On Saturday, July 19 I had an opportunity to attend See Jane Write’s Bloganista Mini-Conference. I was late registering due to a family tragedy, and was a bit hesitant as I’m still trying to wrap my head around the point and purpose of my blog as it doesn’t fall into many of the more traditional themes that are popular and quite successful today (i.e., money makers). I’m not a fashion expert so I don’t blog about styles and trends, unless it’s the ticketed $100.00 dress turned $2.00 bargain from Belk, my passion for Wet n Wild cosmetics, or my closet full of $7.99-$19.99 conversation pieces from Ross Dress for Less. I’m not a food critic, especially when most of my dining out is compliments of Groupon, coupons, a plate from my parents and gift cards. I’m not a political pundit, social commentator, pop culture know-it-all or financial guru. I’m not a relationship expert, even as a divorced woman who has had her share of boyfriends over the last 27 years since my first “fake” date at age 15. I’m not an athlete, fitness fanatic, health food innovator or career counselor. I’m simply, and successfully a woman who has lived through a lot, learns a little from each experience, and loves to snatch back the pieces of her own life and share inspirational tidbits with a certainty of things always getting better using topics like wigs, divorce, pancakes, weight gain, road construction, New Edition, family dinners and Jesus at the forefront or backdrop. Those things and more make me know Life Gets Better!
With that said, I’m so grateful I tore myself out of bed on that rainy Saturday morning to overcome personal trepidation as to whether my brand of blogging belonged. I’m glad I joined the other 70+ women (and men) who gathered to hear from people who believed in the power of words. Only able to stay through half of the conference, I was so refreshed by being able to hear from, and interact with people who have a love affair with words as I do, and have skin thick enough to post their thoughts for the world (maybe not the world just yet, but one day) to read, and respond however they choose. The host, the energy and the experts were amazing!
I left the first half of the conference certain of one thing. It’s time for a makeover starting from the blogger then to the blog. I needed to stop being concerned with whether my blog belonged. (As if this world of blogging offered elite, country club-like membership, “belonged where” was what I should have been asking myself. The internet doesn’t have enough rules as it is. Protocol for blog posts are certainly not a priority.) I no longer need to be concerned with how many readers and/or followers I have. I need to be prepared for the celebrators and the others not to be mentioned, and be happy that at least I’m being read regardless of the response. I need to follow more bloggers, and truly read and learn from them all. I need to connect with more people not for posts likes, but for mere investment in me and hopefully back to them. I need to take time to purposely write, even planning blog posts, and jotting down all of the myriad of ideas that flow through my head at strategically random parts of the day. I need to make my short-term plan include things like an upgrade on my current, and thankfully free WordPress theme and layout (I did just that the night following the conference…yippee!!!), a logo, blog specific business cards, new domain creativity, better marketing and all that stuff I already know about because it’s a part of my professional background. I need to get up off of my “I just do this for fun” and do this like my life depended on it, because at some point it did, which is what I write about. I realize now that, in spite of all the things I listed earlier on that I don’t do, I do do the whole “things will get better”, “the glass is always half full and if not get a smaller cup”, “don’t give up”, “divorce does not have the final say“, “one day you’ll look back at this and laugh”, and “fix your wig and your life it you have to” kind of posts well. And that, my friends is what again makes me certain that Life Gets Better!