ConvertKit Craft + Commerce Conference 2017 #craftcommerce #Bloggers

Usually I attend Science Fiction conferences. I love traveling and attending them all over the country. But when a big entrepreneur conference like ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce comes to my town, well I couldn’t pass that up. ConvertKit was started right here in Boise, Idaho by our own Nathan Barry. Go BOY-see!

This conference was a couple of weeks ago – over the weekend of June 24th. Why has it taken me so long to write about it? I’ve been asking myself that question every day since. The answer I finally came up with is that MY BRAIN WAS OVERLOADED. Yes, it was such an amazing, diverse, energetic, entertaining, inspiring, and intellectually stimulating weekend that it has truly taken me this long to wrap my poor brain around everything. And I’m still not sure I’ve really processed it all.

I’m sure that everyone of the 250 attendees gleaned something different out of every speaker, workshop, or social gathering. So, let me share some of my personal highlights of the weekend here in this blog.

I’ll start with Chase Reeves from fizzle.co. I learned three main things from his talk. The first is that we need to define our own success. Don’t compare other’s successes to what you should strive for. Figure out how YOUR success should feel to you. This is especially important when we tend to compare ourselves to others. Don’t do it. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Secondly, always practice gratitude. Feel good about where you are right now and journal the gratitude daily. Lastly, Chase talked about courage and how scary it can be to follow your heart, and how you should work toward that passionate goal a little at a time. Since the room was full of crazy excited entrepreneurs, this one hit all of us hard. Some of us are just starting out, some have had several businesses going, but each and every one of us has had those moments of fear, of doubting ourselves.

James Clear spoke on habits: “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”  With habit formation, James told us that even if we strive for as little as 1% improvement everyday, it can add up to a lot of success in the future. I especially loved when he reminded us that we can be the architects of our own environment. This is a powerfully empowering statement, especially to someone like me who feels trapped and blocked from attaining dreams and goals. I don’t need to stand by and wait for something good to happen to me or for me, I can set about creating habits to change my environment in ways that will help me succeed.

Two speakers impressed upon us the idea of niching down, narrowing our business or blog focus. Mariah Coz started out doing something she was passionate about, but wasn’t sure if anyone else was. She restored vintage campers. Her blog became wildly successful, and now she enjoys, with the help of several blogs, to help others succeed in their businesses. She stressed the three perks of getting into obsessive niches (like vintage campers) and becoming a pioneer in it: 1) You’re a big fish in a small pond 2) You are accessing an untapped market and 3) Everything is exciting!

Cassidy Tuttle is another amazing woman who used a small, obsessive niche to grow her business. Her niche is focused on succulents – you know – those water conserving plants that are to some of us, the only plants we don’t kill off on a regular basis. Even after growing her business with something as niche as succulents, she showed us how focusing it down even further helped increase her business.

See what I mean? I’ve only covered a fraction of the amazingness that I experienced at this conference. Stop by next week for another blog post of wise and inspiring speakers and some fan-girling on my part!

-Heather

 

 

 

Become a Tourist in Your Hometown!

I’ve been lucky enough to have lived in some beautiful places: the rugged high desert of Colorado, the majestic mountains of Montana, the lush Washington coast, and the amazing Treasure Valley of Idaho.

The past few years I’ve realized that although I’ve lived happily among the best nature has to offer in my Northwest corner of the United States, I’ve never really explored all these wonderful places I’ve called home.

So I took a vacation. A real vacation – no funerals or weddings or emergencies to respond to. I became a *gasp* tourist! I wanted to experience all the things I had taken for granted. Sometimes we get so caught up in just surviving in this life, that we forget that we deserve to enjoy our time here on Earth.

I was reminded of this as I got out of my comfort zone the last few years, traveled to SF Conventions, opened myself up to new experiences and met some truly amazing people! I got to know writers and creatives from all around the world, and they taught me to see everything around me with new eyes. Just imagine as you go to work, hike a mountain peak, attend an art class, take a vacation, cheer at a football game, visit a national monument – how those seemingly ‘normal’ activities would look through the eyes of someone who has never had the chance to do them?

My parents used to own an art gallery in Anacortes, Washington, and I worked at the local Safeway. I hated the ferry traffic (Anacortes is the Gateway to the San Juan Islands) and I hated the nearby Tulip Festival traffic, and of course I hated the Seattle traffic. I stayed in my own little life, never venturing very far.

I missed out on so much. So, for my vacation I drove back to the Washington coast.

I drove around the Olympic peninsula and enjoyed the amazing forests, although I didn’t go as far as Forks. For those of you who don’t know – it’s the town in the Twilight series. Seriously.

The ferries are an integral part of the Seattle area, and are always a fun experience. I chose the Port Townsend to Coupeville ferry this time, one I had never taken before. I then drove across Whidbey Island, and then across the expansive Deception Pass bridge to Fidalgo Island where Anacortes is located. It was a beautiful, yet chilly day. I enjoyed it immensely and stopped to take pictures frequently.

Of course I visited all the places in Anacortes that I had lived, worked, and hiked before. More picture taking!

