BlogHer Boston. I had an amazing time. I met so many wonderful women (and a couple of cool guys, too) and was really inspired by all of the stories and visions. Most of the folks there were incredibly friendly and helpful. There was one particular experience that stands out as a negative for the day, but it was countered by SO much good that it doesn’t really count. Thanks, ladies, for that.
Towards the end of the day, people kept asking if I had learned a lot. I have to say, no, not really. The sessions were either too far from any of the work I’m doing to be useful, or just too basic for my skill level. I would have liked more networking time, like Birds of a Feather tables in the main meeting area. I would have also enjoyed more generic sessions on blogging, identity, etc. Things that cross all skill levels and touch on all types of bloggers.
Even though I didn’t "learn" a lot, I was certainly impacted by all of the different types of bloggers that were present, their fantastic ideas, and their enthusiasm for their families, their writing, their websites, and life in general. Oh, and I won an IPod Touch, so that didn’t make my day worse. =}
At the risk of putting too much out there, I have to admit that although I’m a fairly confident and independent person, I am sometimes afraid/unwilling to tackle new things on my own. I don’t need a full-blown safety net, but I do like to swim or sink with someone else. It’s just nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of or commiserate or celebrate. There has been a project that I’ve been excited about for a while, but that I really wanted to start with a partner. In part, it’s because it will be a lot of work, but partly because I would like to share the highs and lows. Being at BlogHer reminded me that I have the skills, talent and experience to make this work (we’ll see about the time) and that I need to just go forward, even if I do it slowly, even if I use the tiniest of baby steps.
So, if one thing stands out as an essential take-away for me, it was the power of support groups and community. BlogHer Boston reminded me that there are plenty of other women (and MOMS!) hoping and trying and succeeding and failing and laughing and crying. There is a bit of wisdom floating around that you should surround yourself with people who mirror the type of person you want to be, and I’m learning to take that to heart. One of my goals for the next few months is to connect with other women who are looking for the same type of support experience as we grow our blogs, websites or other businesses to gather on a regular basis for networking, information sharing and fun.