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I AM A BLOGGER July 31, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, BlogHer.
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Wondering why I posted Friday afternoon, and then nothing? Because the free Wi-Fi access the hotel gave us only worked once in a while, and almost never for me. There I would sit, having hauled this giant, heavy laptop across the country, watching other people connect to the hotel’s system and not being able to myself. It sucked, sucked, SUCKED.

But HEY, I’m home now, and it’s only 11:21 pm California time, so my body says I’m not sleepy. And there are no cocktails here, and my body is wondering why I have suddenly plunged it into alcohol withdrawal. Sorry, body. We’ll drink tomorrow, promise.

Photos are up at Flickr. Please, if I used your real name and you’d prefer I didn’t, EMAIL ME and I will swap it for your URL. It’s no problem.

Here’s what I have to say overall about blogher ’06-it was overwhelming, it was exhausting, and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me outside of meeting my husband and having my children.Β  I haven’t had more than one close female friend since leaving High School, and now I have at least a dozen. The feeling of being surrounded by women who were interested in what I had to say, and in me as a person, is indescribable.

Validated. That is how I feel now that I have been to blogher. Validated. I went from feeling like no one else could possibly know what I mean when I say “um, well, I write a blog. What’s a blog? Well, it’s like a personal website, where I post stories about my family and photos and stuff”, to feeling like I want to climb to the highest rooftop in town and scream “I WRITE A BLOG!”.

Blogging is not weird. Blogging is not just keeping a diary in online form. Blogging is IMPORTANT. Blogging is powerful, blogging is the future. Being a blogger means being a part of the way women are meeting, supporting, and understanding each other. It’s networking for our social, personal and even professional lives.

Standing there on Saturday, knowing that there were seven HUNDRED other people around me who knew exactly what it is that I do, was one of the most empowering things that has ever happened to me. Having someone ask me for my business card (I have a card!), look at it and say “Oh, Table for Five! I’ve read your blog!” was absolutely MIND-BLOWING.

And of all the things I took away from the conference, there are two that have actually changed the path I see for myself. The first is something I took away from the “Mommyblogging is a Radical Act!” session. You wanna hear it? Hear it goes:

I AM A MOMMYBLOGGER

That’s it. It’s that simple. I am PROUD to be a Mommyblogger. Before that session, when asked what my blog was about, I would hem and haw and say things like “well, I blog about my family, and other stuff“, as if it was important to add that qualifier so that the person didn’t think I was “just” a Mommyblogger. And while I’m not “just” a Mommyblogger, as evidenced by my popular Thursday American Idol Recap, or my occasional posts about politics, if I have to define myself in one category, Mommyblogger is what I choose. I titled this post “I am a BLOGGER”, because I no longer feel timid about telling my family (for example), that I write a blog. I may tell them that it is private and that I’d prefer they didn’t read it, but the next time someone asks where I was last weekend, I’m going to proudly say I was at a conference about Blogging.

The other important, IMPORTANT thing that I brought home from blogher is a realization that my self-esteem needs a big ol’ kick in the ass. For example, all weekend people were declaring that they loved me, loved my blog, were so glad to meet me, and my response to them all was something like this:

“Hi, I’m Elizabeth. My blog is Table for Five.”

“Oh, ELIZABETH! I’ve read your blog, I really like it!”

“No, REALLY? You’ve read my blog? No way.”

“Elizabeth, it’s really nice to meet you!”

“No, no, it’s really nice to meet YOU.”

(Notice the annoying self-deprecation. What the hell is WRONG with me?)

I relayed this to my husband, and asked him if he thought I was insecure. He said no. So why was it so hard for me to accept the fact that other people were interested in me? Why do I feel so unworthy? Why can’t I just say “Thank you, I’m glad you like my blog” and leave it at that?

The closing session on Saturday afternoon featured four amazing women who have done great things both with their professional lives, and with blogs. I sat there listening to them speak, and I had what I guess you could call a revelation. I grabbed one of my business cards (because my laptop STILL wasn’t working), and on the back I wrote this:

1. Find your voice.
2. Stop apologizing. Be proud of who you are and what you do.
3.Stop hesitating. Move yourself forward.
4. You ARE worthy.

