Do I really want to be a professional writer?
Am I motivated enough to start ANOTHER business after 10 years of working to grow Go Girls! Camp?
Will it really feed me to learn about social media, blogging, and putting myself out there? Like really, really out there? Even though I’m an introvert? And super new at this?
Turns out that the answer to every one of these questions is YES. When I’m quiet and in touch with the things I’m truly hungry for, I want nothing more than to write stories and connect with other parents committed to loving themselves and their kids at the same time.
Being celebrated as one of the #BlogHER16 Voices of the Year Honorees was the nudge I needed to say YES to myself and take my work to the next level. So, as I get ready for the conference this weekend, here is what I’m thinking about…
1. How to Track My Learning
I could bring a recorder and capture every word of the keynotes. My high school BFF and bloggy friend, Mary of Vindulge swears by voice recorder apps she can listen to later. I could type on my laptop and click through each presentation. But I learn by DOING and taking old school notes like it’s the 1980’s is how I’m tackling this thing. New pen and notebook from my favorite art store will be purchased this week. Maybe I’ll get fancy and put everything into Evernote at the end, but I’m making no promises.
2. Self Care While I’m There- I can’t pretend that I’m not scared to death of conferences. As a kinesthetic learner, sitting for hours a day and listening is totally exhausting for me. Not to mention the crowds of people, travel, and being away from my little girl. Radical self care is crucial for me to show up as my best self and soak up all I can from this opportunity! My plan is give myself permission to rest even if it means missing something exciting. I’ll stay present if I take regular breaks to sit in silence, take 3 deep breaths, sleep in, walk in nature, take a stretch break and put all screens away for a bit. Taking care of myself at BlogHER is a huge priority.
3. Networking as an Introvert
I’m so much more comfortable on a stage than in a room full of people I don’t know yet. Small talk makes me nauseous. What’s helping this time is knowing how many amazing woman will be there with the same intention as me- to learn and get connected. Whenever I feel anxious or overwhelmed, I’ll switch into work mode, take notes for a future article or document on social media. So…hide out basically. Strategically. And save my courage for someone I really want to meet. Then, I’ll take a deep breath and walk over with confidence. I have my elevator pitch ready and the old standard, “Tell me about your work…” to kick things off. Lastly, I plan to laugh it off quickly if I make a total ass of myself and write it up as a good story.
4. My Post-Conference Plan
Spend an entire day (maybe 2) in my pajamas watching as much tv as I want. Then, I’ll get to work. My goal is to actually follow up with all the connections I make. Actually read through the notes I take in my handy little notebook and sort through the business cards I collect. I put blog titles in my editorial calendar now to write once I get back. My plan is to come back tired and inspired.
5. What to Wear as a Curvy Mama- Part of my story is that I’m recovering from a lifetime of dieting and am healing my relationship to my own body. Being on camera, meeting new people and spending time with celebrities in L.A. are all potential triggers to feel bad about myself. But guess what? I don’t play that game anymore. Shaming myself for how I look is no longer on the agenda. I love looking good at every size- and I’ve been them all! 6 months ago, I invested in a whole new wardrobe of clothes that fit and reflect my sometimes vintage/sometimes boho style. Who knew I was shopping for the life I wanted but didn’t quite have yet!? Breezy dresses, new shades, cute shoes for walking and red lipstick are my go-to’s for this weekend.
#BlogHER16, here I come! How do you prep for your big conferences? I’d love to hear…