Monday, July 21, 2008

Blogging about Blogging after a BlogHer Conference.

On the plane back to Cleveland after a long and simply delicious weekend at BlogHer, I read the words “Be the author of your life.” They grabbed me and for the next half hour I read each word carefully and flipped each page of August’s Redbook cautiously.

“Creating a blog is more than just flinging your diary open for the world to see. A blog can bring you a circle of friends, an amazing sense of confidence, and a safe place to discover who you truly are.”

The theme of the weekend, for me, was confidence. Confidence in friendships, confidence in my blog, and confidence in my self discovery of who I am as a mother. There are so many conversations floating around in my head that need to be organized.

Circle of Friends:
The women in my blogging community are and are not like me. We come from different parts of the nation. We are different ages and in different stages of parenting. We have different hair color and body types. We come from different religions. We have different styles. We have different political views and writing styles. That is what I love about blogging, we came together this weekend and in less then a minute I was surrounded my friends. A community. “Discovering the right blog community can be like finding the right pair of jeans: It should feel comfortable, not too constricting, and dependable.” I have a community of mothers that support me and help build my confidence in mothering. One blogger at the convention, discussed how difficult it was for her mother to deal with her cleft lip at birth, without having a support of a community. Thank you dear God for allowing me to mother in this day and age of blogging.

Sense of Confidence:
I have been struggling with writing posts for the last couple of weeks. I have deleted many honest and raw posts where I let my voice be heard. Once it was heard, I hid behind my computer as the comments and emails poured in and I waited to be judged. I have not been confident in my words fearing people would judge. Instead I have questioned my words. Writing each post carefully as not to step on people’s toes and emotions. People have assumed I write for reasons that are not true. People assume that blogging is a narcassitic popularity contest. People have questioned my faith, my goals, my purpose. It is exhausting to put so much thought into every word and lingering over the PUBLISH button. That my friends will change. I am living outloud. This is me. This blog is, in fact, a part of my life and is exposing a very small part of me. I am confident in real life and now confidently standing behind my online words.

Self Discovery:
When I started this blog, nearly one year ago, it was to chronicle the funny things my children said or did. It was to document my life for my family and to keep us all connected. In the process I have learned so much about myself. I no longer pick up parenting books. When I question my parenting, I blog about it and an amazing community reaches out to discuss, to encourage, to solidify my emotions. I have learned so much about myself, as a mother, through this blog. It forces me to think outside of the box, reflect, and determine my outcome. I have discovered many things about myself and this process of self discovery is ongoing.

I am grabbing those words “Be the author of your life” and using them as my slogan for the next year. I am writing my future as I see it fit. One of my deleted post discussed my need to travel. Guess what family of 5 is off to Poland in three weeks? This would never have been possible without my need to vent and organize my thoughts on my blog.

I am the author of my life.

Many friends of mine ask, “Why do you blog? Why do you publish personal things for the world to see?” Did you know that 15% of mothers in the United States have a blog? Did you know that blogging is so incredibly therapeutic? Did you know that I have grown more confident in my parenting through your comments and this beautiful online community? Did you know that I observed an audience of over 1,000 bloggers give Mr. Lady a standing ovation after she read a post? Did you know that I spent the weekend walking beside incredible, intelligent, witty, beautiful, laid back, and confident women and one man? It has been years since I have been a part of something so amazing.

If you don't have a blog. Get one. If you did not go to BlogHer. Start selling everything on Ebay tomorrow and save your pennies for next year.

Some ideas that were discussed: Blogging is the modern day version of the 50’s housewife hanging her clothes out to dry. It is an ongoing conversation, an outlet. It encourages all of us to think differently, out of the box, as the conversation is ongoing. We are less lonely as these connections are made.

15% of American mothers blog. That is millions of women building a new media landscape. It is a nationwide community of mothers that is changing the way mothers communicate. It provides an outlet to discuss, an opportunity to feel comforted, and it simply rocks. And. People hear us. About a 1/4 of the people at the convention were publishers, Redbook editors, TNT producers, Graco employees, LeapFrog employees, and now the news is out that BlogHer has teamed up with ivillage. Katie Couric and Michelle Obama left us messages at BlogHer. I think the world of motherhood is slowly changing. In the meantime, I am hanging my clothes out to dry.

Thankful. I am. It was a beautiful weekend for self discovery.


Come back tomorrow for all of my edited pictures from BlogHer and links to blogging friends. I will have an incredible giveaway to thank you. My readers. Stay tuned.

108classy comments:

Ya... About That said...

I so wish I was there my friend! BusyDad said he gave you a smooch for me. :) Can't wait to see more pics. Hope to join you next year! xo m

Buttermouth said...

