It’s the first of June and in the blogosphere that means many are starting to get excited about the annual BlogHer conference that will be going down this August. For bloggers of a certain ilk, attending the annual BlogHer conference is a must or so I am told. Since I started blogging back in 2008, I have heard fellow bloggers rave about this conference and insist that if possible one should attend. For many years the idea of attending this conference wasn’t even a possibility for me since trying to keep my head above water financially was the priority…after all you can’t tell the light company “Yo, I spent your money on BlogHer, but keep my lights on!”
Ever since I heard last year that the 2012 conference was being held in New York City, I tentatively started making plans to attend, since New York isn’t that far from me. I took the advice of a few fellow bloggers and even put out the word that I was seeking a pimp, oops I meant a sponsor but clearly with my lackluster attitude towards such unions, brands aren’t exactly beating down the door. Hell, I don’t blame em! I even decided to put up a tip jar and while I am thankful for those who have chipped in, clearly the tips (little over $100 to date) aren’t going to get me to Blogher. So I went the old fashioned way and have been saving my shekels and I am getting there, I can definitely attend for one night…not bad? Or is it?
It dawned on me this afternoon, why do I want to attend this conference? Yeah, I have heard good things, how it’s a fabulous networking opportunity and I admit there are a couple of women I am dying to meet. But now that it’s time to part with the cash, I am asking myself what are my goals?
I am a writer who wants to write. I started writing professionally in 2003, or let me rephrase that, I have been writing for as long as I can remember, just that in 2003, people started paying me for it. My first piece for a local paper earned me $25 and despite being a rather paltry sum, I still remember how good it felt to earn real money for my words. I have been writing for local publications since and I love it! I have even started working on full length manuscript, not sure if it will ever leave my computer but it’s my passion.
So that brings me back to the question, why do I want to go to this conference? Networking is great but for all I have read and heard and if anyone knows anything please let me know, but for a writer dreaming of a book deal, is BlogHer the place to go? Sitting back looking at where I am professionally, while the idea of working with brands sounds good the truth is I have very little time to give. Hell, just updating this blog into something a little jazzier is taking more time than I planned and I am about ready to throw up my hands and say screw it, let’s stick with this premade ho-hum template.
Professionally as in my day gig, mid-summer is my busiest time, my center runs a free 8 week program for low income kids that includes lunch and trust me, it’s a hectic time. Throw in the fact that the person who is my back up in the event I am ran over by a Mack truck will be off on her honeymoon the week of the Blogher conference. Sure, I can leave town but let’s just say if anything goes wrong while I am gone, that’s my ass.
I think sometimes it’s easy to want something because it sounds good but lately I find in all areas of my life I need to dig deeper and really examine do I want this, do I need this or am I just momentarily caught up. I am a writer regardless of if I don’t ever attend a conference and while BlogHer most certainly sounds far more fun than any of the many social service related conferences I have attended over the years, is it really a need or a want? (besides social worker types don’t get cool swag!)
So the question I must ask myself is do I Blogher12 or Homeher12? Feel free to share any thoughts especially if you have attended the Blogher conferences in the past or any blogging related conference. Do they live up to the hype and frankly are they worth the price?