I didn't take any classes nor attend any private parties geared toward making money from this space because that was never my intent in attending BlogHer. What I wanted from the beginning, what I wanted when I pored through the offerings to choose which ones to attend, and what fired my imagination throughout the three-day experience, was to expand my writing capabilities, to bring more of myself - particularly my creative self - to the pages here, and to create content that I can look to with pride knowing that others will take time out of their day to read what I've put out here. Not because I want to make money from what I do here - I don't - but because this is my only outlet that allows me to be truly me.
Many of you have jobs that utilize your creativity in some way; I do not. While I appreciate the job that pays my bills, it is completely logical and methodical with no room for creative expression. I am "good at it" but it's not what I love.
I grew up an only child and I created my own entertainment. I told myself stories in my head about princesses and airplane pilots and sports writers, and I loved to snap photos with my dad's camera, particularly when we were on vacation. (And this was back before you could just click a button to get rid of the pictures that didn't work out.) I kept books with stories and photos or souvenirs pasted in them. No one ever read them except my grandma and my parents but I still loved when they looked at them and remarked on my creativity. I miss that feeling and, some days, when I've had a particularly draining day at work, I wonder if I'll ever feel like an artist (not the right word but I just can't think of another one at the moment) again.
Then I remember what it was like a few years ago when I'd been writing here just a short time. I wrote at least once a day and always seemed to have plenty of material from which to create interesting posts. Yes, they were all about my life but there's writing about what happened to you on a given day and then there's writing about it in a way that's organized and interesting and makes people want to come back to read more. I had hundreds of people reading what I wrote and engaging with me, and each other, to comment and discuss. No one paid me a penny but that experience was worth more than any amount of money because of how it made me feel: I created that thing there, that thing that makes other people that I've never met happy. And I loved it.
So if attending conferences to learn how to craft more interesting posts, including creative ways to write, how to take and choose photos for my blog, and how to film video blog segments that don't look like ransom demands will help me get closer to where I started with this blog, then I'll continue seeking out and attending blog conferences.
Being more engaged with this blog again won't change who I am except to make me a little happier, and you'll never see advertising space on the sidebars of this blog, I promise. If anything, you might see a bit more of me here as I explore what I can do with my brain and with this space.