On Saturday, I’ll be heading to Toronto for Blissdom Canada with my friend Karen from That Mom Blog. I couldn’t go last fall and so I was over-the-moon excited to buy my ticket earlier this year. But honestly? I’m not that excited now. I don’t really write much anymore.
Yup, I know. I’ve seen the lone tumbleweed blowing slowly across my page too. It’s embarrassing.
Last year, it was a different story. I love to write and last year I had more time to do it. Then The Pixie learned how to walk and suddenly I had to abandon my computer and stand ready at attention day and night while the Pixie threw herself off couches and kitchen tables, always confident that I would be there to catch her. It’s hard to dive across the room with a laptop perched on your knees. Honestly, for awhile there I was worried that she lacked any basic survival instincts, but I’ve since decided that it’s all just a game to her. And so far, she’s winning.
This weekend will be my first night away from The Pixie, and I’m really looking forward to my first night off of mom-duty since The Princess was born almost five years ago. But still, I’m not sure what to expect from the conference itself. Will it be worth going to?
I went to a different blogging conference last year, and to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it that much. The Shes Connected conference was by invitation only, and they brought in the best bloggers in the area. I wanted to go SOOO badly. I still felt pretty new to blogging and I was looking for validation that my blog was “good enough”.
So I joined the She’s Connected site and I dutifully noted that I wanted to attend the conference. I did the many many twitter parties and I waited for an invitation. Nothing.
Enter the five stages of grief.
Denial. I consoled myself by saying that my blog was still pretty new. Okay, I could accept that. Until I noticed people on the guest list that didn’t have a blog at all. And other people that had never used Twitter. At that point, I was just really confused – how on earth were they selecting people? And why wasn’t I good enough? I’m not going to lie – I felt like crap.
Anger. I was also angry at the conference panel for not choosing me. And I was really angry at myself for caring.
Bargaining. I figured if I wasn’t going to be asked to the conference, I’d have to find another way. So I entered a whole bunch of contests online to try to win myself a ticket. At this point I was hopeful that I’d still be able to go – and that actually just made me more angry at myself for caring.
Depression. Mostly I was really, really upset. I put a lot of work into my posts. Seriously, why didn’t these people like my blog? And why why why did I even care?
Acceptance. I finally decided that it didn’t matter. I needed to just get over it.
Then I won a ticket. Hurray!
On the one hand, I was going and I was thrilled. On the other hand, I feel like a bit of a cheat, sneaking in the back door where I wasn’t really wanted. But I went, prepared for a weekend of inspiration and networking. And to be honest, it was kind of boring.
First of all, when I arrived I was dazzled by all the women that I “knew” from Twitter. I had chatted with them online, joined Twitter parties with them, and retweeted their tweets. (I admit that I spent an inordinate amount of time on Twitter last year – I had a young baby that still nursed around the clock and there wasn’t much else to do). When I saw these ladies in person, I was suddenly overcome with shyness – would they know me? Would they remember my Twitter name? Would there be a lot of awkward silences as people tried to match my face to my profile pic?
So I spent a lot of the conference quietly watching everyone else, realizing that for all the conversations we’d had online, I didn’t really know them at all. In fact, that conference killed Twitter for me - I’m certain if you could see my Twitter timeline, my stats would show a huge drop in tweets directly after that weekend.
As for the conference itself, it was about working with brands. And I realized quickly that I’m not really interested in working with big brands. I mean, I’m happy to do the odd review or giveaway, but that will never be the focus of my blog – and as a small business owner myself, I’m far more interested in partnering with smaller companies. For that reason, Shes Connected had very little to offer me. What can I say? I’ve read Naomi Klein’s No Logo too many times, I guess.
Shes Connected didn’t turn out the way I expected. What will Blissdom be like? As it is, I don’t use Twitter much these days and I don’t have time to post in my blog. I’m hoping this conference will bring inspiration and helpful tips. And if nothing else, a really fun night on the town with a good friend.
When I sat down to write this post, I was surprised to see that this is my 100th post. I should probably have written something about the milestones of my blog or some thing like that. Instead, I find myself questioning the future of it.
Last year, The Pixie napped more. This year, she often skips her daily nap. Last year, we gave homeschooling a shot. This year, The Princess is in school. Last year, I worked limited hours at my store. This year, our store changed dramatically.
These days I’m kept busy trying to promote the store, working an extra shift, chauffeuring The Princess to school each afternoon, and I signed up for another online course too. I’ve picked up my knitting again. And I’m trying to work on my spiritual life at the same time. So wow – if I’m totally honest with myself, I don’t know if I have time for a blog. Which is a strange thing to write on Post #100. Or two days before my next blogging conference.