Funny. If you asked me today to give you my impressions of BlogHer09, my answer would be completely different than the one I provided in Monday's recap (Part I). All of those things still ring true, but I find that with more time to simply absorb and process everything I read and saw and heard, my perspective is changing.
As this was my first time experiencing anything on this level, I find that I've had to work through all of all the surface stuff; the swag, the business cards, the sort of shock of having brilliant women who I've been reading every day for years standing right in front of me, to strike gold. I'm writing this so I can refer back here in a years time to see whether or not I am, as they say, "there yet". "There", is surprising looking very much like the place I can see clearly in the rear view mirror.
Blogging and Writing:I had no idea how powerful the Keynote would be (and I even missed the first 15 minutes). Hearing the authors deliver the words, well, it just made me want to be a better writer. I've been battling Blog Burnout and this event really initiated some soul searching on what I could and need to do to improve my writing. I really think that despite my good intentions, I've spent a lot of the last year phoning it in. Phoning a lot of things in, trying to do too much. I read blogs and write my own blog, the same way I do everything. Quickly. Because I have to. There isn't enough time so I squeeze in every drop that I can muster of everything.
I must slow down to seperate writing from blogging so that this blog returns to what I originally wanted it to be: A place to write. Not a place where I have to hurry up and post something because it's five days and the BlogHer Ad Network is going to be pissed at me if I don't update soon. I want to be a blogger who writes really well, most of the time, even if that means not as often.
Community: I'm guilty. I rarely comment on blogs that I read. I want to, but I'm always, always rushed. After meeting so many funny, cool, witty, smart, honest bloggers, I don't want the conversations to be over. Since leaving the conference I've left more and received more comments than I have in a long time. I know this is partially a post-BlogHer bump, but I know what this means. It means shutting down twitter sometimes (*gulp*) and doing more than dash down my feed reader in six minute increments. I want to stay connected with other bloggers.
My Thing: Over the past year I've read so much about "brands". My blog is not my business, so I didn't think this pertained to me. Uh oh, yeah. I changed my mind when I found myself bobbing in a sea of 1500 other bloggers. I asked myself- who am I in this space? What is my identity? What's my thing? I don't have a thing. I want to figure out what my thing is.
Getting over it: Rita wrote in her BlogHer09 recap: "Not once did I feel I wasn't interesting enough, pretty enough, smart enough or funny enough. Not once did I feel that way about anyone else, either. I must be evolving or maturing or maybe just drinking less."I don't normally get hung up on these types of things but I found myself sizing up the blogger group more than I would have liked to. On more than one occasion I thought well, fuck it, I may as well just hang it up. I won't ever be as talented as so-and-so or get as much traffic as so-and-so and I don't have time to think up these fabulous ideas like so-and-so do. Then I took a deep breath. This is not a competition. This is my space. Do I enjoy doing this? Yes. Have there been positive changes in my life because of it? Yes, yes, yes. I want to not measure success by comparing it to that of others.
Whether or not I attend BlogHer 2010, I am grateful that I live a charmed enough life to even have stumbled upon her. These are my BlogHer resolutions for Amy @ binkytowne, the blogger, who I discovered is as real a person as she is and she is and she is.
(Wait! I'm not done yet. BlogHer 09 Part III, the final installment is still to come. With pictures! Of cleavage!)