It's great to hear that you have a good time at BlogHer!

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your weekend and what you all learned...even though I already think your doing a great job at being the "author of your life"

Secola'sSpace said...

I'm so there next year! Count me as part of that 15% and proud of it!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Only 15 percent? Really?

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I think you were in EVERY single post written during the conference in picture form. I can tell you had a ball.

thethirddegree said...

Finally really opened up her heart on her blog tonight. That took a bit, and I'm so surprised at the positive reaction I received.

I am mentally preparing myself for BlogHer '09 already!

Kash said...

So glad you had a good time. Did you like SF? Did you get to sightsee at all? Looking forward to future posts. Is there a conference for single girls not sure what to do with their life!?

lattemommy said...

This is the best post I've seen yet about the conference. I'm so excited to hear about more than just the partying with other bloggers - I want to hear about what you all learned, what you all discovered about yourselves and one another, what makes you want to go back next year.

I admire your new approach to blogging. I can't wait to read the "new you".

Jeni said...

Everything you said about blogging -the community, the diversity, the cohesion, compassion, all (and more) come together to create such a wonderful arena in which we can all participate and yes, it does build one's confidence too! Let it all hang out, kiddo, as it's only going to increase those above mentioned aspects, not pull you down.

Jog said...

Sigh, I miss you already. And bravo on the post OhMommy. Bravo.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

So happy for you-

FYI- I am one of the few that read the post about travel. It actually made its way to Google Reader (when you save a draft it sometimes does this- be warned) and I read it and I said "I understand"....I have been where you are. I know how you feel. Be the pilot of your life...don't just go along for the ride. and whatever you do: OWN IT.

Welcome HOME

Miss said...

I'm so happy that you had such a good time. You deserved the break. Cant wait to see more photos!

Susan said...

This is so much more coherent and poetic than any blah blah I thought of writing about BlogHer. Maybe I'll just to your post on my blog and say, "What she said."

http://www.WorkingMomsAgainstGuilt.com
http://www.MrandMrsGetFit.com

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I'm glad you're back and that you returned with your head screwed on straight. :-)

Kelley said...

Girl, that was an awesome post. And if I wasn't gnawing my arm off in jealousy wanting to be there to see your sweet face, I would want to now.

Is it mean to say I am glad you are home now cause I missed you?

Tiffany said...

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING POST! I am so glad that this was the boost you needed because those of us that love you, love ALL of what you have to offer. Glad you are discovering who YOU are - You absolutely can script your life and have what you want!

Now I REALLY can't wait to read!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

You're such a cutie patootie! So glad you had such a positive experience!!

krissy said...

I am so happy you are back and I am even more happy that you are discovering that you can write what you want and need to on YOUR blog.

We will always be judged. There isn't a single thing we can do about it. But if you know who you are and what you want in life, then you shouldn't allow the judgements to discourage you. You are a wonderful person and I love every word you write.

So blog on sista "Sassy" and let the world know just exactly what Ohmommy has on her mind. This is why I am doing the "Sexy Mom challenge." To show that you can be sexy in so many different ways. I find your need to always make people happy, but I find it even better that you are realizing that this will never happen.

Love ya girl....glad you had fun and are back.

Huckdoll said...

PERFECT BlogHer experience post. Kudos missy :)

zoeyjane said...

I know I'm not adding anything by saying EXACTLY. But the quote, the sentiment, the realization that we will stand behind you for being you. Just exactly.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

All I can say is "You go, girl!"

Can't wait to read everything you write and I love your new motto!

Indy said...

Can't wait to hear all about it.

kim-d said...

I am so glad that BlogHer was such a positive experience for you. After reading what Kellan of On The Upside had to say, and now reading your words, it sounds like it was an amazing conference.

Ya know...I don't know exactly what it is about you that grabbed my blogger heart; I mean, I am much older than you, appearance-wise, we couldn't be more different, etc. But as I read your blog (without commenting), I found myself absolutely respecting the way you parent, absolutely thinking you are just cute as a button and absolutely feeling like you are one of the good people in the world. I tell you this just so you will know...anything you write is fine with me. As long as you write :)!

And I couldn't be happier about your Poland trip. It will be good for your heart and soul, I think!

Lisa said...

Oh - what a great, great post! You have a way of verbalizing things that I have no way of organizing in my head - but they come out exactly how I'd want them too! I'm SO glad you had a lovely time!!!

Krystyn said...

Glad you had a great weekend! And, that you learned more about yourself.

Mishelle Lane said...

I wish I was there, in the circle! Next year, I will be..

