I've tried, at least three times in the past six days, to get to this spot. I had SOMETHING TO SAY, man. Something to get out into the blogosphere, something to share, something to HAVE HEARD.
And literally? I just couldn't do it. People had doctor appts (I go to so many of these I should have my honorary doctorate), school projects, conferences (where, I am pleased to report, my three shorties were told that they are STELLAR STUDENTS with either all A's or an A/B load), as soon as I make breakfast it's time for lunch - and then dinner? ARE you people crazy, you just ate
And, oh yeah, my oldest daughter and I went away for a quick 24 hours for a blogging trip. Which I really need to write about - maybe tomorrow. It was super, a ton of fun, and very informative.
But what I want to talk about is, what else, me. Or, more specifically, my reactions to the conversations that I overheard at said event. And how I reacted - which is the really, really odd part.
When you go to these events, it's very quickly apparent who the big shots are, the ones who are SOMEONE important, the ones you should admire. I see it every conference, every blogging event - any time you get a group of bloggers together, there's an immediate rush of "who's who" and how do I know you? and Oh, I've read her site, and it can really be overwhelming - you want, so badly, to be one of the big dogs. You desperately want someone to validate you, to say, yes, of course, I've read your site, you are funny!
or poignant, or inspiring, or whatever. You crave it. You want to be one of the big shots, to feel important.
Nothing wrong with that. I did it, for a good long while.
When you go to an event, when you sit yourself down at the first table, it's an immediate card roulette - an overwhelming folly of whose card can I get and how can I make sure they all get mine and Oh! I need to write something really, really, really awesome and amazing because all of these new readers I'm sure to get from this conference - well, if I write something amazing they will love me forever and tell everyone to read me and I'll be alllllll set. Well, maybe not you - but definitely me. I think it's ingrained - we all want to be loved and appreciated and we want our work to be thought of as the top of the heap.
And? The reality is? No one cares. I've been the last one at the table many times, and it always stuns me to see a pile of cards left on it - just left. Abandoned, as if to prove that your teeny little blog isn't worth the time it takes to look at it.
I don't know if it's because I'm getting older (probably), have been blogging forever (OMG, over 11 years!!), have seen it all (most definitely) but I've been struck, over and over, by the fact that what I write here needs to be for me. And my readers.
And not the people I meet at a conference.
Which sounds really weird, and I'm pretty sure I'm making an ass of myself for writing this, because some of my best friends are those I've met online - but hear me out. I took my 18 year old with me to this event, and it was really something to see it through her eyes. The One Up Manship, the I Am Way More Important Than You, the My Blog Was Discovered By Pottery Barn and I Have 7 Million Impressions a Year - it seemed as if they were all at my table, talking to each other about themselves during the presentations, tweeting and ignoring the presenters who were working really, really hard to get information out there in a relevant and interesting manner
and when the conversation paused, one of the women turned to me and she said,
What's your blog?
And for the first time in my blogging career, I lied. Oh, it's really small, I said. Didn't mention my own name or that of my blog at all. And when she asked me for a card, I made a show of looking in my purse, but told her I couldn't find them. And it made no difference to her - but I could contact her, she said, and she'd be sure to give me pointers on how to get my blog more OUT THERE, more RECOGNIZED, she knew how I could grow my blog into a POWERHOUSE
and I think I shuddered a little bit.
At one point my daughter even said, These people are crazy. Are they always like this? And I was able to say, truthfully, that no, they aren't always like this - that I've met some really amazingly wonderful writers and I've been blessed with wonderful friends and they have enriched my life in countless ways and I have had amazing opportunities that I would have never ever had in my life without this blog and
It's a dichotomy. I love my blog the way it is - love the fact that I have readers I've had for years and years, and when I see their names on comments I feel like Hey, it's a note from Susan, she's back and she wants to talk to me! Or Megan thinks I actually have something worth discussing! and that's not to say that new people aren't welcome, for of course they are -
but I treasure the readership I have and the relationships that I have with my readers are so, so important to me and I don't want to compromise that in any way. I want to be well known, of course I do, everyone who blogs does, but more importantly, I want to have real and lasting relationships with people -
not collect a bunch of cards left on a table at the end of the day.