Three things on my mind as a BlogHer ’14 newbie

Who’s going to BlogHer ’14? This gal! Here’s my
in-the-garden #selfiebration submission.

Kerry Washington sealed the deal. A chance to see Olivia Pope(!)* in person? Without having to travel too far? And I’d get to hang out with a bunch of cool bloggers and learn a ton about writing, too?

Well, the decision to sign up for the BlogHer ’14 Annual Conference was a no-brainer. Especially for someone who’s getting serious about writing-as-career (more on this very soon).

While I’m no stranger to academic conferences, I’m nervous about navigating a new, huge convention. One where I know no one (except for blog stalking, of course) and in an arena that I love but even five years in feel new to…

Aside from reading all of the past hot tips for attending BlogHer (I found Pocket Full of Joule’s four tips supremely helpful), I’ve been contemplating what I hope to learn and experience, and how to get myself into the right frame of mind.

With a day before I travel to San Jose to join the #Selfiebration party, I’ve thought up some dos and don’ts for myself.


Do want to keep my introvert side in check. And what I mean by this is I don’t want to let the extravaganza overwhelm me into hiding in my hotel room instead of meeting new people, ahem. It’s easy for me to do the loner routine even when I’m in familiar circumstances, and I know the temptation to shyness will be amplified. Maybe I should make an “I’m new, please talk to me!” button.

Don’t want to feel insecure. I’m at a point in my blogging adventure where I’m turning serious about building a community and working toward moving my writing into career mode. To that end, I’m in the middle of re-focusing the blog and switching platforms. But everything’s still in flux (I’m learning WordPress at a snail’s pace!) and I know that I’m going to feel envious of other writers with established platforms and involved readers, etc. I need to remind myself to be inspired instead of insecure and to learn from the success of other writers instead of envying it (too much anyway).

Do want to learn a bunch. And in order to do this, I know I need to not just show up to panels, but bracket out the laundry list of things I’m not working on and be present. This will mean ignoring email (yay!) and work calls and maybe even Twitter (don’t hold your breath). And it will definitely mean stretching the boundaries of what I think I want to learn. I’ve got some panels in mind but I know that creative linkages will probably come from topics and speakers outside of my typical interests. Luckily, I know there will be opportunities to stretch in spades at this conference!

And so, I’m off to pack and finishing printing my (sadly cheap) business cards. Stay tuned for more about this BlogHer adventure!


*If you don’t watch Scandal, this is all very exciting.

Other writing type things:
A grateful heart: Getting featured on BlogHer
Dos and don’ts of dissertation writing
Grief, accumulated: Thoughts on secondary trauma, writing and resilience
A grateful heart: A man who understands writing deadlines
A rebel nerd just RSVPd for the NaNoWriMo party: How I plan to write my dissertation in a month
A journaling fool

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