This blogging has been a great experience and I'm so glad to be doing it with the likes of you!

Can't wait to see more and hear more.

Robyn said...

I'm glad you were able to share how deeply BlogHer affected you. I love your blog and am now thinking about saving my pennies for next year so I can meet some wonderful women, like you!

duchess said...

So glad you had a great time. Can't wait to hear more - it makes me look forward to "doing laundry". :)

Karen MEG said...

Welcome home. It sounds like you certainly experienced BlogHer the way it was meant to be; and your renewed sense of self and your blog is so beautifully expressed here.

So glad you had such a great time...and yeah, I'm already starting to pack for next year...

LceeL said...

You've grown yourself a boy friend or two, too. As for why you blog, I don't really care what your motivation is. I just know that I, and this community of bloggers, would be sorely diminished if you didn't. So don't stop.

mommynotes said...

This is one of my favorite post. My husband encouraged me to blog and I started last October. I have had people judge me also on my parenting, faith, values. Sometimes it is hurtful but for all the hurt people from all over the world have encouraged me. I love your blog and it encourages me to be a better person, parent, mom and I love "be the author of your life." It is so true.

I am glad you had such a good time. I think this is a great way for moms to reach out and encourage and help one another in this journey called life.

mwshores@bellsouth.net

Wendi said...

So glad you had a great time.
You are so deserving of that.
Can't wait to hear more about your weekend and see more photos.

I love that statement,"Be the author of your life."
I am going to take your lead and apply it.

Stephanie said...

Glad you had a good time. Too bad we couldn't meet up. I flew OUT of Cleveland yesterday ;)

HRH said...

I wish I could have shared that drink with you and Meg in person. I am going next year...

mamatulip said...

I am SO GLAD that this was such a fabulous experience for you. :)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'm bummed we didn't get to meet up! Why didn't we make this happen? : )

Steph

Tracey said...

Glad you had such a great time! And you sound completely refreshed and invigorated. Awesome hon!

Clare said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I would of loved to of been there. I will definitely use your words of wisdom to be more honest in my blog:0 Thanks Ohmommy, XO, Clare

Crystal D said...

OHmommy I am happy you are home and had such a wonderful time. I so enjoyed following everyone's tweets and was living vicariously through you all. I can't wait to see pictures and hear about some wonderful new blogs I can't live without.

renatamic said...

i. am. so. proud.

great title for not only the year, but for life!!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I loved your guest bloggers!

Glad you are back, dear friend.

Blogging for me is carthetic and FUN! It is a TINY slice of my life.

Great pictures, TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS BLOGHER!

GoteeMan said...

How totally wonderful. Anytime we challenge and nudge each other toward a fuller discovery of identity of who we are, it is incredibly powerful. It's also important to have an outlet of being able to share from our own hearts.

There is something very special, also, about connecting with those who have walked through some of the same difficult road as we have. Sometimes all we can see is the steep, difficult, uphill climb, until we see them standing at the top of the hill, able to tell us that there is another side to the situation just waiting for us to arrive.

Thnaks so much for your posts and for bearing your heart. I know it is a risk, and that some bloggers step into that critical, argumentative mindset, but by and large, most do not...

Keep on keeping on...

J/

Irene said...

Wow, I just knew everyone would come back raving about this conference. I would love to get there someday. maybe next year, who knows.....

Of course, if I decide to attend, then I most likely will have to reveal to half my family that I even have a blog! They have no clue and I think they have no clue what a blog even is. I am sure they will think I am even nuttier than they originally thought..

momof3crazykids-Val said...

Looks like you had a great time. Can't wait to see more pictures!

Nibbles said...

That's incredible; what a great thing BlogHer turned out to be :) Glad you had such a good time and I wish you many more happy blogging years!

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

Mama will be there next year. GUARANDAMNTEED.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Sounds perfect! I so wish I had been able to go. See you next year!

Heather said...

This is something I want to do next year as well. So glad that I have gotten to "meet" other bloggers at the clothesline!

Amy said...

What a great post, and I am so happy for you that you got to have such an amazing time! I hope to be meeting up with all you gals next year!

Shannon said...

Sounds like a total success and a wonderful time . . . I bet your reunion was amazing . . . those kids must have been over the moon to see you :-) Glad you had a fab time - I love San Fran, it is just the coolest city.

BusyDad said...

You are a class act, OHMommy. Just like on your blog. It was beyond amazing hanging out with you and all our other mom blogger pals. Next year, I'm going for the entire time for sure.

- That really lucky "one man"

kittyconcerto.com said...

I love san fran and it looks like you had a great time. Congrats. I can't wait to hear more of your self discovery. :)

I've always thought of mommy bloggers as the old fashioned bridge games. Not too far off from hanging clothes.

