with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
Here, let me sum up 80% of what is currently flooding my Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds for you:
“ZOMG BLOGHER IS THIS WEEK! WHAT DO I PACK? WHAT DO I WEAR! I’M SO NERVOUS! I’M SO EXCITED! NEW YORK CITY AHHHHHHH! MARTHA STEWART! BARACK OBAMA! BLOGHER, BLOGHER BLOGHER!”
So… yeah. In case you’re living under a rock, you might not know that the BlogHer 2012 conference is this week, and bloggers everywhere suddenly have extra social awkwardness coupled with nothing to wear.
I’ve always been a proponent of blog conferences as excellent opportunities to network, but I’ve never been shy about expressing my mixed feelings towards huge conferences like this one. They’re expecting something like 5,000 attendees, and that makes it an Event (capital E!) unlike a smaller gathering. It’s not for everyone, and even if it is for you and you’re the most extroverted socialite to walk the planet, it may have its moments of being overwhelming.
And no, I’m not going this year. But I have a few pointers for you whether you’re going or not.
First of all, if you’re NYC-bound for BlogHer this week, I think a little bit of strategy and a whole lot of “let’s make the most of this” attitude will guarantee you and enjoyable and productive time. Seriously. I never understand people who go to conferences, complain beforehand that they don’t want to go, appear to have a terrible time while there, and then after they bemoan the horror. It’s like anything else; do it for the right reasons, with a good attitude, and you’ll be fine.
If that doesn’t make you feel better, go read Liz Gumbinner’s awesome Mom-101 post for BlogHer conference tips no one will tell you. Liz is smart, and even though her post is funny, it’s also true. My favorite point of hers is about how you should go to more panels. I hear so much talk about “oh I never go to the actual conference.” Ummm… I’m all for the networking that happens in the hallways and at cocktail parties, but no conference panels? If there’s not a single panel at a conference from which you can learn something new, maybe you’re at the wrong conference. Or maybe your estimation of your knowledge is off. Just sayin’.
If you’re not going to BlogHer this year and you’re feeling sad about it, well then go read Jessica Rosenberg’s post about the nine reasons she’s not going to BlogHer this year. I bet it’ll make you feel better. And it will also remind you that there’s no such thing as a be-all, end-all event. Maybe you wish you were going but life got in the way. It happens.
[Sidebar: I was part of a submitted panel that ultimately wasn't picked, and hooboy were the fates looking out for me or what? Back during submission time I sure as heck had no idea I'd have a kid in the hospital and an office overflowing with toiletries donations to deliver during conference week. Bullet, dodged.]
Still feeling sad about missing BlogHer? Make sure you’re following @BlogHerAtHome on Twitter to keep up from the comfort of… well, wherever you are.
All of this has you thinking about conferences in general? I still stand by my advice from last year on how to pick the right blogging conference to attend, if you want to start strategizing for future travel.
For those of you heading off to BlogHer, have a wonderful time!
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