I am too proud to beg!

The decision to write a personal blog and share details of your personal life is an incredibly vulnerable experience and while it can bring many rewards it can also bring much criticism. In the past year, the criticism that I have heard from readers at times has left me incredibly raw and on the brink of saying the hell with it though I have continued on.

Lately my vulnerability has been on full display as I decided to enlist my readers to help me reach a goal, but tonight I am pulling the plug. Not so much because of the criticism but because frankly I am no one’s beggar and asking for assistance online frankly feels like panhandling.

In the 15 plus years that I have been in the non-profit sector, I have worked my way up from a grunt position that barely paid more than minimum wage to being an Executive Director and consultant. I did it by working hard, being true to myself and never wavering in my integrity. I never begged anyone to get where I am professionally and as much as I want to make some changes in my life, if it involves me begging, it’s not going to happen.

It’s become clear in the past couple of days especially as my son who when he is not being a college student or moonlighting as an up and coming artist, got a call about going on tour with one of his musical idols, that trying to go to BlogHer ’12 was probably going to be more trouble than it’s worth. Since my kiddo is pulling double duty working for me this summer and he needs some time off at the same time I would be in NYC. It wouldn’t be impossible but with me gone, it would stretch my already small crew.

As much as I want to go to this conference, what I want more is to grow as a writer and I suspect I don’t need this conference to make that happen. More like a cabin in the woods and time.

So to those who have supported me, I say thank you, to date approximately $160 total has been raised to send me to BlogHer’12. If anyone who donated wants a refund, please let me know otherwise I will use all funds to cover the costs of hosting this site and for upkeep and even a cup of coffee. I have put the tip jar back up, as always if you enjoy what you read here, feel free to tip your writer. I accept very little in the way of paid advertising, so tips keep me going since I put in a fair amount of hours into this blog on a weekly basis. I do it as a labor of love, but hey, I ain’t rich so cash is always good.

So sit back and continue to enjoy the musings of a Black Girl in Maine!



Dreaming of retreats and conferences

Nothing makes a blog reader feel less comfortable than when a blogger starts talking money, it’s a sure way to lose readers. It’s only taken me a few years to figure this out. So I figured I would talk money on the weekends when most readers are off busy with families, friends and fun.

Don’t worry, it’s nothing big but I am sure you have noticed the gradual changes around here, there is some advertising but it’s pretty limited. I do have the occasional sponsored post and thanks to making the Babble list of mom bloggers, my in-box has seen a dramatic increase in folks offering items, so I am toying with the idea of doing the occasional giveaway. By and large though this blog remains a labor of love, something I simply enjoy doing.

That said I have been toying with the idea of trying to attend a few conferences this year, rather one conference and one retreat. In the social media landscape there are so many conferences (how does anyone afford them all) that after much thought, it seems if I am only going to shoot for one, it may as well be the big one, Blog Her 12. For starters, it’s being held in New York City this year which is pretty accessible even from Maine. I can take a couple of cheap buses and in less than 7 hours be there.

The retreat, I am looking at is Squam, which I have heard nothing but good things about and since it’s being held in neighboring New Hampshire, it too is accessible.

Now many bloggers look at sponsors to cover their conference costs, but I just don’t see myself as being terribly attractive to such folks and after watching this movie, I fear I would be stuck at a conference in a suit laden with patches from my corporate pimp. Not a look I really dig on.

So dear reader, while I have kept the paypal link on the site, rather than using it as a general tip jar, it is now the conference fund. If you like what you read, and have a few spare coins, it would be much appreciated if you can make a donation to the conference fund. Blog Her is $598 for registration and $229 a night for the hotel, making the total cost close to $1300. Squam is $1200. While I am finally almost back on solid financial footing, I admit it would be hard for me to absorb the cost of both of these conferences, so that’s where your assistance would be greatly appreciated.


As always, there is never any pressure since I know all too well how tight dollars are in these tough times.