Btw-speaking of MOMMY bloggers, you might want to stop by my place and check out my good news.

Natalie said...

Oh man, I really wish I had gone.

This was a fabulous post. I can't wait to hear more!

Rhea said...

Sounds like an incredible experience! I wish I could have gone!

Love the pictures. You're adorable.

Can't wait to hear more about the giveaway!! and see more pics.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Sounds like so much fun! I would really love to go next year :)

Immoral Matriarch said...

Looking forward to your new path lovely! Miss ya!

carrie said...

I am so glad you had a great time! So wishing I could have been there to meet you IRL, but family vacations had to trump BH this year (maybe someday friend, maybe someday)!

Ali said...

wow. great post!

ps. i cried my eyes out while Mr. Lady spoke. she's amazing.

Nap Warden said...

Well My Dear...you sound completely inspired. Good for you! I will just have to wait 'til it comes around next year:)

chris said...

You look like you had a fabulous time!

Kellan said...

GREAT POST!!!

I am SO GLAD I finally got to meet you and look forward to next year of doing that same. It was FABULOUSLY fun and I'm so glad we went!

I'll talk to you soon - Kellan

THopgood said...

I am SO going next year! And the highlight of the trip will be meeting you!

ShannanB said...

I am so glad we had a chance to meet. It was an amazing weekend all around.

suchsimplepleasures said...

i've already told my family...i'm going next year!!!
i'm glad you had such a wonderful time!!!

April said...

It sounds like SUCH a fun time! I can't wait to see all the pics you will be sure to post. :-)

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Love the post!!!
I realized that I too have been holding back some stuff that I want to write about.
Glad you had a great time!!!!

Elaine A. said...

Well look at you on the streets of San Fran! I SO want to go next year. I will find a way! : )

What a great post. I was just discussing this with my husband's grandmother at lunch today - what a wonderful community of bloggy friends I have in my life...

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I really wish we would meet sometime soon. I KNOW we will eventually!

Kathryn said...

Sounds like a life-changing trip for you. How amazing!
I can't wait to read where this newfound freedom takes you and your blog. :)

ThatGirl said...

Amen to the online therapy, I couldn't agree more. I would never have made it through two adoptions without the advice of those who had blogged that path before me.

I'm so glad you had fun at BlogHer!

TUTU Monkey said...

You have really inspired me today! I am glad you had a wonderful trip. I can't wait to see more pictures and I loved you post today!!

Choosing Happiness said...

I am glad you had a greta time and I just might have to go next year! love you blog confidence! It is beautiful!

K

zdoodlebub said...

Thank you for always being so incredibly positive and idealistic. Although other recaps I've read about the parties and shenanigans are entertaining, yours is real and my favorite reflection so far.

JCK said...

What a lovely post. If anyone was on the fence about next year's BlogHer conference, they're on eBay now selling things! ;)

Thanks for capturing all the highlights so well. Now I don't have to do it! HA!

It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope you write those stories about Poland from your childhood. Yeah on the trip!

Tara R. said...

I so want to go next year... I'm saving my pennies and I'll be there!

Cecily R said...

Any chance at me pretending that I didn't want to go is out the window now!! So wish I was there!

I'm glad you had so much fun and that it was so good for you. Sounds like perfect timing for you--exactly what you needed.

As you would say, MWAH!!

CC said...

Hurray! I was in SF just a few weeks before and totally had a free place to stay (aka my parents!) if I had gone. Maybe if I get another 500 readers or so, then I'll think about spending the money. Hee hee! Just kidding.

Marketing Mama said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time and found some inspiration. Awesome!

Smoochefrg said...

Welcome back!

The Diva's Thoughts said...

I so wish I could have attend Blogher. I'm really glad you had a good time.

Maybe next year I'll get to go.

Blessings From Above said...

Your happiness just shines through in this post. I am so glad you enjoyed your trip...you certainly needed a much deserved break.

Can't wait to see all your pictures. Speaking of which, you look beautiful in the two you already posted! :)

LaskiGal said...

Excellent post. You sound . . . inspired.

It'll be great to see the impact that BlogHer has made as we read you posts as well as the posts of other attendees.

I have no doubt that this is the real beginning of something special. Good for you OH Mommy . . .

Courtney said...

Thank you for that post. I am Courtney from Jamie's blog(choosing my own) and I am struggling with the pressure/my desire to start a blog and the fear that I will not measure up to all the fabulous blogs I read. Your honesty about confidence made me realize I just need to do it for me, my little guy and my family if that is what I want to do. Thank you, Thank you and I really love your blog! :)

Mr Lady said...

