I went to the BlogHer Writers '11 Conference last week. The conference was sponsored by Penguin Publishing. I went to the conference to learn about how to publish a book. You see, dear readers, when I find a spare moment in one of these upcoming days, months or likely years, my dream is to turn my blog into a book.
I listened to all the bloggers who had been published, the editors and agents, and fiction and non-fiction authors as they shared what it takes to get a book published or self-published in today's market. I drafted a book proposal and shared the title during my mentoring session on writing a memoir. My book is going to be called How I Got My Mojo Back, After Losing My Spouse, Selling My House and Emptying Out My Nest. What do you think? Oh, please tell me that you can't wait to read the table of contents. Oh, please tell me that you can't wait to read each chapter and the sidebars and more. It's going to be a great book, especially for those 50 plus.
But now, I want to tell you about an author I met. Her name is Dominique Browning and she wrote Slow Love - How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness. Dominique was a keynote speaker at the conference. As a fellow boomer girl, I could identify with Dominique's remarks.
Dominique was the editor of House & Garden until Conde Nast folded the magazine and she lost her job. That's when she put on her pajamas, slowed down and wrote a book about it.
"Slow love is about knowing what you've got before it's gone," Dominique said. "Slowing down is about tuning into the miracles of life all around us." Dominique challenged each of us to notice a miracle every day. (Think I will try to notice my houseplants every day. It is truly a miracle that I am able to keep them green and growing. I will also have to buy more flowers and put them around my house. Flowers are miracles too.)
"Slow love is about taking advantage of what's around you to nourish yourself every day," Dominique said. (I have to heed Dominique's advice. I've been so busy lately that sometimes I tend to rush through the day and gulp down my meals so I can get to the next task. Instead, I need to slow down and be more mindful of my food and savor every bite.)
"Sometimes we impose impossible demands on ourselves," Dominique said. (Really? Oh, really? That is me to a tee.)
As she closed out her keynote address, Dominique shared some tips about how she reinvented herself during such a traumatic time in her life:
- "There is a time of mourning," she said. "Give yourself permission to mourn."
- "We often don't know where we want to go," she said. "Be patient with yourself."
- "Why are you still doing what you wanted to do when you were 22 when you are 52?" she told us to ask ourselves this question and see what the answer is.
- "Get rid of the toxic people in your life." she said. (Yes, I agree and I've tried to do the same during my life after 50.)
I so enjoyed hearing from Dominique that I went straight to the conference bookstand and bought a copy of her book and had her autograph it. Each night before I go to sleep I've been reading a chapter. This "slow love" is good stuff. If you want to practice "slow love" you can find more words of wisdom from Dominique at her blog Slow Love Life.