Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where's Chris Mann When You Need Him?

You've probably read that "there wasn't a dry eye in the house," while the keynote speakers bared their souls at BlogHer. Well, yes there was. There was one. Actually two. Mine. My eyes were dry. Not a tear to be shed... Not even a slight welling. But to say I wasn't moved isn't entirely accurate. I was moved... eventually. But before you delete me out of your life with indignant outrage, let me try to explain.

The weekend at BlogHer took me utterly and completely off-guard. I had no expectations because, in the weeks prior, there was absolutely no time to think about it. I didn't blog. I didn't twitter. I didn't email. I was offline and living large. In retrospect, not such a great move. I felt fairly detached, and was operating in "observer" mode most of the first day. Blog names sounded vaguely familiar. Avatars, transformed into friendly faces, were a blur. Introductions didn't mean what I thought they would. I was confused.

Day two was a bit better, but I was still overwhelmed. It took everything I had to take it all in. There were lots of blog-unrelated laughs with the handful of women with whom I felt a connection. Easy conversation, easy silences. No need to get every word in, because there would be time later... when the weekend was over, and the actual fostering of relationships could begin.

I spent my days wandering in and out of various lectures and panels, learning about SEO, CPMs, and the apparent apocalyptic arrival of the FTC on my blog's doorstep (who knew?). I finally "came to" in a nondescript chair in the last, nondescript room in a dark, nondescript hallway in the unbearably nondescript basement of the whole damn hotel. I had landed in a sweet little nest of writers, all of whom wanted to talk about the craziest thing at a blogging convention... writing. The panelists began their not-very-thought-out, but very-well-intentioned schtick, which quickly evolved into a fun, smart, intimate and nurturing conversation between us all. It dawned on me that I was in the right place, and walking away with the knowledge that I am, metaphorically speaking, where I really should be, was exactly what I needed to learn.

The puzzle pieces all sort of assembled themselves for me on the plane ride home. The emotion, the connections, the glitz, the baby-wearing, the swag-handling, the reality of it all suddenly took over, and I finally shed those tears that I held so deep inside, unable to release in front of the lovely, crazy, smart, funny, wonderful people I encountered over the weekend.

And then I wanted a "do-over". I wanted to relive the weekend, better in touch with my own soul... But, I guess I'll just have to wait until next year.


28 comments:

Heather of the EO said...

I don't think you should try to go next year unless you meet your deep linking quota.

I know, I'm hilarious.

You didn't need to cry during the keynotes, I'm pretty sure Lee and I sucked all the tears right out of you and used them for ourselves.

I love what you said about how overwhelming it all was...such a blur. And that you realized you didn't need all that information. You've always had all the information you need to do this well. It's about your writing. And your writing is GOOD.

Annie said...

You may not have cried, but you looked damn good in a boa.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Who's Chris Mann?

Kristina P. said...

Maybe you can have a do over at my house.

Summer said...

Thats what baffles me. Isn't it all about your gift and talent of writing? Shouldn't that be what matters?

If so, you have it!

Em said...

I'm pretty sure I would have been right there next to you, overwhelmed. I deliberately built that wall when I decided not to show my "true" face to the blogging world - it frees me as a writer, but keeps me at a distance from some.

Thanks for reaching over the barrier and becoming a friend.

Beth said...

And maybe I can be there next year. We can cry together.

♥georgie♥ said...

I think I would have been extremly over-whelmed myself...but i am still jealous you you got to go

tera said...

I don't know how you would ever figure out what is great and what is a waste of time to try and do while there.
I would love to go and give it a shot, though! ...maybe next year...

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Seriously considering going next year... New York is so close for me!!

samantha said...

It was so crazy wasn't it? I was overwhelmed (and not in a bad way) the whole weekend. Everything caught up with me yesterday and I finally crashed and crashed HARD.

But it's out of the way and now for future BlogHers we'll be better prepared! :-)

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Sounds like you had a great time...even if you didnt realize it until afterwards :-) I wish I was there. I would have loved to have met you in person.

Tenakim said...

I prepared my ass of and would still like a do over- but, really, who am I kidding- I'm not going to change- WALLFLOWER! It was so nice to meet you and talk to you!!!

