Hoping To Achieve my 3R’s At BlogHer!MY VIEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | August 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm
Except for the fact that my calendar is a mess and my favorite flip-flop just broke this past week I am fairly prepared for BlogHer. Considering that there will be around 3400 people in attendance and I will be a speaker there this year, I can really say I sit here on this long flight heading to San Diego pretty comfortably.
I have learned to become comfortable in my skin, and considering it is a skin that is darker than the norm in my field that in itself an achievement. I am heading to San Diego on my own dime this time and decided to forego the sponsorships. Well that is somewhat true. A while ago egged on by friends raving about some luggage label I went to apply to get one. While there I saw that they were giving away some cash which would at least pay for my pass, and I almost skipped putting in my details but man that label had my name on it. When I was one of the people actually chosen to get the money from Invitation Consultants I took it as a sign that this was the perfect start to kick off my journey.
Other than that I bit my lip as I forked out that crazy amount for that flight to fly cross country. I knew that this trip would be a testament to my investment in myself. But this conference came with some sacrifices. I canceled two conference trips, one that I was supposed to be speaking at, so I could focus on one. I knew that as a mama to a special needs child each time I travel adds stress to her and I was concerned about regression so I decided to focus.
I have simple needs from this adventure to BlogHer.
This is the 4th BlogHer I will be attending. The 1st was a satellite type one in Boston in 2008. I was a newbie at the time to the blogging community and managed to see already some strains of competition (not always the healthy version) and opportunity. I took an opportunity there that many were passing by for swag and it led to some great prospects. It was also my birthday (and my husband’s too – yeah weird I know) and he had just lost his job the day before. Needless to say I was not in the best form.
2009 was in Chicago and a huge eye-opener. I saw bloggers I revered focus so hard on the “I” (it was one of my inspirations for Why a big blogger needs to nice to a small blogger). I was offered a sponsorship so I learned how marketable I could be if I wanted. I also met some bloggers who have become my closest friends. I learned then I could do it my way.
2010 was in New York. No way I would miss it so close to home. A cheap train ride there , coupled with sharing a hotel room with my best friend (and god-mom to my kids) and the fact that my volunteering efforts paid for my conference ticket meant no sponsor was needed. I learned that I could really do this whole thing my way and be myself. The fact that I was invited to events with The Today Show and with Nate Berkus told me I was at least getting noticed. I wore sweatpants (granted they were black) and t-shirt for the conference and if people thought I was not dressed up to snuff I would not know – I was too busy having a good time. Of course having my mother-in-law pass away overseas during BlogHer made it somewhat a challenge which we handled as a family when my hubby and kids joined us on the last night.
2011 is in San Diego and I am speaking here in a panel with my buddies Amy and Stacie. I will be speaking in a Room Of Your Own – Perfecting Product Reviews. A topic I spoke at on a panel in Reviewer’s Retreat in PA. My full calendar is a testament not to me pining on twitter or begging for an invitation from people (so glad that tacky behavior disappeared from last year) but to the amazing network of friends I have. If there is one piece of advice I will offer you (not that I consider myself an expert) it would be to treat your friends (and peers) well. Relationships are so vital.
I won’t say too much on this except I really needed a pick me up. In between trying keep up with camps, therapies, my blog and everything in between I got lost in there. I am treating this conference as my vacation. Laughing hard in the wee hours of the morning has pretty recuperative effects.
I have a gazillion ideas floating in my head. In fact with me trying to multi task I try to write my posts in my head, which means I walk around like a crazy woman talking to herself. I hope to get some thoughts on direction and more ways to feed into my inspiration.