The Skinny on Big Omaha

My realization of Big Omaha’s impact surfaced on a cool Thursday afternoon over two Turtle Lattes and a breezy conversation about writing, six miles west of where it all took place one week prior.

At a local coffee shop, a soon-to-be college graduate and local freelance writer picked my brain about writing opportunities and life after the diploma. As we discussed her dilemma of suggested paths to take, I recognized and reminisced her current position and potential direction.

“Do whatever it takes to keep writing,” I told her, surprised initially at the passion in my voice. “If writing is what you want, go after it. Do not settle. If this means working a part-time job or two, do it. It will be worth it in the long run. Trust me.”

Words I’ve offered to other young writers in similar situations differed than these. In the past I suggested they try other types of work, considering that life may change course and take them away, albeit temporarily, from writing.

“Just know that it may not turn out as you once hoped or planned,” I’ve said. “Be open to changing your wants.”

I look at those words now and find myself quite embarrassed.

Since attending the Big Omaha conference, my thought processes on work and passion and writing and, simply, life have turned in a dramatically new direction.

My mind – like it hasn’t in years – now hums continuously with essay ideas and business possibilities.

I am awake earlier in the morning and later into the night brainstorming away. My thoughts are like plastic Bingo balls floating and suspended in a bubble of warm air, twirling away until plucked lovingly – one by one – and transformed into something magical, meaningful and long-lasting.

Newly emboldened efforts with my writing surprise me. Granted, only a week has passed since the conference; yet, I have found deep wells of courage within my writer’s soul, now willing to bare more and speak the truth like never before.

So I went to Big Omaha and not only got the T-shirt, but a head full of ideas and a fountain of potential I didn’t know was there.

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