My friends, you are ALL worthy. Whether you have just started blogging or have been at it for a while, you are part of a mighty force in this world. Somewhere out there is someone who wants to know what you think, how you cope, who you are. Be a blogger, and be proud.

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Comments»

1. Jenny - July 31, 2006

I love this. This is the first post I’ve read about blogher that was about what you learned rather than who you met (which I love too – don’t get me wrong).

Mommyblogging is a radical act…I love it.

2. Melba - July 31, 2006

I didn’t go BlogHer and before this weekend I had never read any of the “mommyblogs” Not because I didn’t think they were worthy it is just that I already read so many blogs daily and they are creative artsy blog…who many happen to be mommies…I just find so amazing that there are SO MANY WOMEN BLOGGERS! This is exciting what the furture holds for us…

I really love this post. I found it through a search for BlogHer. I wanted to hear what people had to say. Your post explains it all.
Well Done.

3. jes - July 31, 2006

I’m insecure and totally admit it. I think that BlogHer was a mountaintop experience, too – I hope I can maintain my enthusiasm now that I’m home & back to the daily grind of work. 😦

It was soooooo nice to meet you – I’m glad you were there!! πŸ™‚

4. Mom101 - July 31, 2006

This is a great recap – what a wonderful feeling that is. Yay for you! And you know, sometimes confidence is a little overrated. If someone loves your blog and you are happy to meet THEM (as you said) it only makes you look humble and sincere and kind. All of which you seemed to be in the best possible way.

5. wordgirl - July 31, 2006

I want to feel validated, too. *sniff*

6. jennster - July 31, 2006

awwww- that is wonderful. all of it. and i just think that while people were excited to meet you, it’s perfectly okay to be excited to meet them too! you know? it was awesome, eh? thank you again SO MUCH for the bracelet!!! πŸ™‚

7. Jessica - July 31, 2006

Wonderful re-cap, Elizabeth. It was nice to meet you!

8. mary ann - August 1, 2006

what a wonderful post! yes, yes, yes>>>to everything you have written here! thank you!

9. Donna - August 1, 2006

Great post, Elizabeth. I can relate to the frustration with the wi-fi – but am so happy that you made the connections you did and that BlogHer was such a great experience!

10. Fraulein N - August 1, 2006

That’s awesome. I’m glad you took away something important from BlogHer. It sounds like it was a really powerful experience. I’m dying to go next year, but I have no idea how I’m going to swing it.

Try to keep that BlogHer energy going now that you’re back. πŸ™‚

11. Judie - August 1, 2006

Followed a link from Melba to your blog…isn’t networking wonderful? It’s a powerful, incredible tool for people (in this case women) to get together and better understand life. Blogging is good for the soul (I have followed Melba’s blog for some time now and have seen her grow artistically and spiritually…it’s wonderful…I am one of those who put out her postcards)…and her’s is a prime example of how blogging can be helpful to us all. I too have a blog for “other stuff” and I speak what I feel, not just art. A couple of years ago I wrote journal after journal, put them away in a drawer never to be seen or read again (until maybe when I die). Now, I blog. And the comments and suggestions and opinions I read everywhere are so helpful to my own life. I have bookmarked yours and will be back. judie

12. Her Bad Mother - August 2, 2006

So beautifully said, Elizabeth. Validation – that is all. AMEN.

13. GraceD - August 3, 2006

Right on.
Right ON.
RIGHT ON!

Yes and yes to all above, Elizabeth. You are a writer/blogger/the media. Take that sucker and run, woman!

I salute and admire you. I send a spiritual high five and a big hug.

14. Just Call Me A Mommyblogger - A Mommy Story - May 4, 2013

[…] but at the moment I can’t smooth it out any more, so here it is. Others have already covered the topic far more eloquently and better than I can hope to, but I still feel the need to discuss […]


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