Sorry, But I’m Falling Victim to the Requisite “Surviving the BlogHer Panic” Post.

Picture by Mandy

I think it was around this time last year that I was sitting in my therapists’ office coming up with all the reasons that I should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES follow through with my plans to go to the BlogHer Conference, as a veritable blogging newbie…and all the way in New York, with Dee in tow to boot.  Yes, I spent actual money to discuss the decision with a professional, that’s how freaked out I was.

I didn’t think I was strong enough to put my best foot forward.  I didn’t think that I would come off well…that I wasn’t this person you see on this blog in real life (Sara assures me that’s not true – that’s I really am this frenetic and scattered and wacked out in person, lucky me) and that also WHAT THE HELL BUSINESS DID I HAVE GOING TO A BLOGGING CONFERENCE… AND WHILE WE’RE YELLING, I MEAN, WHAT AM I, A TREKKIE?

It’s because of the wall of doubt I faced, even as the event invitations started to arrive and the “OMG I CAN’T WAIT TO SQUEEEZE YOU!!!” tweets started to show up in my mentions column, that I am writing this post.

This is going to sound dorky, but going to BlogHer last year literally changed my life, in at least three ways I can count, and so I am going to encourage all you Nervous Nellies and Curious Carrie’s out there to take the plunge and make your plans to be in San Diego on August 4th…and it’s not just because I’m speaking this year.   Which I am.   Have I mentioned that?

Anyway, here’s my best BlogHer survival tips:

1.  Have biz cards.  Don’t go crazy – you can get them free or cheap online, but everyone will be handing you theirs, and you are going to want to have something to hand back.

2.  Say hello to people who’s blog/twitter handle you recognize.   They probably know you too, and you’ll have an instant friend.

3.  Everyone is freaked out.  We’re all antisocial and popping Xanax.   It’s not just you.   There…doesn’t that take a load off?

4.  If it can be avoided leave your kiddos at home.  I brought Dee last year, and it was FINE, but it definitely made life (and partying) more complicated.

5.  Get room mates, but don’t panic if you can’t find someone you know.  I haven’t had roomies either year (last year, or this year, because Sir Scotticus will be joining me, along with my fabulous sister-in-law Maegan, and her hubby Peppers – family trip!) and I did feel like a bit of a lone wolf at times.  I think staying in the same hotel will eliminate that feeling for me this year, even though I’m not shacking up with other bloggers.

I mean, Last year I didn’t even stay in the same burrough as the conference.  That was a mistake (except I had a kick ass time with Lindsey in between conferencing that made it totally worth it)  I’d say stay as close to Conference Center as you can, because you will be blue if you have to board the last train to Brooklyn (or whatever) while everyone else is still munching CheeseburgHers.

6.  DO NOT STRESS ABOUT YOUR WARDROBE.  I changed after the daytime festivities on Day One only to find that I was uncomfortable and would have been fine in what I was wearing.   Some ladies will have fabulous shoes and cocktail dresses.   Some ladies will wear cargoh pants and flip flops.    Wear what makes you feel the most like you so you’re not simultaneously self-conscious about the cellulite on the back of your thighs AND your blog-writing.    DO NOT under any circumstances pull-a-Morgan and wear horizontal stripes at not-your-thinnest to a tragically-not-air conditioned Martha Stewart party in the middle of a hormonal sweat attack.

7.  Do not get swag fever.  If you do, you’ll come home a little embarrassed and toting truckloads of mostly branded swag you don’t need.  So yeah.   A word to the wise. ;)

8.  You’ll find your friends, and everything will be fine.   Relax.  It’s supposed to be fun.

Me and my blog-love-of-my-lifes on BH10, night 1.  Yes, we’re all in the ladies room.
And I stole this photo from one of them, but I can’t remember for the life of me who.

But the point is this.   Last year I went as a newbie.   This year I’ll be there as a BlogHer Editor and Pathfinder Speaker.  Quite a difference a year makes, and I owe all of those changes to coming out of my shell at BlogHer ’10.

Last year, as BlogHer approached I was depressed – like mega depressed – and I couldn’t fathom going to a place where I had to be “on.”   But those three days of being ON-ish?  Combined with THIS INCREDIBLE MOMENT {which possibly did more for ME than anyone watching at home} and some really smart advice from this girl, snapped me back to reality in a way that nothing else had been able to force me to do yet.   Grandiose, I know, but it’s true.   BlogHer ’10 kinda changed my life.   If you’re on the fence about BlogHer ’11, c’mon and give it a chance to change yours.   If nothing else, I’ll be nice to you, and squeeze your hand if you need me to.

