I’m going to BlogHer ’14. Despite myself.
This post first appeared on Mona Andrei’s personal blog, Moxie-Dude.com
So I registered for BlogHer ’14 and I have no idea why the hamster didn’t stop me.
Oh wait! Yes, I do.
It was last October and I was at BlissDom Canada. At the time I was a blogger-conference virgin and completely caught up in the oh-la-la of both the event and the awesomeness of all the bloggers I was surrounded by. So on the last day I felt empowered by my newly deflowered blogger-conference non-virgin status and thought – no BELIEVED – that I could change the world. Or at the very least fly out to California and continue connecting with other bloggers. Easy peasy, right?
Well here we are six months later and even though I just explained what was going through my mind at the time, I’m still wondering how many glasses of courage I had to drink that day.
All that to say that now I need a list to remind myself of all the reasons why the benefits of going to BlogHer ’14 outweigh my anxieties about flying (I’m afraid of flying) to a strange city (I’m afraid of strange cities) by myself (a-HA. At least I’m not afraid of myself. On most days.
Top 3 reasons why I NEED to go to BlogHer ’14
Reason #1: To get out of my writing bubble
Before BlissDom, blogging was something that I did by myself, for myself. I had a few readers (even some that weren’t my mom) but it was something I did because I needed a writing platform that kept me accountable without overwhelming me with editorial guidelines; a place where I could just write my little heart out. This blog still does that for me but what happened at BlissDom is that I got to see what the blogging world looks like from outside of my own feral hamster thoughts. This was eye opening because blogging as a business??? Who’da thought?
Reason #2: To learn
And while blogging is something I do because I’m passionate about writing (possibly even to a level of extreme psychiatric disorder), it’s also very complex. There are ever-changing technical aspects, common courtesies and etiquettes, and probably as many niches, techniques and approaches as there are bloggers. (Yeah so that would bring us into the gazillions). Also, this may come as a surprise to you because it comes as a surprise to me on some days but maintaining a blog is consuming. (Pronounced: Hard. Work.)
Reason #3: To connect with other bloggers
There’s no denying that bloggers are a special kind of solitary creatures. We’re geeks who love social in a behind-the-screen kind of way. We’re also WiFi sluts and life-sponges who like to see, feel, hear, notice and experience and then write about it. No one understands a blogger’s thirst to connect and share like other bloggers. We observe then question; think then share. And while most of us barely make enough money from our blogs to buy a glass of cheap wine, we pour hours-upon-hours into our blog as though sustaining it defines our existence.
Reason #4: For inspiration and encouragement
Oh did I say top THREE reasons? I meant four.
Remember how I said that the blog was something I started out doing by myself, for myself? Well If you’re a blogger or thinking about starting a blog (because your name is WENDY!), at some point you realize that this changes a little. People (also known as insatiable readers) start leaving comments and sending you emails and suddenly you’re aware of a little village of colourful people that have taken residence on your shoulder as you write.
Some of the people from this village may even be your father so you start editing yourself in the process and taking out certain adjectives and word-bling because the hamster is an asshole that likes to criticize your every half-thought.
Other readers, you realize, are just as tainted as you are (you know this from some of the comments and emails) and you can’t help but fall in love with them because they get you and you get them and life is almost perfect after all.
But since you’re not writing from your dark and solitary closet anymore (thanks to that village on your shoulder), you notice that on certain days, possibly when the moon is full and pulling at the liquid in your brain, some of your writing becomes a compromise between pleasing the village and writing for yourself.
No one understands this more than other bloggers. And since bloggers are also kindred spirits on so many levels, they’re the only ones who can truly remind you that it’s okay to go back into your dark and solitary closet because the hamster is actually afraid of the shadows that lurk in the corners of your mind. And when the hamster shuts up your authentic self takes over.
So THIS is why I’m going to BlogHer ’14 – despite my fear of flying, strange cities and myself on those days when the moon is flooding my brain with a lopsided tide.
Which leads me to this question:
Are you going to BlogHer ’14? If you are, let me know. I may need you to hold my hand at some point, okay?