Lee of MWOB said...

Okay Elizabeth's comment is really making me laugh - yeah Deb, WHO IS CHRIS MANN? You put him in your title to maximize your search results right? Because he is soooo friggin' popular on the internet and that means big traffic for MS. DIRTY SOCKS, right?? I'm on to you lady...you can't fool me. Using Chris Mann for your own good....I just can't believe it.

Okay seriously now...I can't believe you did not call me when you were crying. I was starting to think you were just some calloused bitch. Now I know you got some heart in there somewhere... :-)

I am STILL digesting everything....but things are becoming clearer minute by minute...

What can I say? BlogHer '09 was EPIC...and you were my partner in crime.

:-)

Wendyburd1 said...

I wish I could have met you and any other blog friends who went!!

Under the Influence said...

Sometimes it just has to all sink in before you can grasp the magnitude of it all!

I plan to be there in 2010! NYC, here I come.

Loren Christie said...

Deb,
Man, you can write. I didn't cry during those keynotes either. A handful of them were very well-written, but some left me with a bad taste in my mouth, quite honestly. The whole keynote got me thinking about boundary lines in writing. It seems cool not to have any. Some classic authors have pushed the boundries with much success. I could write hysterical posts about sex or picking my nose, (not in that order), but something about doing that just doesn't feel right. By the way, you're cool. :)

Elaine A. said...

I think it REALLY sucks that I didn't get to meet you. GAH! I was in that FTC panel room and everything. Double GAH!

I agree that the weekend was full of all kinds of emotions and wonderful people.

Tiaras said...

I still can't believe I couldn't find you - you were the ONE person that I was REALLY looking for! for fucks sake!

CaJoh said...

Talk about Dyslexics of the World Un-Tie… when I first mis-read the title I thought you said "Chris Man" and were talking about me— but I was wrong (oops).

So glad that you got something out of the conference. After reading so many people's posts about the conference it made me realize that I have not been at any professional conference since 2000— too long I must say.

MsPicketToYou said...

Excellent re-cap. (Did I write this? I wish I did.)

Am wondering what that panel was -- humor maybe.

I have your card -- why? Dunno.

Hi. I'm Ms Picket.

You are great and I'ma coming back.

Ann's Rants said...

So glad I ran into you two bitter biyatches in the hallway :)

Had so much fun with you.

Sera said...

Hey! I'm so bummed you're not going to be at SITScation. I think I could probably understand what you mean about the keynote stuff, and the abbreviations that I was totally ignorant about that you listed. I'm looking forward to meeting the people behind the blogs and relaxing and just having FUN! I could care less about technical stuff, but learning how to be a better writer - that's what I'm talking about. And as if you NEED to know how to be better, lady. You rock my face off. :) So glad you're back. I've missed your posts tremendously. Hope you are well!

Brenda Jean said...

First-- I missed you big time. Who was I suppose to be snarky (isn't that a blog word) with while you were living large? Just saying. Second, that is SOOO going to be me when I finally get to Blog Her one day. I will be in a daze the entire time and then get home and think of all the things I should have said and done. By then you'll be an old pro at it so you can guide me through it:)

Jenners said...

I'm not too up on the whole BlogHer thing but it sounds like you made some cool connections and I love the idea of "coming to" in a room of writers!

Kim said...

I didn't cry in the keynote until Heather Spohr...dang her. ;)

I felt like a deer in the headlights for the whole weekend...just trying to soak it all in but so completely overwhelmed. I am just now decompressing from our trip.

I am so glad that Heather introduced us. I felt a kindred spirit with you, Heather and Lee. I was so very blessed to have been there and to have met you.

Oh and the writing? That is what it is all about. Forget the swag, forget everything else, writing, that is what it is about. Lee telling me about that very workshop and how we each have a story to tell...yep, just finding that story and telling it the best we can. It rocks. So do you.

xoxoxo!

Bee and Rose said...

I am hooked up for next year's Blogher and will definitely take your words as sage advice. It does sound pretty overwhelming, and wonderful, and exhausting and I really can't wait to go next year!

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