11 reasons I’m glad I went to Blissdom

L-R: Me; Anne from NotASuperMom.com; Jasmine from TheBrokins.com; Suzanne from KinseysTexasTales.com; and Amiyrah from 4HatsAndFrugal.com.

And this is the reason I will continue going to social media conferences whenever possible. Let me tell you about some of the people I got to hang out with at Blissdom.

Anne of NotASuperMom.com is more super than she lets on. She’s super-supportive, super-funny and super-wonderful.

Jasmine from TheBrokins.com is 100 percent authentic, all the time. And she does roller derby, which is pretty much the coolest, most ferocious thing a lady can do, in my opinion.

Suzanne from KinseysTexasTales.com is all heart. She’s seriously one of the kindest, most sincere people I’ve ever met.

Amiyrah from 4HatsAndFrugal.com is going places, mark my words. She’s so smart & savvy & lovely.

Heather of Home-Ec 101 is the only person I know who can successfully wear a sailboat-print dress. I didn’t get to spend all that much time with her, because she is very rarely not doing 16 different jobs at one time.

Stephanie at Talking is My Primary Function is far too much fun. It’s good that she lives so far away from me, really. One can’t toss fake pizzas into the clouds and dance until one has to remove one’s heels every weekend.

Bridget of The Ivey League and I hit it off from the moment we met. It was fast friends at first sight. We have a frightening amount in common.

Julia of January Day (my roommate!) is just as serene as her blog would lead you to believe. She brought her own tea kettle! That’s commitment to serenity.

Piper of Piper on the Mountain is a bundle of sunshine. She lives in a gorgeous, remote part of the world, and she takes amazing pictures of her adventures.

Sherry from Paper Scissors Keyboard was a friend of a friend who said we had to meet. I’m so glad I listened, because Sherry is a gem.

Katie of Motherbumper is tiny, feisty and even funnier in person than she is on the twitters. Ask her to tell you about cake and a hook sometime.

Spending time with a bunch of bright ladies who get this goofy blogging thing was a balm to my frazzled soul. And even when it was occasionally awkward (sorry I ate so much of your candy, Bridget), it was never as awkward as those few minutes I spent on an elevator alone with Jeremy Sisto. (Turns out I act weird when the people in my TV become the people in my elevator.)

Katie & I are stunned by Jeremy Sisto’s feverish hands. // Jeremy Sisto poses with Robin Plemmons in the elevator. He is a gentleman. // Sherry and I accosted Ana Gasteyer while she was trying to watch “Suburgatory.” They didn’t tell me I was supposed to wear green.

My Blissdom 2013 notebook: Scott Stratten, Annie Downs & CC Chapman

Opening Keynote with Scott Stratten

Scott Stratten at PubCon Paradise Hawaii 2012. Photo by Michael Dorausch.
Scott Stratten is the author of “Unmarketing” and “The Book of Business Awesome.” He enjoys tattoos, trucker hats and getting very worked up about the internet. He talked to us about (surprise!) business, marketing and the internet, using the very sweet story of Joshie the giraffe and the Ritz Carlton as his opening illustration.

Here are some of my notes from his keynote:

“If you’re only awesome as a brand to influencers, you’re not awesome.”

“Nobody cares about your logo, ever, in the history of the planet.”

“Your brand is not your logo; your brand is your actions.”

“Awesome employees are not overhead.”

Social media allows people who wouldn’t directly approach a brand to vent. Social media won’t fix a bad product or experience, it will just amplify it.

“The secret to successful business: Work Hard.”

Write content for an audience beyond your subscribers.

“The best frequency to blog at is when you have something to say.”

“Write Now: Writing For the Season You’re In” with Annie Downs

Annie Downs is the author of “Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot,” which I’m thinking about ordering for my 13-year-old niece. Annie enjoys Nutella and the internet, and she wears very cute clothes. Here are some of my notes from her session:

“Be full of grace with yourself.” (I heard variations of this concept all weekend long. Perhaps I should take it to heart?)

Write about yourself and what matters to you, but not at the expense of those you love.

What should you write about? Things you’re hoping for; topics you wish someone else was writing about. If you’re looking for it, chances are someone else is, too.

Sometimes you need to live the story before you write about it.

Do what doesn’t make you crazy.

“Living an Amazing Life” with CC Chapman

photo by Rockford
CC Chapman is the author of “Amazing Things Will Happen” and “Content Rules.” He loves his kids and his wife, he’s kind and generous, and he hates seagulls. I may have gotten a little verklempt on him when I asked him to sign his book for Rockford.

Here are some of my notes from his session:

Define “amazing” on your terms, then choose your path. You need a concrete, attainable goal.

“Normal is a boring way to live your life.”

“If they don’t want you to succeed, they’re not your friends.”

Seagulls: People who swoop in, drop poo on you and fly away. “The internet is full of seagulls.”

Be a duck: Let things roll off. I explained this concept to Pete this morning when I was mad at his sister for some minor infraction. He quacked.

Celebrate success of all sizes; don’t wait until you finish your project to celebrate.

Always give back. “Life is too short to focus on cashing the checks.”

Blissdom, briefly

I’ve heard from many people that the Blissdom conference was a transcendental, transformative weekend filled with glitter and unicorns, so I wasn’t really surprised to find that most of the sessions were more motivational-speaker than how-to. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I didn’t come home with a plan to take over the world. And I’d sort of expected to, after hearing of so many other people who’d had that experience.

I did, however, come home with the conviction that I need to be more present in my own life. That’s kind of depressing and humbling to admit. And it’s going to be a little painful, because it means I’m going to have to put down the internet and pick up the Hot Wheels and My Little Ponies more often.

Right now I’m going to read the kids a few bedtime stories, and then I’ll continue tending to Rockford, who is in the basement trying to fight off what looks suspiciously like the flu. (The basement: It’s where we keep our invalids.) Rest assured, though — by the end of this week you’ll be thoroughly tired of hearing about Blissdom. In the meantime, here’s what a few other people thought about the conference:

One phrase really resonated with me during the closing key note speech by Jon Acuff: Being a mom is enough. … What I pull from this statement is not to focus only on raising my kids, but rather to make them my priority.

from “Blissdom reminded me to take it slow” by Amy at The MomBot.

The sessions were only an hour long, and I know that was on purpose so that we were not overloaded with information. But I wanted to be overloaded with information. I wanted to leave with a long to-do list of things I could implement on my blog. That just didn’t happen.

from “Some thoughts on Blissdom” by The Nerd’s Wife.

Unlike the mass of Blissdom attendees who write about their excitement and expected life change, I just showed up. I assumed the common thread of those women was that they had little else going on. Turns out why they love Blissdom was because they are like me and have too much else going on.

Blissdom gets you away from the else.

from “Leaving My Past in Grapevine, Texas: What Jon Acuff (& other People I Didn’t Know Six Months Ago) Gave Me This Weekend” by Lilly at Pancakes & Beet Juice