I thought I commented. Gah.

WORD TO YO MOTHA. Rock on, hot stuff.

Rachel said...

I heart you!!! Wish I could have been there! Next year, it is on!
Thank you for gracing my blog with your fabulosity and classiness!!

April said...

I'm so glad the experience was so positive for you!

scrappysue said...

it looks like you had lots of fun and that kellan knows everyone!!!

just jamie said...

Oh. So often when I read your words my head swims with "me too, me too." This was no exception. Love it. Love it. Love you my OHMommy blog friend.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

It's great to see that you're feeling so positive about everything! And I'm very glad you have your confidence back.

Jill said...

What a positively prolific post. It sounds like you really got a lot out of your time in San Francisco. I'm hoping I'm around next summer to attend!

BTW - You are TOO cute (give it up - where'd you get your cutie shirt in these photos).

crunchiemummy said...

As my granny would say, good for you hen! Hoping to join you next year!

MamaWise said...

Looks like the conference was a blast! Did you enjoy San Francisco?

Maybe I'll be able to go next year!

Don Mills Diva said...

And every word is true.

You are everything I knew you woudl be - see you next year.

Rhea said...

BTW, I missed you while you were gone, of course, but totally enjoyed your guest bloggers! They rocked!!

Marmarbug said...

I love your top!!!And the shoes! CUTENESS!
I am glad you had a fab time at BlogHer!!!!

Crystal D said...

Oh OHmommy Poland in 3 weeks! How wonderful for you guys. I can't wait to hear stories and read the tweets from that trip.
I want you to know that I truly love to read your posts. You are such a real mom. That is what I need to read, so don't be worried about your honest and raw moments, those are the moments that we all usually need the most help with and need to be heard. Plus chances are those are the ones we can all most relate to.
Keep doing what you do Mamma.

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

What a powerful experience you had that led you to writing such a powerful post. I, too, am going to follow your lead and be the author of my life!

YAY for a trip to Poland in just 3 weeks!

And where, my friend, are the stilettos???

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

BTW, I would love more BlogHer posts - if I'm reading correctly, I only saw two! Blog away about it (if you want to, that is!)

MommyTime said...

What an amazing experience. I so wish I had been able to be there too. Next year? I hope so (if no teaching conflict this time). What an incredible sense of connection.

Rachel said...

I love this post!!! I'm going to have to save this to show my husband; I've been trying to explain why I love blogging and need to blog. Your words are exactly what I've poorly been trying to convey. Thanks!

P.S. -- I'm glad you've found the confidence to be honest. I love your blog, which is why I've been lurking for awhile now. I read a post a few weeks back about your need to travel (it may have been the one you deleted; not sure), and I loved the raw honesty. It made you seem "real" like me. Glad you're going to keep up with that.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

glad you had a great time!!!!

CRigg said...

I've never commented before but I have been reading your blog for about 2 weeks now. Found you from my on- and off-line friend Jamie at choosingmyown. I LOVED, LOVED your post and even though I am not a mainstream, high-trafficked blogger (have only been blogging for about a month), I blog because I've given up on my scrapbook for the kids and am instead resorting the instant gratification of being online to document our family and kids' goings-on. Anyway, your post really resonated with me - I blog to vent, I blog to document and journal and I blog for my own therapy. I too have struggled with when to push PUBLISH even though I don't have an audience (except close friends and family who never comment) just because I am putting myself out there...which is o damn scary. Remember that quote
"Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching"

My guidepost when doing this is to "blog like there's no one watching"
Kudos to you!

Maureen said...

Good points to remember. Thanks for sharing, especially to those of us who couldn't go. Lurve your photos ;)

Clare Frederick said...

Yay! I'm so happy about your self discovery! Keep writing the good write!

Mandy said...

You looked like you were having so much fun. Very cute pics!!!

I love the "be the author of your own life"!!!

Even though some of us didn't go. You brought back so much motivation.

I am going to try living with that as my motto too.

Thanks OhMommy!!! :)

SF said...

Will be there next year and looking to be a SPEAKER!

I am Barking Mad said...

This was a great read in so many ways, as it details things I am dealing with in my own life as it relates to writing and blogging.

I'm really enjoying your blog. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to find it.

Audrey at Barking Mad
www.abritandabit.typepad.com

Allison Says said...

Oh I'm so glad you had such a great weekend!

Blogging really is therapeutic. I had no idea that so many mother's blog! That's amazing, and to me it's no surprise. Having a blog has really made me feel more "connected" to my new identity as a mother.

I hope to be able to go next year. Reading all about the fun that everyone had makes me want to join in!

 

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