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That One Time I Got My Butt Kicked at BlogHer ’11

In addition to the things I learned about parenting while at BlogHer ’11, I had a unique butt-kicking experience.

Near the beginning of the How to Pitch a Book session, we were asked by the awesome moderator and panelists how many of us were planning on pitching a book. The room was full of women who boldly raised their hands. I did a half-arm raise. You know the one: elbow at your waist, upper arm kind of flipped up, hand kind of willy-nilly. Very non-committal. Am I raising my hand or am I just posing? It’s anyone’s guess.

Sassymonkey called me on it. Called me right out on my pathetic little hand raise.

I tried to say that it didn’t matter. I was sitting on the side of the room near the wall. The panelists couldn’t see me. No one was even behind me, next to me, in front of me or really near me, except for her, to know that I didn’t raise my hand. I tried to justify the heck out of it. But Sassymonkey knows me a little too well.

She knows that my attending the session was already out of my comfort zone. She knows that when the panelists made a joke about handing out Xanax after the session, I contemplated holding them to their word. She knows that the thought of writing the story that bubbles under the surface of every word I write makes me shut down and put up the protective walls.

Eventually I stopped justifying. And she stopped kicking my butt. And then Elisa made the official announcement about BlogHer Writers ’11 in NYC this October. And I went ahead and bought my ticket. Because it’s the year of possibility, right? So much has already happened this year that has shocked me — in good ways, indifferent ones and a few OMG-NOOOO! ways — that I have to acknowledge that stepping out of my box has been a good learning experience. Not just for me, but for the people that have reached out to me after I’ve taken a chance. Every time I think I’m doing something for others, I get back what I’ve given, ten-fold.

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Will I be seeing you in New York City in October? Let me know.

7 replies on “That One Time I Got My Butt Kicked at BlogHer ’11”

Mmm hmmm. It was a pathetic attempt at raising your hand. I don’t know much about writing or querying a book but I know this — you need to believe in yourself. As much as the rest of us can believe in you and support you we won’t be the ones getting the rejection letters. (And yes, I love you but you will get rejection letters. Everyone does. Even JK Rowling and Stephen King.)

So you need to be your biggest cheerleader. The rest of us will be there but raise your damn hand — high.

I didn’t know about BlogHer Writers. That’s interesting. I didn’t go to BlogHer this year because it was too expensive when I added plane fare to San Diego. Hmmmm. Maybe I should do BlogHer Writers instead . . . .

I think you should as well. 200 tickets means small conference, intimate learning. I’m kind of excited about the small-ness of it, as that’s one reason that I actually love the Type-A conference. Plus, NYC in October is NOTHING BUT LOVE. Yes, that required a caps lock moment.

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