This past weekend I attended the Blog U conference in Baltimore, MD. I overcame fears, met inspiring people, and learned a mind blowing amount of information to help me become a better blogger and overall writer. Listed below are just a few of the things I learned… mostly silly, but seriously epic.
1. I don’t know jack shit about Pinterest
Pinterest is like the female g-spot. We assume it’s straight forward and easy to figure out but then we dive in and realize there’s weird twists and turns. A click here, a double click there… It takes so long to crack the code, the freaking out begins… I NEED TO HAVE RICH PINS, TOO?! I HAVE TO USE KEYWORDS AND PIN TO ALL MY BOARDS EVERY DAY?!!! We give up and our Pinterest boards are left looking unsatisfied and broken. Luckily, I won’t have this problem since I took the Mastering Pinterest class.
3. I brought WAY too many business cards.
Blog U has it’s own online group where members stay in touch and post links to their blogs and social media accounts. Because of this, I really didn’t have much use for my cards other than to force them upon statues. She looks disgusted, and rightfully so.
4. I have no willpower when it comes to dessert.
There was food. SO MUCH FOOD. “What’s that? Dessert after lunch? Don’t mind if I do…” “Oh hey, dinner time! Wouldn’t want to NOT follow five pounds of pasta with a marshmallow brownie and peanut butter cupcake!” And finally…”A BUCKET FULL OF HERSHEY KISSES AT OPEN MIC?! Well smack my cunt and call me Petunia! This chocolate will give me the bravery I need to read my piece!”
5. I shall henceforth be known as ‘burrito girl.’
Speaking of open mic, I spent an entire day deciding what I was going to read. I was SO nervous. Would this group of strangers accept my weird habit of turning everyday things into sexual innuendos? Finally, I decided to go with my gut. I read one of my more popular posts, My Love Affair With Chipotle. Turns out, people loved it. The next two days I was referred to as the ‘burrito’ or ‘sour cream girl.’ I learned that I was stupid to be afraid to let my freak flag fly. This was by far, the highlight of my weekend.
6. Dressing like a middle schooler channels insecurities.
Nickelodeon sponsored an awkward middle school themed dance. When I myself was in middle school I was a nerdy
Spice Girls fan. Seriously, I would have licked the bottoms of their boots. I styled my hair like Baby Spice and wore plastic jewelry. I even donned a Hello Kitty lip gloss ring. Seeing myself in that way again made me reflect on my preteen dances. I’d ask my friend to ask a boy to dance with me (that’s what you did when you were too afraid to approach a boy yourself). My friend would then return and deliver the bad news. Grown up Jamie is SO GLAD middle school Jamie got her happy ending.
7. Sometimes the stars align.
Dressing like a middle-school-spice-girls-fan-girl worked out because Aussa Lorens dressed as Ginger Spice. Although I didn’t lick her boots, I did watch her bust some moves on the crowded dance floor. When the tune If You Wanna Be My Lover came on, the universe exploded.
When I needed to step away from the dance floor due to drowning in a lake of sweat, I’d walk over to the chalkboard and um, decorate. According to this blackboard message, I’m basically Web MD.
9. Always end the night on a high note.
Upon arriving back at the dorms after the dance, I discovered an unusual silence through the hall. I took advantage of the space and had my roommate perform a photo shoot. Life is too short not to have a woman scream out “You’re a tiger!!!” I felt oddly sex-a-licious.
I went to Blog U barely knowing anyone and I was scared. Scared that I’d say something offensive. Scared that I’d be lonely. Scared that I wouldn’t feel worthy of being around such amazing people. But I left empowered. I left inspired. I left knowing I had made one of the best decisions of my life. This weekend was exactly what I needed to move forward with improving as a writer and working towards future goals.
NOTE: Although this post was mostly ridiculous I feel the need to stress all the top-notch sessions offered. I learned SEO, mastering Pinterest to get more traffic to my site, pros and cons of going viral, pitching techniques for websites and magazines, making money as a writer, and how to build a book. I would absolutely recommend Blog U to any blogger whether you’re a novice or seasoned pro.
See you next year at #BlogU16