I absolutely LOVED meeting people I know through their blogs and twitter. I made something of an ass out of myself, sure — but really, would I BE “Bejewell” without a few social retard moments and ill-timed, awkward hugs? (Sorry again about that, Anissa.) I think not. It’s part of my charm. Right?
Of course I walked in knowing NO ONE and, having no clue what the fuck to do I just plopped my ass down at a table in the cafe, alone, surrounded by tables filled with people who were already best buddies for life and chatting away, with me playing the part of the Lonesome Loser in the room. So I fiddled around with my swag bag, looked the schedule over, and over, and OVER, AND OVER, glancing around the room pathetically every minute or so to see if I was still the sore thumb.
Eventually a table of three took pity on my poor soul and invited me to drag my chair over, which I did, and it was incredibly kind of them to ask me… but about thirty seconds into the conversation I realized that this was a group of uber-conservative, Christian, home-schooling soccer moms, and I spent the rest of my time there (which suddenly seemed to stretch out MUCH LONGER than I’d anticipated) repeating in my head “please-don’t-read-my-blog-please-don’t-read-my-blog-please-don’t-read-my-blog.“
Luckily, after the verbal assault I unleashed on them, with the rambling and pointless questions and ridiculously lame jokes, I’m pretty sure they had no intention of ever reading my blog. In fact, when they finally (mercifully) excused themselves and said their hasty goodbyes, each one of them had the kind of look on her face you get when you think somebody just farted but you’re not entirely sure who dealt it. (I didn’t. I SWEAR.)
And then I went home to lick my wounds and regroup.
The second day was better, although I missed the “special screening” which was apparently some Disney movie with Yanni making a special guest appearance along with a couple of supah-sexaaaaay singer guys who were Italian or Portugese or something and drove the crowd of (apparently sex-starved, horny) women WILD. I missed the show but after all the Twitter messages I saw on my way in, I was totally expecting to find these guys oiled down and in g-strings. They weren’t. In fact, they just looked like a couple of Hollywood douche bags to me. Maybe you had to be there for the screening to really “get it.”
Can I also say this – I have never seen so many Little Debbie snacks In. My. Life. I must have eaten about 1200 calories of 100-calorie packs, and I’ve still got a box of “yellow cakes” in my suitcase. (Side note: Am I the only one who thinks of Nigerian uranium when I hear the term “yellow cake”? Won’t stop me from eating it, though.)
And yet, even with the infiltration of the Little Debbie Army upon us, the chocolate cake served with lunch was devoured in SECONDS FLAT.
But I digress.
Anyway, some of the sessions were fascinating. The book-to-blog and PR/Ads sessions were especially helpful – with “helpful” in this case translating to “Holy shit I have NO FUCKING IDEA what I’m doing and I am destined to be a blog failure forever and I will never be able to get an agent’s attention or make any money off my blog EVER and I’m not even sure how much I care about either of those things at this point, and really, WHO ATE ALL THE FUCKING CHOCOLATE CAKE?”
Seriously, people. Who ATE all that cake? It was gone in like, five seconds.
Just digressed again, didn’t I?
I did find that a lot of the session stuff either (a) didn’t really apply to an off-color humor/drama/brain fart/”I-have-a-vagina-and-once-squeezed-a-child-through-it” blog like mine or (2) Did apply but wasn’t anything I didn’t already know or couldn’t figure out myself or (iii) Applied and was new information but seemed a little condescending in its delivery, leaving me feeling like “well fuck you too, you’re not so much better than me.”
And as bad as that sounds, I really don’t mean it as a diss to any of the people running the show or on the panels, they were all great and have every reason to be proud of themselves for their success, which was, after all, why they were asked to speak in the first place. I just mean it like, okay, you’re a great writer and you’ve had a lot of success but I’m pretty sure you’re not doing anything I couldn’t do myself if I had the timing right AND a schedule that allowed AND the inclination. I’m not dismissing the great content they put out, but apparently success is not JUST about great content. It’s also about luck and networking and all kinds of other shit that I either don’t have or hate to do. (And if you asked any of the panelists, I’m pretty sure they’d agree.)
In fact, of all the blogs I’ve read, there are really only a handful that regularly give me the shakes because I know I will never be half the writer they are.
(And that last sentence was so fucked up, tense and pronoun-wise, it actually caused my editor eyes to squint in pain, but I’m on a roll here people and I can’t make everything perfect for you. Lower your goddamned expectations.)
Speaking of expectations, I met more than one person who knew who I was and was excited to meet me and that was both awesome and terrifying at the same time. I was really surprised at the number of people who were familiar with The Bean and who seemed to genuinely enjoy what I do here.
That part was SO FUCKING COOL. I really love you guys.
But I digress. Again.
My point is, I went to this thing hoping I’d get some answers and maybe a little guidance or inspiration or at least enough information to help me figure out what my goal is with this crazy blog — but I’m even more screwed up than I was at the start.
Is my goal to earn money? Because I’m sure as hell not doing that now. If I want to earn money I’ve apparently got to come up with a media kit (which ohmygod the WORK involved in that, somebody shoot me) and sell myself and shit, which is just so NOT me I can’t even tell you.
Apparently a lot of people make money by pimping products on their blogs but that part is a definite No Thank You for me. I don’t like “products” as a general rule. And also, remember that part up there where I said I was physically incapable of writing “air kiss” posts? That applies here, too.
Or is my goal to write a book? If so, that means I have to somehow find an agent who can overlook my sad, demented stats and write a book proposal (which ohmygod the WORK involved in that, somebody shoot me) and honestly, I don’t know how I could cobble together a book out of this schizophrenic mess I call a blog.