Hello everyone! Here I am with my annual stump speech for the BlogU conference! If you’re not a blogger, just someone that comes here because you enjoy mediocre humor and frequent profanity, feel free to skip this post. If you’re a blogger, writer, or are kind of maybe considering starting a blog I don’t know never mind whatever it’s not a big deal just a dumb idea I had, keep reading, especially if you’re a member of the last group. Let me tell you a little story, not about BlogU, but about the people you’ll meet at BlogU and how they’ll end up changing your life for the better.
A few months ago, I was going through a couple of essays I’ve written that need a good home. This one is too long to pitch to that website, this one is too weird for a blog post, etc. As I was looking through them, these little word children of mine that live a sad, sheltered existence in my Google drive folder, a light bulb went off above my head:
I’ll use these essays to write a BOOK!
Now, if you had mentioned the idea of writing a book a few years ago, I would have laughed and did that thing where you suddenly pretend you have a very important text that you need to answer, raising my eyebrows and scrunching up my lips in an “Uh oh!” face and just kind of wander away from you in a non-committal way. Either that, or I’d tell you,”maybe one day, when I have more time to write, or have a bigger audience, when I finally start paying more than just passing attention to my social media, when the kids are older…” Lots of excuses. Tons. The most excuses. ALL OF THEM, GIVE ME ALL YOUR EXCUSES.
Then I went to BlogU back in 2014 and met my friends in the computer. Fellow bloggers, just like me! I mean, we knew each other before the conference, but this was the first time I actually got to talk to these women in person. It was an amazing weekend of learning, of laughing, of realizing my dream of becoming prom queen. You know, the usual conference stuff.
At the end of the conference, I found myself chatting with a good friend, a blogger with a pretty big following. I made a joke about my abysmally small audience compared with hers.
“Why aren’t you bigger than you are? You’re funny. What’s up with that?”
“I don’t know, I guess I haven’t put the effort into like I should. I need to write more.”
“That’s my goal with you: you write, and I’m going to blow you up this year.”
I am like 90% sure my friend doesn’t remember having that conversation with me, but it left a mark on me. If my friend, who works her ass off to be successful (and is enviably funny) asked me why I haven’t been more successful, I knew the only thing holding me back was myself. Since that day, I wouldn’t say I’ve necessarily exploded, but her words, her casual yet sincere belief in me inspires me to push myself harder in the past two years to set goals, and consider bigger possibilities.
Possibilities like writing a book.
This is the beauty of the BlogU conference. It’s all fine and dandy to read books about writing, to pin inspirational graphics about writing, and hear your mom tell you how great your most recent post was. What you really need, what will truly inspire you to reach outside the little cubby of abilities and limits you’ve gotten nice and comfy within is meeting a supportive group of bloggers that want to see you succeed. You’ll soon find that these people aren’t so different from you, and will see potential in you. Yes, you’ll learn a metric fuck-ton about the nuts and bolts of blogging, and how to improve your writing in general, but for me? The real reason to get yourself to BlogU is to make those personal connections. You can learn how to optimize your Pinterest boards and the best times to post on Facebook, but if you don’t have someone leaning over your shoulder and whispering, “Get off the goddamn Internet and write something,” it’s all just numbers, right? Right.
So get to writing, guys, come to BlogU, and blow shit UP this year.
Tickets are still available for #BlogU16! Join us June 10-12 at the University of Maryland, College Park! Click here for more information about the conference, and click here to register. See you there!