It’s taken me a couple of days to decompress from the BlogHer14 conference weekend and to reenter my life!
This was my first ever blogging conference and saying I was a newbie is an understatement!
There was another reason why I was excited to be attending this conference. This reason being I was going to meet one of my online friends in person! Yes it’s true I have a community of friends who live in my computer from all over the place and on this occasion we were going to meet! Thrilling!
I was part of approximately 2500+ other bloggers, making me feel part impostor. Although I have been blogging in journal fashion since early 2008 it was not until 2013 I jumped into the more public arena when I decided to add another blog. While I’ve kept my family blog private I’ve now added a public voice to the adoption community from our family’s point of view with the added aspect of my being an “older” mom.
I have quite a lot of takeaways from this event and the ONE that sticks in my head at the highest level came out of the Blogging Fundamentals session from day one:
Within this community finding other people with similar experiences sharing challenges and joys. A community online includes readers, followers and commenters. This really hit home for me as I believe this blog of mine has created a community a community of families and people just like me and my family.
I found this conference to be awe-inspiring in how many bloggers attended who write about so many topics from so many perspectives. I was empowered at this conference from the #selfiebration tag celebrating ourselves, to the band “The Mrs.” sharing their first song “I’m Enough” which is to become an anthem in my home for myself and my young daughters!
There was so much to do while there from the Expo, sessions, sitting in on the many different keynotes including but not limited to THE KERRY WASHINGTON of SCANDAL!! Another highlight for me was attending the celebration for the bloggers selected as the Voices Of the Year! This is something I aspire to someday, being able to share something I’ve written out loud to share the experience with others. The event was rounded out with the closing party starring Rev Run of DMC and this 50-something mom was out there dancing the night away and having fun!
Being a newbie can make you feel invisible with so many well-known bloggers in the group. There was the newbie breakfast that connected me to others new to the community like myself. And still yet there were others, veteran bloggers, open to getting to meet and know someone new on some level. I had some reservations for myself knowing only one other person when planning to attend. What happened for me was amazing. I met others like me newbie to this world of blogging and we found a way to connect. In addition to meeting other newbies, I found myself in a group of women who fast became my friends and I to them. How this happened was a simple introduction from the one person I knew here and before I knew it I was surrounded by this group of women and our friendship blossomed and our “tribe” ~ Cheryl, Phyllis, Danielle, Melissa, Kimberly, Samantha!
Not only do I have a community that I’m continuing to build online with my voice that I share, I have joined a community of bloggers. This community was real and I also take away with me the things I learned that will continue to inspire me as I share with all of you.
Luckily I was local and could drive myself down to the conference. This being a BIG asset when I had to pack my car with the SWAG lots of it! So not only is my head full but so were my bags! I look forward to sharing another BlogHer conference with the AWESOME bloggers that live in my computer in the not too distant future!