I’m freshly back from BlogHer ’13 this morning and while exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover what I’m feeling this morning, neither does elated. Because, you see, as bloggers our work is a little different than most. Many of us are home with kids and balancing what has become a career with the routine of being stay-at home parents. And every once in a while, we have the chance to attend a conference. Now, if you’re like me, you may argue internally about going. What if the kids miss you too much? What if you get behind? What if the house doesn’t get cleaned while you are gone? You may even debate whether or not the time and expense spent will be worth it in the end. Trust me, I’ve gone through every one of these excuses in my mind and more. But as I walked back in the door of my home last night, something resonated with me that I wanted to share with each of you.
Moms need time away too. Motherhood. Blogging. They are both jobs and sometimes you need nothing more than to step back, take a break and connect with other moms like you. You need to be able to hear over dinner that you’re not alone in your frustrations. You need to connect with other individuals who understand the frustrations and rewards of your line of work. You need to share your experiences in order to learn and grow from them. And you need to hear different perspectives in order to be able to continue to grown and change in your own thinking.
Any other line of work has training sessions, mandatory continuing education and more. And while these things are designed to help your career progress, they are also designed to allow you to connect with like minded individuals who understand the daily trials your career brings.
Yes, blogging is different that most jobs. Yes, I feel deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to join the ranks of a fabulous group of people who are using their unique voices as a way to facilitate their dreams. And yes, I learned this past week that conferences are a necessary investment not only to our blogging growth but also to our sanity.
Because blogging conferences are about so much more that just bringing a group of people who have similar goals together. They are about forming relationships, both with brands and fellow bloggers. They are about sitting down with brands and connecting in ways that no amount of emails can do. They are about brainstorming on how brands and bloggers can really join hands and work together to grow jointly while helping each other. They are about the networking that goes on in any line of work and they are also about the connections that are formed on business trips every day with people who not only understand your daily struggles but are able to truly celebrate with the hard won successes that come with our line of work.
Yes, BlogHer ’13 was a ton of fun. Yes, there were some silly moments. And yes, some of them were situations I would not have been in if I worked what most people consider a typical job.
But there was also connections. There were friendships formed. There were relationships with brands and fellow bloggers that would be not only encouraged but also required in any other line of work I could choose to be in. No, they weren’t formed over a board room table. But they were formed just the same.
So, I say this. To my amazing blogger friends – Meagan, Dusty, Jen, Melissa, Kristin, Jodi, Ashley and so many more – thank you for making the investments in yourself and your career so that we could join together for these days. To the brands – Hasbro, Sprint, Whirpool, Disney and so many more – thank you for seeing the value in the work that bloggers do and taking the time to talk with us, connect with us and listen to us.
And to those of you who haven’t attended a blogging conference, whatever your reasons are, I say this. Value yourself. Value your work. And I hope you will take the time to experience the growth, connections, relationships and, yes, fun that comes from attending a blogging conference.