BlogHer ’12: What I Learned (About Myself)


Well hello there. Long time no chat. I’ve been busy having my picture taken with quilted toilet paper backgrounds.

The BlogHer whirlwind ended yesterday. It was two days of waking up earlier than I go to work, listening to sessions all day and then going out for long dinners with friends every night. Worth it, but exhausting.

I went into BlogHer being not completely sure of what to expect, other than massive amounts of swag and lots of people. Not being sure of what to expect–and researching the conference–has worked out just fine for other conferences I’ve gone to, but for BlogHer, you really need some kind of strategy. Ridiculous, I know.

Before BlogHer, I wish I’d realized you need to sign up for parties on EventBrite. I realized this on the “I’m Going to BlogHer” Facebook group a few days ago, but all of the parties were full. Really, this didn’t end up being a make-or-break thing–and I really enjoyed catching up with people I knew instead–but I wish I’d realized that earlier. I also wish I’d known about the Writing Lab beforehand, although I’m grateful to Caitlin for telling me about it.

As a social media professional working at a PR firm with a journalism background, I have a good background in most of the things discussed at blogging conferences, so it’s sometimes difficult for me to find sessions where I can learn something truly new.

I found myself gravitating to the writing-focused sessions: how to turn blog posts into publishable essays; the Writing Lab. I didn’t learn any new tactics or strategies in these sessions, but I learned about myself in these sessions. I reawakened my love for writing. Although my job has me coming up with social media strategy (and content) for brands, I still identify myself as a writer.

A theme in a lot of the panels was “if you don’t take yourself seriously, nobody else will.” Just because my day job isn’t being a journalist doesn’t mean I can’t still call myself a writer. A triple negative in a sentence might mean that, though.

The “this is what I did today, and it was awesome” posts aren’t fulfilling for me to write any more. (Although, were they ever?) I blog a little less these days not just because I’m busier, but because I want to make sure now that when I blog, I have something to say–that I’m not just throwing some more content into the Internet abyss just for the sake of it.


So what does this mean? Maybe not much for this blog, other than trying to take myself a little more seriously as a writer. But as a person? Never.

I want to slow down a bit and carve out some more time for myself for writing. And it’s time to get over the fear of rejection and finish my damn book proposal.

As for BlogHer, is there anything you especially do or don’t want to hear about? This won’t be the last post.

What have you learned about yourself lately? I have also learned that I’m ridiculously clumsy and that I can’t dart across the street as the walking man is turning from blinking to solid red without falling.

10 comments on “BlogHer ’12: What I Learned (About Myself)

  1. Ash Bear

    I also wish that I knew about the parties in advance. While we had a blast some free parties would have been nice too since we paid for the tickets.

  2. Elisa Camahort Page

    Thank you for coming to BlogHer! I’m happy to hear it reinforced your seriousness about your writing 🙂

    I did want to point out that BlogHer’ has official evening parties (3-4 per night) were free and did not require RSVPs. Most of what you’re probably talking about were not actually part of the conference, they just take advantage of the fact we (and the community) are there.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Elisa Camahort Page: Hi Elisa! Thanks so much for all of your work and for caring so much about feedback from the community.

      You’re right–and I did go to one of those parties last night. It seemed, though, that the unofficial parties were what people were talking about when they were talking about BlogHer parties, and I definitely didn’t realize how to navigate that whole scene. But I didn’t come to BlogHer for the parties, so it’s fine 🙂

  3. Joel

    Nice post Theo. I have to agree with you on identity. Or at least picking the one you are most proud of. You love writing, have a blog, so I’d say you are a writer. I have a ghost writer and soon will have a book. I also make a living in real estate. However I am a personal trainer more than an investor, and much more than a writer. keep up the interesting posts 🙂

  4. Jess

    I LOVE that this is what you took away from BlogHer. To re-awaken that inner-writer in you is awesome…and I can’t wait to read more of your posts that feel as ‘you’ as ever, never forced, always with intention. That’s my style of blogging as well, I dig it!

  5. Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real

    Thanks for your honest point of view about your first BlogHer experience. Because BlogHer is so HUGE, I have always been intimidated to attend but I think I am putting it on my MUST ATTEND list for 2013.

    I also started blogging (about 4 years ago) because of my love of writing. Since I do have a full time career (and two young kids), I don’t get to blog as often as I want but I liked your statement… I want to make sure now that when I blog, I have something to say–

    When I first started bloggin, I wrote everyday because I felt like that was what I was supposed to do. Now I realize that my content is better when I put more thought and feeling into my posts. Thanks for reminding me that writing is what it is really about and I am glad that BlogHer brought you back to your love of writing too.


    Commenting on this iPad sucks but I wanted to say this:


    I cant do the whole boring content for the sake of content thing.. It’s not fulfilling at. All.



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