Hey guys! Hope everyone had an awesome Independence Day Weekend! Mine was pretty chill, just me and my family hanging out at the house; I r...

4 Lessons Learned From My First-Ever Online Summit

Hey guys! Hope everyone had an awesome Independence Day Weekend! Mine was pretty chill, just me and my family hanging out at the house; I read a lot and listened to Hamilton a lot, which is of course the most patriotic thing any young American could be doing on this the 240th birthday of our nation.

But anyways. To the point of this post, I mentioned last week that I was attending an online book summit, which is why I had my two brilliant guest posters Ryebrynn and Victoria come and talk about book reviewing and micro-editing respectively. And now that the summit is over, I’m here to report back on my 4 biggest takeaways from my first-ever online book and business summit.


1. Know Your Focus
This might seem obvious to other people, but my biggest takeaway from the summit was that I really needed to have a stronger focus in regards to what my writing and my presence online--particularly Summer Snowflakes. I mean, I love doing movie reviews, talking about music, and all the other random stuff I do on here that have absolutely nothing to do with writing, but I originally set out to talk about books and--believe it or not--politics. Obviously, I lost sight of that focus as I tried out other ideas, and that’s actually not a bad thing, if those experiments lead me to what I actually want to do--for instance, I have realized that I do not want to talk about politics. But if those rabbit trails lead you away from your focus, then it could be time to readjust a bit and make sure you’re actually going in a direction that’s going to get you where you want to be.

To be clear though, I’m probably not going to stop talking about music or movies or all that other stuff. It’s too much fun, and honestly, I’m just blogging because I love it. <3

2. Know Yourself
This one kinda ties in with the first one, and maybe it should’ve come first because knowing yourself and what you want is what’s really going to define your focus, but whatever. The point is you have to know yourself and where you want to be, because when you set out to do something like write a book or start a blog or anything creative like that, you’re going to get a lot of advice from other people. Whether you go and research it, you ask those you know, or you just happen to be meandering through the blogosphere and stumble across a post like this ;) , you’re going to find a lot of different tips from a lot of different people, and a lot of it is going to conflict. And I mean all of the advice is good (well, most of it. Obviously, check your sources, lol), but they’re tailored to different people, lifestyles, and goals, so you have to know yourself and where you want to be before you can go around doing what everybody tells you. What worked for them might not work for you because you’re not even trying to get to the same place where they are. It’s like someone giving you directions to Chipotle when you wanna go to Arby’s. You’ll get to Chipotle, but that’s not what you wanted to eat in the first place.

3. You Don’t Have to WAIT Until You’re An “Expert”
This very well may be some of the most valuable advice I’ve ever gotten, not just for writing but for life. For example, you guys may have noticed that, unlike most bloggers, I almost neverdo advice posts and the reason for that is that I’m not published and I’m not famous. Nothing I’m doing has proven to work so Who Am I To give advice on how to do this writing and blogging thing? I generally only offer tips when someone asks for them and even then with a self-deprecating and (I think) funny disclaimer.

But what the host of the summit, Jesse Krieger, kept saying was that your focus shouldn’t be “Who Am I To?” but “Who Can I Help?” Because even though I’m not an expert at writing or blogging, even though I’m not published and I don’t have anywhere close to 100 or 1000 subscribers, there are still things that I can do, knowledge I’ve garnered that might be of assistance to someone else. So, the question shouldn’t be “Who Am I To offer advice?” but “Who am I to hold back if this could help someone else?”

4. Start Failing ASAP.
This one is kinda self-explanatory if you've read a lot of posts like this before, but I thought it was really good and really funny because basically what the speaker, Chandler Bolt, was saying was, “You’re going to be uncomfortable and you’re going to fail, but the failure is what makes you a success. So get out there and start failing ASAP.”

If that doesn’t inspire you to get out and fall flat on your face, I don’t know what will. ;)
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So have you ever been to an online summit or any other book/writing conference? What are some of the biggest takeaways you remember? Can’t wait to hear from you all and I’ll see you in the comment section! :D



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14 comments:

  1. Failure means you've stepped outside what you can do well and are on that lovely "learning curve" again. Without that we can become stale very quickly. I love what you brought back from the conference.

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  2. Yay, you're back! No, I've never been to an online writing summit.

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    1. *bows* Yes, I have returned, lol. And you should try it if you can find a good one! I really enjoyed my time. :)

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  3. This isn't related to your summit, but I was wondering, would you like to do an interview on my blog? (I was going to ask in an email, then I realized I seem to have two emails that may be yours.) I can send you the questions.

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    1. Sure, I'd love to! Though it might be a little bit before I can do it. When were you thinking? And haha, they're probably both mine. I have a few different emails, because I blog using an older account and then have a second one that I made for critique/writing partners.

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    2. I just sent it with both emails I had. :P It would be nice to have them back by Saturday, but if that doesn't work, I can just post something else.

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    3. Yeah, they were both mine. :) And Okay, I'll try to get them to you by then, but I'll let you know if it doesn't look like I'll be able to manage it.

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  4. Learning to fail and be okay with failing has been something I have tried working on and need to keep working on. It's not just on my blog, but in my writing, too. Taking risks and opening myself to the possibility of failure can be scary, but important!

    I think focus really matters, too. I spent a long time not really knowing what my blog was about and it's still a work in progress, but it gives me some idea to strive towards. And I like that very much. These are great lessons, Alexa!

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    1. Same! I'm such a perfectionist so being okay with failing is really hard. But I know it's a part of the process. :)

      Haha, same again! I think I've got a semi-focus for my blog now, and like you said, it does at least give us something to strive towards.

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them!

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  5. This is all wise advice :) What is an online summit? Was it online? I really think knowing yourself is important when you're thinking about what you're writing. I started my blog thinking I was going to be talking about writing, but then I started talking about books and never looked back. And I often don't feel like an expert either. Maybe it's a work in progress kind of thing? Not knowing everything and not necessarily being super successful doesn't mean you don't know anything. Besides, big blogs work differently from small blogs, so you could be a small blog expert? *shrugs*

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    1. It's basically a conference, but all of the sessions take place online, in this case via Youtube and Google Live Capture (I think).

      Definitely! And it's kinda funny how you, Heather, and I all ended up discovering our focuses as we were blogging rather than before.

      *nods* Exactly. And haha, yeah, that's a great way to look at it. :)

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  6. I found this very helpful and inspiring, Thanks for sharing :)

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