PNW Blogger party 2013.

1:49 PM

   Over the weekend, I got to attend my first ever blogger-party up in Portland with my friend Melissa.  (You can find her blog over here.)

   I was a sweaty mess, my curls all fell flat, and I took one wrong exit on the way there, but it was a genuinely delightful time.  I don't know if I would ever get tired of the feeling of being in a room packed full of bloggers.  Just the concept that everyone in here shares a similar interest and passion is enough to intoxicate you.  I am an extrovert by definition, but those settings can be a little bit intimidating for anyone.  Nevertheless, I was able to meet many lovely, charming bloggers, and can't wait to "get to know them" more online.

   On the drive home I called another blogger friend and we chatted about our dreams/fears/hopes/goals in blogging.   At one point in the conversation, we were sharing our goals and I realized that some of the scariest questions a blogger can face are....

 "Do I have what it takes?"
 "Will my voice be heard?"
 "Does any of this matter?" 
 "Does anybody care?"
 "Will my blog ever be more than just a place for pictures of my kids and detailed descriptions about what I had for breakfast that day??!"

   I think the reason those questions are so scary is because we are already doing what we love.  We are not setting out to discover a hobby we might like to do.  To find one that we would possibly be interested in and passionate about....we've already found it.  We're doing it.  And so in a sense, if our blog is not accepted and loved, we feel as if WE are not accepted and loved.  If our blog is an extension of our passion, dreams, and interests, then if that same blog doesn't "make it big", it feels like our passions are not legitimate....valid.  They don't really matter. 

   And that is a tough pill to swallow for anyone working/dreaming/playing in the creative field.  Because artists don't work from the surface.  If we do, we aren't true artists.  We work from a place deep down within....a bubbling cauldron filled to the brim with all of our emotions, opinions, views, thoughts and ideas.  That is what we draw from when we create.  And so it should be obvious that if/when our creation is rejected, the results are excruciatingly painful.

   But I'm so pleased to realize, that those questions are not scaring me as much these days.  I think it's because I am reaching a point in which it truly, honestly, fundamentally, DOES NOT MATTER. Fly or fail, it will be alright.

   I reached a readership level about a year ago that took a major hit when I chose to take a month's break.  I took that break because I was wounded.  I was reeling from a confrontation that all stemmed from a complete misunderstanding and I felt so....well, misunderstood.  My creative process felt rejected.  My work felt flawed.  And I just did not know how exactly to go on.  My readership fell so low during that break that it has still not recovered to what it once was, even though I feel as if I am blogging more than ever before. 

   It all served as a little reminder that no matter how hard we work, no matter how honest and transparent and vulnerable we are, and how much blood, sweat, and tears we pour into this thing....there are no guarantees.  There are "formulas" to follow.  What works for some, won't work for everyone. 

   And the fact is, when it is all said and done, and blogs have gone the way of Myspace and Xanga, what will have mattered?  That we "made it big"?  Or that we have a scrapbook of the past years of our lives.  All of those memories....captured in photos and words and frozen on the page for us to look back on and remember....that is why I blog.  Because time moves fast enough as it is.  It all starts to blur together after a while.  And when I blog, I am able to magically slow things down for just a moment.  I capture these feelings, thoughts and experiences that I am having now and preserve them for the future, before they disappear forever.

   So if my blog never "matters", "makes it big", or becomes any or all of my hopes and's o.k.  It truly is.  Because I'm still doing what I love.  I still enjoy it.  I still do it so that my friends and family from far away don't have to miss out on all of our moments.  I still love to write.  I still love to sneak pictures of every, silly little thing.  I'll still get the biggest high from reading a comment and realizing that I actually genuinely, encouraged or inspired someone.  And I would still do it for just those reasons alone.  

   So the good news is...the pressure's off!  If I reach my biggest, wildest, bloggiest dreams.......awesome sauce.  If I don''s alright.  It really is.  Because I would do it anyway.  I would do it for nothing.  After all, I have been doing just that for about 10 years now. 

  I was not able to meet everyone (boo) but the ones I was able to gave me their darling little business cards so I'm going to link all of their blogs so that you can find them too!

Lindsay over at Hey Normal Day.
Renee over at What's for dinner, mama?
Carina over at Crow and Canary.
Spencer over at 12 oz beehouse.
Capree over at Capree.
Kathy over at a Life Condensed.
Lia over at Handcraft your life.
Cora and Cristin over at Camp Wolf
Aleisha over at Britches and Boots.
Kayla over at Moments Don't collect Dust.
Sara over at Sara Loves Portland.

   I hope I didn't miss anyone! Thanks so much to The Paper Mama and all the many, many sponsors for all of their hard work. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed every moment.

Well, except for the sweatiness.

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  1. I thought "I didn't know you took a picture of Christian!" and then realized David must have taken it. So nice of him to do that for you. Sweet post, good time, and Daphne stole my chalkboard craft and is decorating her room with it. :(

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  2. first of all you picked the perfect outfit for the event. It's so fashionable and just all around cute! just like you! and second I love this whole post so much! I am excited for you to follow your dreams! xoxo.

  3. Love this post-- it was so nice to meet you Shelley! Thanks for the shout out :) I can't wait to get my pictures all sorted and post about the party as well. So fun!

  4. looks so fun....and intimidating too:-)

  5. Meeting fellow bloggers "for real" is so much fun.
    Looks like you had a blast. are so pretty!

  6. It was so fun to meet you in person! And I love what you said about blogging. Also, you did a great job capturing photos. I only took one photo with my phone, ha!

  7. It was such a pleasure to meet you Shelley! Great event recap!

  8. I think you've found they key there. Blog what you want. If people like it and love it, awesome. If they don't at least you were still true to YOU.

  9. What a fun conference! However, I am by nature an introvert and I would of probably been twice as sweaty. LOL.

    Anyhoo, first things first. You said awesome sauce. Just so you know we are officially friends. :-)

    I loved this and why you blog. It is so great. I actually made my personal blog private because I was teetering back and forth on the reasons I blog and so for me I needed boundaries. This is for me and a handful of people who will care enough to accept an invitation into my life. My adoption blog is public and I can so relate to feeling your passion stifled. I push the mold and have received hateful comments and been harassed by a reporter. It was hard to keep writing after that. Maybe having critics is our acclaim?! Ha!

  10. Oooh, meeting bloggers in real life!!!! how fun. I love the friendships that are built thro blogging.
    btw, your blog is inspiring and 'real'...I love it.

  11. Oh you both are too cute! I totally saw you and man oh man, should've said hi! There were so many people bouncing around. And, I've gotta admit, this whole blog thing is a love-hate relationship for me. When I'm writing about what matters to me, that's when I truly love it!:-)

  12. What a fabulous event!! It is SO exciting (and absolutely terrifying!!) to meet bloggers in real life! But the few times I have, it's such a neat feeling of "She GETS me!!" I don't know a lot of real-life friends who blog, and sometimes I can feel so odd about it all. But interacting with other women who blog because they simply LOVE to write and love the interaction with other women and want to glorify Jesus in it all - THAT is so awesome!! I'd love to sit and talk with YOU one day! :)


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