I got up early the next day and drove to Mt. Vernon where both my boys were born. It’s also where the Tulip Festival is located. I drove past acres and acres of blooming tulips in every color. I even stopped at one of the farms and visited the gift shops. It was refreshing walking among the cultivated gardens overflowing with tulips.

I received a much-needed break from my 9-5 life, but most importantly I filled my creative tank. I’m joyful and hopeful and ready to take on my next creative endeavor.

I highly recommend becoming a tourist in your own town. No matter where you are there are natural wonders, amazing architecture, fascinating histories to learn, and new experiences to create.

In my next blog I’ll detail my trip to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing plant tour!

-Heather

 

 

 

#nanowrimo is almost here!!

I look forward to NaNoWriMo every year! I love the support and the camaraderie that takes place all across the globe. It’s such a motivating time with writing buddies cheering you on, famous authors giving daily advice, and so many forums to join. 

This year will be quite a challenge for me since my kids and my new granddaughter will be visiting for the month of November. (I’m so excited to spend time with the cutest little future writer!!!) And I’m starting out with a migraine. But I love a challenge and survived and won NaNo before with full Lupus flares- so I got this!! 

To keep myself even more accountable I’m going to blog my NaNo progress this year! Even if it’s just a sentence or two every day. 

For prep I’ve created my main character and generally envisioned the others. I’ve had some major fun world building and I’ve set up some interviews with local experts to flesh out details in my story as I go.

Speaking of flesh, this week I’m interviewing our local coroner. How could I resist? Their motto is “Our day doesn’t start until yours ends.” I love the dark sense of humor!!!  I love diverse characters as well as diverse jobs- and they’ll need coroners in space right? 

-Heather

#amwriting #nanowrimo

The BIOLAB ZEG novel is available!

Today, August 10th the third novel in my Recycling Humanity young adult science fiction series comes out on Amazon! To celebrate this book launch (and my birthday!), the e-books of Recycling Humanity and Starlight Max are only 99 cents each! This special price will only be good through August 17, 2016 (in case you’re reading this in the future).

Biolab Zeg description:

A SECRET BIOLAB. DANGEROUS MERCENARIES.

ONE GIRL MUST LOSE EVERYTHING TO SAVE THE REST OF HUMANITY.

Time is running out for the last remnants of humanity. They must migrate to another solar system in order to survive. 17-year-old Sadie Kerum has been training to become an engineer and pilot, but she’s not very good at either job. Secretly, she’s found her passion working on the hidden Biolab Zeg, where Dr. Evans, a terraforming expert, is training her.

While helping rescue a shipful of orphans near Biolab Zeg, mercenaries attack Sadie’s ship. She must risk revealing her carefully held secret in order to save her precious cargo.

But the mercenaries aren’t the only dangers she must face. Sadie is soon caught in the middle of a deadly power struggle between people that want to alter humanity’s future at any cost. Only Sadie can sort through the secrets and lies to save humanity from the danger from within their own leadership.

 

I hope you enjoy these novels as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them! If you want to know what’s coming up next in the Recycling Humanity universe (I’ve got more exciting plans in the works), and get a free short story (which I won an Honorable Mention for in the Writers of the Future contest!) – then sign up for my newsletter at my website www.heatherleeyder.com or e-mail me at author@heatherleedyer.com and let me know you want to be added to my newsletter and updates.

-Heather

What comes after a 5 week Lupus flare….

Most people don’t understand Lupus. I don’t define myself by the Lupus attacking my system, but it does affect the way I live my life, how I interact with people and the world around me. They don’t understand why at only 42 I find myself heading to bed at 8 or 9 pm. Why I don’t join craft groups, reading groups, church groups. Why I would prefer to just hang out at home with my husband, reading or writing or watching a movie. Occasionally my (mostly) grown younger son will grace us with his presence, but mostly we stick to ourselves. It’s not that I don’t enjoy people. We have many, many dear friends that we love to spend time with. It’s just that I can’t really plan my life ahead too far. Just when I am feeling well and plan that big dinner party, something triggers my Lupus and I find myself in bed for days. My friends understand, but it gets hard on them to include me in plans when I am so unpredictable. 

So what come after a 5 week Lupus flare? After 5 weeks of incredible joint pain? After rounds of pain meds and steroids? After the side effects of those very same drugs finally go away? After having my eyesight and balance go bad and then finally be restored? After pushing myself just to get out of bed and get dressed for work becomes so hard I almost give up and just stay in bed? Well, I just get out of bed and start another day. Thankful that my joints aren’t as swollen, aren’t in as much pain. I am thankful that my head is clear enough to write today, and to help my husband around the house. I am thankful that I can have the energy to get completely dressed today. Even with socks! I etch these blessings and small victories in my mind and heart. I save them up for those days in the future when I can’t do anything but lay there and wait for my body to stop attacking itself. So I can remember what it feels like to be flare free. 

So I am going to go out and make some more flare free memories. I can’t dwell on the degeneration of my body. I will keep moving forward.