I’m back from BlogHer (an annual conference and networking event geared toward female bloggers) and am aswim in swag. Bags of it. I would need one of those slaughterhouse meat hook-style scales to weigh it all. I got kitchen sponges from a Real Housewife (Tamra – even more gorgeous in person), free Spanx, Silly Bandz (thanks, Mary!), a Mr. Potato Head, a reflexology session, nail polish, pounds of branded crap, Magnolia cupcakes, and some very fun toys.
I also found out I can’t give blood because I lived in London during the Mad Cow Years and COULD POSSIBLY HAVE IT.
Free shit and ravaging brain diseases aside, the other significant events of the weekend all involved the actual BlogHer conference: the sessions, networking, and opportunity to meet a couple personal idols and lots of interesting women with something to say.
I went in verrry nervous about having to put myself out there and actually tell people about my blog. I love this little blog of mine, but it’s not a finished product yet. It’s still hosted on Blogger. I only post once a month. I have three followers (love you guys! xoxo!!). I had visions of the Writing Police jumping out at me from behind a potted palm and publicly berating me for daring to call myself a writer, my homemade business cards fluttering to the conference room floor as they cuff me and drag me off.
The other imagined nightmare-ish situation stems from my fear of large groups of women: they terrify me. When I need to approach or interact with more than three women at a time I am transported back to my challenging middle school years and get all clammy and twitchy. What if they snub me? What if they don’t like my cute sundresses? What if they tape a “kick me” sign to my back and snicker?
Do I dare to eat a peach?
To my delight I was not publicly or privately flogged for claiming my writer-ness. Nor was I attacked or even heckled by the large groups of women. I was repeatedly encouraged to call myself a writer, was told often and sincerely to keep writing. They liked my sundresses! They did NOT (to my knowledge) pin any signs on my back! In fact, one painted “sassy!” down the side of my arm.
Being forced out of my comfortable shyness to tell people about my blog, what it’s about, what my purpose in writing it is, has already had an impact. In claiming the blog I’ve claimed my belief that I am a writer. In attending sessions on memoir-writing and the nature of “the truth,” and how humor makes that truth more accessible, I’ve begun to understand my voice. In meeting and listening to powerful, strong women (Lizz Winstead and Jenny Lawson among others) and spending time with ones I’m fortunate to call friends (Brutalism and Dilettante Club), I can see more clearly the importance of taking a stand on what I believe to be my truth.
I had a conversation with one of the speakers over breakfast – Mary at Pajamas & Coffee – and she encouraged me to pick one day a week and dedicate my early morning Me Time to writing. I love the idea. As I was driving back from the city this afternoon I thought about starting my weekly writing sessions today. Just as I was dismissing the writing idea in favor of the more immediate gratification of a nap, a car cut in front of me. The personalized license plate on the car said GO WRITE.
Apparently Mary has some real pull.
I ended up napping briefly, but still managed this post. I gotta be honest, it was mostly because I was afraid I’d wake up tomorrow morning and see “HAVE YOU WRITTEN ANYTHING YET?” painted onto my bedroom ceiling.
Music-related posts will resume shortly.