As many of you know, I attended the BlogHer conference in San Jose, CA just over a week ago and while many attendees posted their recaps right after the conference, I felt like I needed time to reflect on the pros and cons before sharing my personal experience. I honestly don’t plan to do a full recap, but instead what I want to share is the roller coaster of emotions that I felt both during and after I attended this event.
First, I feel that it is important to note that the overall conference was well organized and the keynote speakers and the 10×10 programs (think Ted Talks) were really fantastic. The energy of 2500 plus creatives in a single space was powerful and truly awesome. Some of the sessions and mini-cons left a lot to be desired however, and while part of my feeling of disappointment likely stemmed from a very high expectation I had going into this long weekend, the other part stemmed from the disorganization and perhaps disconnection between the organizers and some of the conference speakers/presenters.
Being together with so many writers, bloggers and creative minds was, as I said, truly awesome. It was also humbling and a bit unnerving. “So many bloggers, so little time” was what I kept thinking. I wanted to meet as many bloggers as I could, learn about all of the different subject matters that they were focused on, and see how other bloggers promoted their work, displayed content and created revenue from their sites. While I can be a bit over zealous at times, I was able to meet many, many bloggers and glean really valuable insight from them as well.
To say that at times it was overwhelming is an understatement. Thank goodness I had a veteran BlogHer attendee and good friend with me during the majority of the conference; this gave me a bit of a safety net and quite honestly made the whole thing completely worthwhile.
As I started to explore the emotions that were bubbling to the surface, during and after the event, I realized that there were many old stories of mine just under the surface poking at my head and heart. Many old talk tracks were playing in my brain; focusing on not being good or smart enough to be successful. At times, some of the workshop presenters actually seemed to be planting the seed of discouragement just by sharing their beliefs around how “lucky” one has to be to make a living writing and blogging. I left the conference feeling extremely deflated and questioning whether or not it would be worth attending another event in the future.
But after some retail therapy and time to sit and journal about my experience, I realized that I alone set the tone for the direction of my blog, my writing projects and the next steps on my journey as an author and coach. It is truly powerful to recognize that within me and within each of us exists the capability to make the shift and change the direction of our thoughts in a way that allows for a positive outlook and a knowing that we alone set the course. We alone have the power to choose success, joy and peace in our lives. No matter how loud those negative story lines can become when we feel afraid.
Recharged and more grounded now, I can honestly say that I am so very excited to launch the next part of my journey, to set my sights on the future and move forward full steam ahead. I’m glad that you are here to join me on this adventure! Much more to come….
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