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!