Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BlogHer Part 2: The Conference

Sorry it has taken me so long to get this out. When I got home after the added on family vacation time, I hit the deck running taking care of some issues with The Babes. Here’s my first installment of my take on BlogHer Conference. Keep in mind that I only went for Saturday, and this was my first time attending the conference.

First Impressions
TONS of people. And among all those people, not one needed my awkward attempt at describing blogging. SWEET!

The breakfast buffet felt like something out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. There was just an abundance of food everywhere. I felt like I could have totally been Augustus Gloop when he went crazy in the room where everything was made of treats. (But I kept it under control since it was rumored they were giving away sausage and pancakes on a stick at the Jimmy Dean booth). I did feel a bit like that new kid who didn’t know where to sit at the lunch table, but, luckily, I met some great people right away. Shortly after that, I met up with my friend Maria. She was awesome! I love reading her blog, and she was exactly the same in real life as she is in her blog.

I went to the How to Use Your Blogging to Make You a Better Writer. The speakers were Dianne Jacob, Mary McCarthy, Suzanne Reisman, and Jennifer McGuiggan. I LOVED this session. First, Mary was awesome! I told her that I was excited to meet her, and she remembered me as the one who was excited to get her coffee cup with the silly bandz. She was hysterical, too. And the coffee mug – awesome!

I really loved this session. A lot of what discussed resonated with me. Suzanne said that writing is generative; the more you do it the better you become. Suddenly blogging didn’t seem so frivolous. By blogging, I am not just to venting (which is reason enough), but I am strengthening my writing skills. A lot of what Suzanne and Jenna said just made a lot of sense about writing. I found it especially inspiring that blogging motivated them to get to an MFA. Suzanne also talked about how through blogging regularly gave her the discipline to write and complete a book. Seriously, how cool is that?!

The panel also talked about how all writers hear that sinister inner- editor and often feel like their writing is not good. They discussed how to manage that feeling and not let that get in the way of writing. I met Lindsay Maddox at this session, too. I loved her comments about formatting words and punctuation help develop a writer’s true voice.

The information shared in this session was so inspiring to me. Sometimes I feel silly or indulgent when I write. Hearing where the love of writing took these women thrilling to hear and renewed my sense of motivation.

I also went to The Evolving Publishing Ecosystem where Kamy Wicoff, Florinda, Penny Sansevieri, and Careleen Brice spoke. I learned how publishing world is changing. Writers are expected to have a web presence, self-promote, and connect with their audience with social media. There was also a lot of discussion on self-publishing. I really enjoyed learning more about book bloggers and their role in all of this.

I found this session so informative, especially as someone who left a completely different career field with no knowledge of how the publishing world operates. The conversation became a little heated when a publisher in the audience became upset about writers feeling frustrated about being more in charge of self-promotion than the publisher. Kamy Wicoff did a great job mediating the discussion. Also check out Kamy’s website http://www.shewrites.com/ for more resources on publishing and writing.

I skipped the third session to go check out the Expo Center. There were like a million booths. I left with three GIGANTIC bags of swag, so now I am an official swag hag. Check out these photos:
The Jimmy Dean Sun! Turkey sausage on a stick with a pancake, anyone?
The Honey Bear. Toss up who's sweeter, right?
Marie thought this was the coolest since she loves Toy Story.

This one is my fave! Wonder Woman is my idol! (And can you tell which pics are taken on a cell phone and which one is taken by a professional?  If not check out The Sun again).

Stay tuned for the next installment and learn about how I made a total ass out of myself at lunch and how one of my favorite moments involved street meat. Curious how food is the common denominator, isn’t it?


Mom et al said...

Awe, thanks for the shout out! It's funny how you seemed to remember everything, or must have taken really good notes. My recap was like a blur. It's a good thing I have your blog to read so I can remember what happened! : )

Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed our panel! It was good to chat with you afterward. (Thanks for the link love.)

Amy said...

I just got back from a food show with my husband. It's like a convention for grocery store owners and since we sell greeting cards we were one of the vendors.

I had NOOO idea that this is what Blogher (well, some of it) is like. How fun to walk through the expo and see all the different sponsors! I would have loved that!

Lindsay Maddox said...

Hey! Thanks for the shout out! :)

I'm glad you liked what I said... I kind of felt like they brushed me off like it was the dumbest comment to ever grace their presence.