I dunno – what am I forgetting?   It’s not High School.   You won’t get left out.  I have no idea what parties are happening yet either, so there you go, you’re not the only one who is behind on this stuff.   And if you have questions, I’m pretty friendly on twittter.

What’d I miss?  Anything you want to know but have been afraid to ask?   C’mon – you know I’ll be honest.

Feed Me Seymour

45 Responses to Sorry, But I’m Falling Victim to the Requisite “Surviving the BlogHer Panic” Post.

  1. Can cool hip guys like me goto blogher? I can get down, I’m not super nerdy… am I?

  2. Amanda says:

    Awesome post! I am not sure if you remember me, but I was on the HAB forum with you a couple years back. We didn’t really chat much, but honestly it was your blog that got me thinking about taking the plunge and getting more serious about blogging.

    I hope at some point I can run into you and say hey!

  3. Love this post! I’m really hoping I run into at BlogHer. I’ll be at overly excited newbie with the silly dazed mega-grin. :)

  4. ChiMomWriter says:

    Thank you for the “I have no idea what parties are happening yet either, so there you go, you’re not the only one who is behind on this stuff.”

    Because I’ve got zilch idea, but if I see the word “waitlist” one more time, I may gouge my eyes out.

  5. Linz says:

    Ladyface, you left “meeting my daughter’s new auntie lindsay and my personal dress donor (slash marriage-saver” to your list ;)

    And I’m sad I wasn’t in this bathroom picture. We need a new one from this year!

    Oh, and great post. As ALWAYS.

  6. Cheryl D. says:

    I”m a BlogHer conference newbie. I can’t wait! It’s going to be so cool meeting everyone and having fun.

    I met my roomie today, and she’s great!

    Did I mention that I can’t wait for BlogHer 11?

  7. The grumbles says:

    So let’s talk eveningwear, seriously. I have great outfits I’m excited about planned for daytime but not much for evening. Could I really get away with daywear at partyville? It’s tempting, it would be nice to be confident and comfy.

    Also, the hugging. Great ready.

    • Morgan says:

      TOTALLY. I will be bringing amendments to my daytime outfits. I may change for Friday night, but don’t expect to see me in heels.

  8. kirida says:

    Yes, can we talk about clothing and what kind of bag, specifically size, to bring to the parties?

    • Morgan says:

      Big Bag during the day, something not-annoying to carry at night. I’ll probably just bring my little cell phone clutch guy to the evening festivities – you can always store biz cards in your nametag. Clothing everyone makes a big deal about, but honestly there is such a range of “dressiness” that I don’t think you can go wrong no matter what you do.

    • Beth Anne says:

      DEFINITELY some kind of tote bag for the day. I will probably have my Gussy tote + my camera bag on me.

      A little clutch for the evening to hold your phone & a few business cards will do the trick for the evenings!

  9. kungfupussy says:

    Ahhh I so needed this post. I’m excited to be going to my first BlogHer but nervous. Now, not so nervous as yeah, everyone is probably just like me.

  10. Katie says:

    You KNOW I am a newb and possibly panicky. But I am getting a bit more relaxed and hopeful and dare I say…excited? as I read these posts.

  11. Ashley says:

    I’m not going to lie. I’m terrified. In a good way but omg, I’m so nervous!!! :-) This makes me feel better to hear that everyone else is too. Look for me, I’ll be the one acting uncool in front of all my favorite ladies… :-)

  12. Beth Anne says:

    I just cannot wait to see you again.

    You know the funny thing? I FELT THE SAME WAY LAST YEAR. This year? Totally smooth sailing for now. Last year I wore work & cocktail dresses & cute heels & this year? I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing flannel shirts & jeans throughout the day. Thank God Mandy & Mae will probably make me curl my hair & put on eye concealer.

  13. geekbabe says:

    What a totally inspirational and welcoming post for blogging newcomers!
    IMHO the spirit of Blogher is that there are no strangers there,just friends we haven’t connected with in real life yet!

    Thanks for this lovely post,looking forward too hearing you speak at blogher11

  14. Mrs. Wonder says:

    I’m afraid I’ll be a lone wolf this year, since I’m just crashing with my bro who lives in Hillcrest. frankly, that’s how I’m affording BlogHer! I’ll totally be living out of the same bag day and night (unless I find someone willing to let me stash stuff in their room) so thanks for the heads up on day-to-night wear.

