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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

 

How can I love you if I don't go away?

My nails are painted, my bags are packed, and in less than ten hours, I will be on a plane headed to Chicago for the 2007 BlogHer conference.

At some point in the beginning of the year, I wasn't sure if I was going to go to this year's conference. I went in 2005 and learned a lot; my attendance that year really changed how I felt about blogging, my blogging. That conference energized me and also got me some recognition that I hadn't expected. Not long after attending the conference, I realized I was getting comments on my blog from people who were not related to me. What was this? I thought to myself. I began learning about community and all of that good stuff. Neat!

Then I got even deeper into the professional side of blogging and started blogging for BlogHer. I did a lot of research and wrote some pretty good--if I do say so myself--posts about a variety of topics that fit under the umbrella of "Mommy & Family." It was fun and kept me busy. It also meant that I knew A LOT more people when I attended the 2006 BlogHer conference. Wow. It was overwhelming at times.

Late last year I burned out on blogging. It was right around the time when I was doing NaNoWriMo as well as NaBloPoMo in addition to all of the added joys that the holidays bring: shopping, cooking, and celebrating Thomas's well-planned December 6th birthday.

I was stressed and something had to change. I was involved in so many different communities, both online and offline. My inbox was always full. I was never caught up on my email. My feedreader was always bold with unread blog posts. I was never caught up on my blog reading. I felt pulled in a hundred different directions. Also, I was drinking a lot and I didn't like that.

So I quit. I quit drinking and I went on a vacation with my family. When I came back, I quit writing for BlogHer, I quit putting ads on my blog, and I quit obsessively checking my stats. I quit a couple of online communities that had generated tons of email, and I quit a job I hadn't even started yet. (When a job is stressing you out and you haven't even started it yet, that's a bad sign.)

I returned to doing what I did before I had readers: I wrote blog posts about my life and things that interested me.

As winter turned to spring, I realized that I once again was enjoying blogging. Did I want to go to BlogHer this year? Yes! I reserved my hotel room at the W and bought my ticket. It felt like the right thing to do.

Now, less than a day away from partying (sans alcohol) like it's 1999, I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I'm excited about getting a lot of schwag. I'm very interested in talking to my blogging friends who now blog professionally and have multiple blogs. I want to absorb people's stories and accumulate a bunch of business cards. I plan on admiring pedicures and taking lots of photos of beautiful women on leave from their families.

But I'm not interested in walking away with a different perspective on what blogging means to me. I'm definitely interested in what blogging means to other people and what it could mean to even more people. But for me, this is it. This--all that you see here--these stories of my life and about my kids, these pictures of my world, this is 100% what I want from blogging at this point in my life. Everything I want, I have.

With that knowledge in my mind and with this hot pink nail polish on my toes, I know this year's conference will be the best one yet.