I had an entire post ready for publishing today. It only required minor tweaking and a final edit. Alas alack, I’m preoccupied. Sidetracked by other stuff and unable to motivate myself to write as planned about my gym and acknowledge those organisations which are actively committed to the health and wellbeing of their staff. (More on that another time, though it really is more exciting than it sounds. Sort of!)
Instead…. I’m thinking about the fact I’m off to Sydney.
But that’s actually not the exciting bit. I don’t actually enjoy travel that much (as you may recall from my Melbourne trip earlier this year). Rather, I’m excited because I’m going to my first ever blogging conference – Nuffnang Blogopolis (aka NNB2012).
I wrote about it in my other blog on the weekend. Well… when I say I wrote about it, I should confess I really only wrote about what I was going to wear and pack. The important stuff. You know how it is.
But because I’m super excited I had to write some more about it. (See, I’m saying words like ‘super’…. Next thing you know I’ll be sprouting stuff like ‘Gee whiz’. Or similar.)
“Why am I excited?” you ask.
- I’m gonna get to meet some bloggers I admire and whose writing / witticisms I aspire to emulate in addition to bloggers whose work I read and respect.
- I’m gonna get to meet people like me who can understand why one must allocate a couple of hours each day to reading others’ blog posts or feel the need pause mid-sentence and tweet something.
- I’m gonna learn some stuff. I assume.
- My enthusiasm for blogging (and writing) will be reignited and I’ll be motivated to pursue it more vigorously.
I know I’ve glibly written about the social aspects of the conference, BUT the last couple of points ARE important. I’ve been struggling a bit of late. The blogging world has been weird (here in Oz, anyway).
It’s almost as if some bloggers have turned on each other – as if there are a finite number of words or limited amount of cyberspace and we begrudge others using what we think is ours. It seems we scowl at the success of others when we should be celebrating with them.
I’m as guilty as anyone. Not so much of the bitter and twisted thinking, but I sure can play the comparison game pretty well.
I monitor my pitiful number of hits and compare them to others. I see others doing sponsored posts or having other opportunities I’d love. And yes… I. KNOW. I. SHOULD. NOT. DO. THIS.
What’s that saying about ‘comparison being the thief of joy’?
I talk about it in this blog all of the time… my habit of comparing myself to those around me and coming off second best.
So my first commandment for the weekend is this: I will NOT compare myself to others.
Instead I want to draw on others’ success and realise that there may be similar opportunities for me down the track.
I’m gonna learn about sourcing content, finding my voice and optimising my traffic. I’m attending sessions on developing a media kit and opportunities for bloggers, as well as a much-needed workshop on SEO and Analytics for Dummies.
Conferences like this are rare here in Oz, and the travel and accommodation comes at a fairly hefty cost, so I have to make the most of this opportunity and not feel like an ignorant amateur!
So, here’s another commandment: I will try NOT to feel insecure because of my lack of blogging credibility.
In this blog I talk (a lot) about my struggle with my self-worth and self-image which often impinge on my ability to really ‘be’ in the moment. I miss out on so much and lose sight of the important stuff.
This reminds me of a post I read fairly recently in which a blogger talked about Fitbloggin’ 2012 (a conference in the US for bloggers interested in health, fitness and wellness) and hoped that they could lose a bit of weight before it is held in September. Sadly I can’t justify the cost of heading overseas for it, but I would SERIOUSLY be in the same position. I follow and read A LOT of o/s bloggers from that industry and would certainly feel self-conscious in such an environment. I’m sure those there would not be judging me (HELLO, some of them read this blog so know exactly where I’m at!) but it would worry me.
Fortunately I’m not overly angsty about my appearance (weight-wise) at NNB2012. I say fortunately because I’ve lost no weight in over 6 months and may even be a couple of kilograms heavier than I was when this calendar year clicked over.
Despite this my next commandment is this: I will attempt to NOT feel self-conscious or apologetic about my weight and my appearance.
Instead I want to just ‘hang’ and soak up the atmosphere and the collective knowledge of those around me. There are a lot of NNB2012 virgins like myself attending, and many (also) going alone.
Which brings me to my fourth and final commandment: I WILL have fun.
So… bring it on! (Oh, and I apologise in advance for all of the #NNB2012 tweets this Saturday… and some possibly slightly-pissy tweets at the post-conference drinks!)
Do you think I’m weird to be so excited about this conference?
Do you think I’ll be disappointed?