    • Morgan says:

      You’ll be fine – I think it was the added stress of having Dee transfer back and forth on the trains with us – Lindsey would pick her up from me in the city, or I’d rush her back to Brooklyn before party time, it was my own special mess.

  15. ugh, yes, good tips …but I’m still nervous …even though I work for BlogHer, lol

  16. Elizabeth says:

    This is my 1st BlogHer and I’m a nervous wreck. Wasn’t until I started reading all the other panicked people’s tweets though. LOL! I am looking forward to the event but won’t be doing too much partying. Since I start work at 4am I’m pretty much turned into a pumpkin by 9pm, even on weekends. I’m going to try my darndest though!

  17. Is it open to the public to attend? I’m a blogger novice, and not a ‘real’ writer, but I’m very much interested in hearing you speak and participating in some of the cool workshops. Also, since the Convention Center is just a few minutes away from my house, I can’t resist joining! :)

  18. I signed up for BlogHer than cancelled.

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  22. FireMom says:

    Good advice. Really. I’m kicking it low key this year. I’m just going to enjoy an extended vacation with my husband, some time with friends, hugs with my fav people (LIKE YOU) and San Diego in general.

  23. Alexandra says:

    You know what?

    I thank life for sending me to this post.

    I came to read about Carmaggedon, and saw this on the sidebar and clicked over.

    I have so much doubt about going to BlogHer.

    This is my first conference.

    I know no bloggers in real life.

    I think people won’t like me.

    I am bad one on one.

    People will be disappointed.

    maybe I should stay home.

    But, the ticket is bought.

    AND:now this post.

    Blogging saved my life 16 months ago, and I believe you: I think attending BlogHer will save my mental life again.

    I can’t avoid things b/c of fear.

    I will read this post over and over, when the self doubt creeps back again of “I’m really boring in real life.”

    Thank you for being so honest.

    I am so happy to have read this.

    xo

  24. molly says:

    Hi there, Morgan. I follow you on twitter but for some reason have never started following your blog! Don’t worry, I just remedied that.

    Thank you for this advice. I have been having a hard time lately with a recurring depressive episode. A couple weeks ago I almost decided not to go. The thought was too overwhelming. I thought it might make me feel inferior and I just didn’t think I could handle that right now.

    But then . . . I was honored as a Voice of the Year. Now I kinda HAVE to go, right? Anyway – it makes me feel like no matter how small my little blog is that I should hold my head up high and know that someone heard me and thought my writing was good!

    So I’ll hopefully see ya there, okay? Thanks for calming my fears even more :)

    • Morgan says:

      Molly, you are describing my thought processes to a T last year. Let’s meet up there once you’ve realize how empowered you’re about to feel. ;) xo

    • MamaRobinJ says:

      Molly, if you’re nervous and the depressive stuff is making it hard, come find me. We can chill for a bit, because I understand.

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  26. MamaRobinJ says:

    Okay, so I’m going to drop a massive truthbomb right here. Where you are now versus last year? That’s where I want to be. That’s my goal. I don’t want to make a million dollars off blogging and I don’t want someone to offer me an amazing job (though I’d take either). But I want to be a bigger part of the blog community. And I want to be asked to speak at a blog conference. So if I corner you at BlogHer and ask how you did it, that’s why.

    Also, I’m actually not nervous, even though I’m a total newbie and this is my first blog conference. But this post is awesome, and the fact that you cleared up my one fear about evening wear has totally made my day.

  27. I am SO FREAKING GLAD you went to BlogHer last year and I got to meet you. And yes, what a difference a year makes. So happy to see all the great things you are doing!!!! ;-)

    • Morgan says:

      Don’t even get me started on you. And we get a whole extra day for this year’s mutual adoration festival!

  28. Chelsey says:

    Lovely post! I’m so excited to go for my first time this year. :)

  29. FireFromTheIce says:

    I’m a newbie too. I love the event or idea of the event. I have read all three millions bits and bites of blogs that have been going out since April and I STILL have no idea what’s going on. Since I’m looking at a gorgeous view of the San Diego Bay and saw a BLOGHER directional sign near an escalator, at least I’m in the right hotel in the right city. Here’s to a great three days…whatever happens!!!!

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