Thursday, April 5, 2012

In Which I Talk About Blogging... Publicly!


Not only was last weekend Bloggiesta, but the two days before that I was on two different blogging panels, one on Wednesday evening, and one on Thursday. Can you say blogging overload??? I swear, I felt like I've never talked about myself and my crazy hobby more in my life than I did last week! It was fun, but crazy. And strange I must say. Very very strange.

Strange because it feels like not so long ago I was scared (well let's say bashful, leery perhaps, not so much embarrassed, but you know a little hesitant) to tell people in "real life" about my blog. It felt (feels?) so very self promoting. It felt like I was confessing to a fanaticism that I wasn't sure people would understand.

And many probably didn't. But things seem to have changed over the years and now people WANT to know about it! And suddenly I find myself sitting at a table in front of people talking about blogging.

Did I say how strange that was? Strange I tell you!

But since it was quite the moment in my blogging "career" I feel the need to report even just a little about the experience!

The first panel was for a college class on publishing for kids. I was there with three of my blogging buddies Enna Isilee from Squeaky Books, Emily from Emily's Reading Room and Penelope from The Reading Fever. And it was actually set up by a member of the class and another fellow blogger, Diana from Diana's Amazing Book Adventures. So the discussion that night was, for the most part, about book blogging in particular and the publishing industry in general and the audience was very into those subjects. In fact, we found out that perusing our blogs beforehand was their actual homework! Gah, strange!

I was of course very nervous. (You do know about the shy thing, right?) But since I knew my fellow panelists, I was confident things would go smoothly and that in fact, I would probably not have to talk too very much! I felt like this experience was a sort of dress rehearsal for the following evening where I knew not what to expect at all!

So for two hours or more we told them about our blogs, how we got started, how Twitter is a big thing and how to use it, if we read ebooks and what we think of the future of publishing, why we aren't too keen on reviewing self published books, and etc. And what else? Of course I can't remember. But it was all very fun. Enna Isilee has promised a transcript of this event, and despite my better judgement, I plan to link to it as soon as that goes live.

The next night, I was at the library where I work, sitting on a panel with a well known mommy/food blogger Jaime from Sophistimom and fellow library staff member Chris who writes this blog, Gumshoe Arcana, about accordions! Can you see the difference between the two nights already? :) We were three very diverse bloggers with completely different approaches, goals and experiences. I thought that was awesome! The audience this time asked us questions about how to start a blog, how to monetize, how to find other bloggers like yours,  how to check your stats, if we get nervous about sharing ourselves with the world, what some of our best blogging moments have been, how often do we post, where we get ideas, how much time do we spend doing it and what our inspiration is. That last one is a great question, yes? How would you answer it on the spot!??

Both panels asked if any of us are writers, not just of the blog. I felt very strange in both settings because I was the only one shaking my head no. Should I be writing something else? I thought about it once upon a time, but have decided.. not my thing. Hmmm....

Anyway, this second time around I did talk a little bit more. I felt myself shouting the praises of how fun blogging is, how I never seem to run out of things to write, that other bloggers, cool authors and awesome books are my inspiration, that my reward and goal is the connection I have with other book loving fanatics,  and that I do it for fun and don't see that fun ending anytime soon.

I think they thought I was weird, but you know, that's beside the point!

One of the audience members wrote up a little report in her blog here. Very nice recap, don't you think? She is my newest blogging friend! Speaking of blogging friends, not only was my husband there to support me and silently cheer me on at both of these events, so was my awesome first, IRL friend, now also blogging friend, Jenny from Alternate Readality. Thank you!

Anyway, I was glad when it was over because it's an understatement to say this got me out of my comfort zone, but they do say, that sort of thing is good for a person. And if talking to an audience about blogging is  my hard thing... I'm good with that!



18 comments:

  1. How awesome!!! I just read the transcript link you posted and how informative - 3 very different styles (with the posting frequency) but all seem happy with the results. Just goes to show - there's more than 1 way to do things :-)

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  2. Whoo, that does sound intimidating! Only a couple people in my rl know about my blogging and they definitely don't get it.

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  3. Congratulations on both accounts. Sounds like you did very well under the spotlight. It's always fascinating to me to hear about fellow (book)bloggers. Your experiences that you share here, really do inspire others. :) Sincere thanks.

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  4. Those sound like awesome, if slightly scary experiences! I bet you're glad you did it! Sometimes I feel afraid of getting in front of an audience. But I never regret it! ;)

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  5. I am like you I feel funny talking about it to my IRL friends. I feel like it is weird hobby or something... Yay for you getting to talk about blogging and have a good response!

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  6. That sounds so cool, Suey. I bet you did an awesome job. I can understand why you thought it felt strange. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)

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  7. It was fun to read about your panels from your perspective after attending one of them in person. It's funny because I love to write and blog, but I would be nervous to speak publicly about it. Sometimes it is so hard to admit to my friends that I blog and that I really enjoy it.

    Thanks for the shout out! Always so fun to meet new blogging friends.

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  8. Pretty fantastic Suey that you put yourself out there! We have talked before about how we clam up in public situations - mostly at author events. So this is great! I am going to visit all the links within in this post - curious to who you shared this experience with. Like you, I find it strange to talk about my blog. I love it. I love writing it, but for IRL people, I almost feel weird that I do this. Mostly, because I think they don't get it...why put oneself out there like that? Great fun, is why! Aspirations for blogging? Just to have fun recording my thoughts ( record keeping) and at the same meeting some really great people, such as you. That was my original Internet, now I see a side benefit of improving my communication skills - writing and verbal. Yes, verbal...if I can write it then I can speak it (sort of).
    Thanks for sharing this experience.

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  9. You did great. I would have been just as nervous and probably wouldn't have warmed up for the second panel like you did. Now hopefully next time you'll know what to expect cause there should definitely be a next time. :)

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  10. Totally cool. What a fun connection too.

    Okay, I do believe that you are a sister separated at birth...what? you don't have a secret, deep dark desire to be a writer?!?! I don't either!!!! All I want to do is be the reader. I think everyone always asks me that and is more than askance at my insistence that SOMEONE needs to be just the reader. I loved that you mentioned that.

    I am envious of your opportunities and sad that I couldn't hear them myself. Thanks for sharing...

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  11. Thanks for post!!

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  12. I was a reluctant blogger, too. Now it is one of my favorite...what's the word...past times?...hobbies?...anyway, it is something I love doing.

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  13. This is wonderful! APPLAUSE

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  14. Hi Suey, Congratulations! I've been talking about my blog on a few platforms/occasions now since this kind of connectivity is encouraged in schools. In fact, last year during the Asian Festival of Children's Content here in Singapore, I organized a panel with two other bloggers whom I knew would be attending the conference: Tarie from Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind and Corinne Robson from Paper Tigers. It was a major hit among the conference participants. :) It was even covered in a Malaysian newspaper which was really cool. :)

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  15. I wish I could have come to both events! You are a great person to talk about blogging. And I'm so glad that we became friends IRL after meeting here in the blogosphere.

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  16. Two blogger panels? You rock! Sounds like they were fun - wish I could have come to listen.

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  17. Well done! I talk to anyone about blogging on a face to face basis, but speaking on a panel would make me very nervous!

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  18. What an awesome experience all around!! I would have loved to have experienced your panels (as an audience member, of course)!! Kudos to you!!

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