Hi! I'm Kelly.

As a writer, I've always been interested in family stories. When I heard of a Satanic cult in my family tree, I thought I'd found the story of a lifetime. Read more.

What I Learned about Vlogging at the Hippocamp Writing Conference

What I Learned about Vlogging at the Hippocamp Writing Conference

Last weekend I spoke at Hippocamp, a nonfiction writing conference held in my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I did a workshop called “Content Marketing for Writers.” And since I was in a content marketing frame of mind, I shot some video footage to use on my blog.

I got some lovely clips. But when I pieced them together, I realized that I’d missed a huge opportunity. I’d been so focused on telling the story of the conference that I hadn’t captured MY story of the conference.

Geez. This was like the unspoken theme of the event: TELL YOUR STORY. And I didn’t. Why? Because I was too self-conscious to insert myself into the footage. I was too shy to ask people for interviews. I was worried that people would see me filming myself, and think I was weird or self-aggrandizing or both.

Maybe they would have. As Lisa Jakub said, Let go of the outcome. The outcome is none of your business.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to operate out of fear anymore.

I don’t want to waste any more of my energy on self-protection. I think video holds new opportunities to tell my story, and I want to come to the screen just as raw and vulnerable and human as I come to the page.

I’m brand-new to vlogging. It’s going to take courage and it will probably be uncomfortable. But I don’t want to miss any more good opportunities because I fear other people’s opinions.

Here’s what you would have seen in the video I should have shot: 

Me, weighed down like a pack mule under a camera bag, laptop, breast pump and cooler, hoofing it from the parking garage to the conference center to the opulent board room where I paused every three hours to pump.

KellyKautzAtHippocamp

 

Me, duct-taping my iPhone to an easel so I could get a second angle of my content marketing workshop, and the professional videographer looking at me like I’d just sprouted a second head, saying, “Well, that’s one way to do it.”

Me, walking into a pitch session with a New York editor, feeling exhausted and heartbroken and missing my boys, and letting the exhaustion strip away all the pretenses so I could focus on telling the story of my story.

Me, telling my story.

Me, owning my experience.

Me, unafraid.

My Favorite Writing Conference Takeaways

My Favorite Writing Conference Takeaways

Sometimes Mommy Makes Bad Choices

Sometimes Mommy Makes Bad Choices