for me to say though, since I’m a woman. Thanks for the kind words on the tat and I love hearing that have one too!

  8. Kristin says:

    I’m so glad you had a fulfilling and wonderful time! I still think I’d be a horrible failure at a small conference like this one. At least at the large ones I can go hide in a corner when the world is too much with me.

    • You’d be surprised how much hiding I was able to do. The bathroom was great for it and I’ve perfected the purposeful walk while staring at (absolutely nothing on) my phone. And since my room was there, I could go hide up there for a bit when it was too much. But it was nice to have the opportunity to mingle in a way I didn’t elsewhere. I also ran into the same people repeatedly, which was nice. Instead of meeting once and forgetting, some of us chatted a few times.

  9. Lisa says:

    Michelle–I enjoyed this recap and I love your tattoo. Thanks for spending some time with me; I loved getting to know you better!

  10. Joe says:

    I was trying to figure out where that tattoo was. I’m glad you told me.

  11. I’m coming with you next year! I just need a 6 mo heads up. So fun!

    • September 19-21. I’ll let you know when tickets go on sale. I think I got mine in January, so be prepared to sign up super early if you think you want to go. It’s in Atlanta, I think at the Hyatt.

  12. Cindy says:

    BEST CONFERENCE EVER. So glad I shared it with you. Love this post. Plus we got kickass tattoos. Xoxo

  13. Bill Dameron says:

    What you say is so true. No one else is going to make you do it. It is all up to you and in a way, that makes it so much harder. I get up early to write now. Sometimes it’s 50 words and sometimes it’s 500. So happy to hear that this conference was a success for you.

    • I need to get up earlier because I’m not a late night writer. However, I’m also suffering from terrible insomnia, so I’m up during the night when I’m too tired to be productive but can’t sleep. Come 5am, I’m in no state to get up. I’ll get there. Just working out those logistics. Thanks for stopping by, Bill!

  14. I love that tattoo. Am thinking of doing something similar…but if I do, I’m totally not copying you. 😉
    I’m glad you got to experience the conference! I’m thinking a smaller one would be more up my alley – BlogHer was great, but reeeaaaally overwhelming. I didn’t even get to meet everyone I’d wanted to, it was just too big.

    • COPY CAT!!!!!! (ha, kidding!)
      That’s how I felt about BlogHer. I got a lot out of it, but it was too big for me. This conference was much more suited to where I’m at right now.

  15. Linda Roy says:

    I’m so glad you came away from the conference so inspired Michelle! Your excitement is contagious. Great list of speakers. I love Anissa and Vikki to death. And Katherine is amazing, as is Heather. And you already know she does Just Write – so, perfect! Cool tattoo!

    • I had a funny interaction with Heather while showing her my tattoo. Luckily she’s super sweet and didn’t think I was an asshole (at least I don’t think she did anyway!). Thanks for the kind words :)

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