Monday, February 9, 2009

Blissdom '09

For two days, I've been staring at a blank screen trying to put into words what I got out of Blissdom this past weekend.

The conference was amazing. The ladies that I met there were amazing. The beautiful hosts were amazing.

My favorite session of the weekend was Writing with Passion-Finding Your Voice. The speakers and moderator were four of my favorites in the blogosphere: Shannon, Stephanie, Arianne and Catherine. They were honest, loving and passionate about the one thing that brought me to blogging: writing. I've always loved to write and ultimately, this is why I blog.

Though I started to blog because of my love for writing, I found something quite unexpected once I was here. Community. I've connected with women all over the world and from every possible walk of life. I've offered and gained support from them. I've heard stories about their lives and watched their children grow. I've seen them go through the highest highs and the lowest lows and felt every single emotion with them as if I'd been friends with them forever.

I went into this weekend praying that I would leave with a direction for this blog. Let's face it, there's no shortage of options for a blogger these days. I found exactly what I was looking for. I was reminded time and again that I need to keep the main thing the main thing. I love to read blogs by people who love to write. Writing is what brought me here and will keep me here. All of the other things: social media, SEO, blah, blah, blah are great but it's not the main thing for me.

I have to tell you a few of the people that I met this weekend who just blew me away. I will shout from the rooftops for the rest of my days my love for Beth. She's one of the most amazing women I've ever met. She's real, funny and beautiful. She made me feel like I'd known her forever from the second we met. I spent the weekend in awe of her. She also introduced me to her girls: Arianne, Sarah and Stephanie. Oh, I love each one of them. They make me want to pack my bags and move north several hundred miles. LOVE.

If you have ever read a blog you know Shannon, the Nester, Emily and Annie. I only point them out because I've been reading them for so long and love their writing style. They are the real deal, y'all. I was like a thirteen year old at a Jonas Brothers concert when I met each one of them. They were gracious enough to hug my neck even as I babbled incoherently and drooled on their shoes.

I know this is getting long but I have to tell you the biggest thing that impressed me about Blissdom. There were around 250 women there and a handful of men. (Hang with me, that's not the impressive part.) When I called home on Friday night, Big Daddy asked me a question that shaped the way I viewed the rest of the weekend.

He said, "Do you feel like there is a spirit of competition there since all of you are in the same 'business' or is it friendly?" Let me tell you honestly how I answered. There wasn't one moment where I felt like I was being viewed as anyone's competition. I've heard Alli say before that there is no reason that we can't all be successful so there's no reason that we shouldn't help each other. (I'm paraphrasing, obviously. She's uses way cuter words than that!) That's what the weekend felt like. I could have worn my stretchy yoga pants and no makeup and I really feel like I would have still made a ton of new friends. I would have gotten hugs from the women listed above. I asked hard questions of some of the ladies there and they answered them honestly and offered more help than I ever expected. THIS is the community I speak of. This is what has made it so difficult to put the weekend into words. This is why my heart is still full two days later and I'm still processing all of what I experienced.

I know I don't usually post a lot of pictures here but I will be posting pictures as soon as I steal them from Beth because that girl takes some great pictures and I "forgot" my camera every time I was with her this weekend.

Also? If you have any questions about any of the sessions, please feel free to ask and I'll answer. You can also buy transcripts of all the sessions if you want.

13 comments:

  1. I loved meeting you this weekend and am so glad we got to share dinner together. I felt the exact same spirit last weekend which I think says amazing things considering it was a room rull of women and let's face it, we can be....well, you know what we can be :) Hope to see you again!!

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  2. Fab recap! And yes, thanks for reminding me that it's the community and the writing that is most important. It was DELIGHTFUL meeting you! Wish we'd had more time to get to know each other. Next time? :-)

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  3. I don't even know what to say. Your words have touch me so much and I appreciate them so much. It's like you just gave me a little present that I'll keep forever. THANK YOU.

    You are a wonderful person and am so incredibly blessed to know you.

    Wonderful recap and I'll see you in July. (don't argue with me.)

    And get that damn iPhone already.

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  4. Yeah, what YOU said.

    You put it so perfectly that I didn't feel any competition, no one was there to make themselves feel better by belittling others. It was camaraderie and friendship and I'm so glad I got the meet you. I look so forward to getting to know you and your writing.

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  5. Wow, that sounds pretty amazing! Glad you had such a wonderful time :)

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  6. Wow, that sounds pretty amazing! Glad you had such a wonderful time :)

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  7. I love this recap. I adore the community blogging brings. I hope to go to blissdom next year and blogher this year.

    Nell

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  8. Hate that we didn't get to hang out. I missed the session on "voice" and am so bummed. I think that's the one I needed the most.

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  9. I srsly adore you. You are so special and wonderful and brought such peaceful energy with you. I totally forgot that you aren't always there with us in our group (I will remember the next time our group gets together for dinner, though, and you AREN'T there).

    I love that you are inspired to write more, I love that you came to BlissDom and I can't *wait* to see you in July! ;)

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  10. You are bliss... and this is why you found such wonderful people at Blissdom! I loved reading your recap and wish so very much that I could have been there to meet you! But there's always July!

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  11. You, my dear, are the bomb-diggity.

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