All tagged Hippocamp

My Favorite Writing Conference Takeaways

The Hippocamp Nonfiction Writing Conference is actually pretty affordable as far as writing conferences go, which is just one of the reasons I love it.

One of my biggest takeaways from the event: sometimes, you just need to start writing.

It hit me at Randon Billings Noble’s session, Essaying the Book Review. Randon had us free-write about our favorite books and then broach those books from different angles and perspectives. And the Harriet the Spy essay I’ve been thinking about for so long started coming together in those few moments. Suddenly I realized I’d been taking for granted just how much of this involves DOING. JUST DOING. Just sitting down and writing.

I’ve developed this wonderful X-ray vision, since the conference, too.

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.

My Book Marketing Manifesto

I’ve spent the past few years not taking my own marketing advice. I’ve posted new content to my blog sporadically if at all. I’ve published stuff and then deleted it because the lack of response made me anxious.  

This summer has been different.

I’m teaching a content marketing workshop at HippoCamp in August, and I don’t want to give people a bunch of advice that I’m not taking. So this summer, I decided to take my own content marketing more seriously. I resolved to blog at least once a week, not just when I felt like it, and to show up on social media and have actual conversations.

My inner editor balks at this admission: You call your blog posts “content marketing,” which insinuates that you’re marketing to people right now. People are going to see right through you. You’re not authentic. You’re just a shill.