My #presspublish experience

In all the years I’ve been living in the greater Tacoma area (it’s almost to the point where I can say decades, plural, and wow, I think that means I have to admit I am officially old…ish), I’ve never been to Portland. So when mom forwarded me the info about Automattic’s Press Publish conference on March 28th, attending seemed like the perfect excuse to finally correct that error. We got in on Friday afternoon and had a few hours to bop around before the Longreads event on Friday night (where I met some lovely folks and listened to some fascinating stories). Mom, dad, and I had a fabulous lunch at Kells Irish Pub and then headed up the street to Powell’s books.

(Portland, you are a charming city, but if I lived any closer, I would go broke in Powell’s.)

Press Publish was a fun conference. I’m not a huge conference person, so for me, the single day was part of the draw, and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized, about halfway through the day, that I was feeling energized by all the engagement. (Even when I’m having a good time and/or learning a lot of fun things, conferences exhaust me, which is part of the reason why I’m not a huge conference person.)

The highlight of the conference for me was Kathy Cano-Murillo (the Crafty Chica). I’m not particularly crafty, but I do feel pressed for time between work and all the things I want to accomplish at home, so a lot of what she said resonated, particularly her advice about how to decide what opportunities to choose (translated into my head as projects to choose): “if it’s not a ‘hell yes!’, it’s a no.” Which is perfect! It acknowledges that there’s all this cool and exciting stuff, and yes, in a perfect world, I’d be able to do ALL the cool and exciting things, but I don’t live in a perfect world, so I have to choose. And I tend to agonize over choices and make them much harder than they need to be. The “hell yes or no” criteria is a perfect way for me to skip all my dithering. Hell yes is an immediate gut feeling. Most of the time, I end up going with that gut feeling, but only after (attempting to) logic my way to it, and all that logicing (it’s totally a word!) time is time I could be spending producing something I find cool and exciting. So thanks, Kathy!

(Also, while I may not be particularly crafty, I am not immune to the magic of a glitter floor. PEOPLE! A GLITTER FLOOR! Maybe someday…)

I’m glad I took last Friday and yesterday off work, because I came back from Press Publish so inspired for a writing project that I spent yesterday at my local library researching folklore. My gut has been hell yesing this project to the Nth degree for months now, but I still haven’t logiced (also totally a word!) my way to it. So I’m cutting a deal with myself. I’ll stick to my revision plans for Camp NaNoWriMo’s April session, but once I make my revision goals for the day, I get to indulge in my gut project.

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