Stressed about writing a perfectly crafted first sentence to tantalize an audience and showcase how clever I am? Not me. Not ever again. If you take nothing else away from this post, take away this. Blog fearlessly.
Press Publish Phoenix was more. Simply more. More excellent information. More personal support. More wildalicious encouragement than I had bargained for.
Let me get this off of my chest. I went to Press Publish to learn how to use this tool called WordPress so in retrospect was unprepared. For example, prior to the event I didn’t read the speakers’ bios nor did I follow their blogs. So there I was, clueless. Translated into baseball terms, it would be like my non-fan friend, meeting my favorite MLB baseball player, Arizona Diamondback Paul Goldschmidt, at an event, listening to his presentation, shaking his hand, and sitting next to him while Adrien Gonzalez, Lorenzo Cain, and Nelson Cruz spoke. My cluelessness had the benefit of helping me to stay relaxed because I didn’t realize that I should have been impressed. Very impressed.
Wildly impressed is what I am now. In order of appearance, Katherine Fritz presented Also: My Blog Made Me Happy. Russ Crandall presented How I Found My Voice. Emily Austin presented Slow & Steady Wins the Race. Kathy Cano-Murillo presented A DIY Success. I purposely didn’t tell you the name of their blogs because I want you to look past the content of their blog for a minute to consider their presentations as principles for excellent blogging. I also want you to see their names. These are extraordinary people who happen to blog about topics ranging from twenty-something angst, to paleo-friendly recipes inspired by traditional cuisines, to family life as it changes and grows, to crafts, creativity, and business beyond the pale. Please click-through to their blogs and be inspired.
Inspiration flowed freely not just from the speakers but also from those in attendance. Friday evening I attended a mixer and was immediately impressed by the organization of the event, the comfort of the facility, and the generous connection to other eager bloggers. On Saturday, there were upwards of 200 people enjoying each other’s company, brainstorming, and having fun. Attendees were upbeat, engaging, helpful, and encouraging to one another. I’ve attended conferences where the attendees dragged my personal experience down. Not here. These folks were extraordinary and I walked away with wonderful contacts to carry into my blogging future.
Into the future I will also bring a new connection and trust for the folks at Automattic who help make WordPress.com. These teachers, helpers, and happiness engineers are talented and interesting individuals who worked very well together. As mentioned earlier, I had come to Press Publish to learn how to use WordPress better. I received one-to-one help on several occasions regarding several matters related to my blog that are too tedious to mention without making my head spin! Again, these extraordinary people make me want to ask for their help in the future.
What are my favorite take-aways? The principles that will both support and guide me to be a better blogger? Heck, a better person? I’ll attempt to channel my intensity into something compact that has the punch of an espresso or a chocolate truffle.
Believe in your blog and in yourself. This is no glib utopian positivity cliché. This is a fact. If you don’t believe in your blog and think it has value, then who will? This isn’t about perfection as a blog or as a person, this is about an honest effort to strive toward a beautiful perfection of messy humanness.
Work hard on your blog and on yourself. Hard work has nothing to do with thinking about working or dreaming about working or pondering about working, it has to do with…working. Put in the hours trusting that the process and the learning curve, will add up to something to be proud of. Press and publish.
Blog your way. WordPress offers endless opportunities to create and share amazing content via gorgeous and responsive templates. WordPress also offers ways to build a community through reading, following, liking, commenting, support forums, and events like Press Publish. Only I see life from my perspective and can tell my story. Only I can engage with others with my voice. Only I can contribute to this thing called life in my way. And that goes for you, and you, and you, too.
Did you attend Press Publish Portland or Phoenix? Please tell me about your experience if you did. If not, please ask me questions about it. I want to keep it alive for as long as possible, in the same way I want to talk about a Friday night party all day Saturday 😀 Would you like to attend one in the future? You can suggest a future location here.
Enthusiastically ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc