Last year I gathered up a lot of bravado and skulls and read this blog post out to a couple thousand people at the world's biggest social media conference for women, BlogHer.
Nobody talk about the hair.
It was one of the biggest honours of my life .. I'm pretty good at public speaking. (Honed my skills in years of recovery meetings.)
The call has been put out, to find this years BlogHer Voices of the Year. I was asked by BlogHer to be a judge this year. (Again with the honour! Feeling honour is weird .. it's like a cross between pride and triumph.)
There's three days left to submit a blog post, either one of your own or somebody else's. Would you, could you? No? Why not?
To read out a blog post at BlogHer means a lot. Like, industry recognition. Is blogging not an industry? There's certainly a lot of people being industrious about it. Soon the baton will be passed from one set of bloggers to another. Who will this years fresh batch be? What have people said or done, that's made a mark and really meant something? Could it be you? Why are you saying no?
Many people say the keynote is the best part of BlogHer, and I tend to agree. It reminds us all of why we're actually there. I know blogging means different things to people, but for me the core of it is telling our stories. That's why I opened with what I did. "America, I have travelled from Australia to tell you a story."
Everybody has a story.
If you've written a post that you're particularly proud of but haven't submitted it yet, I encourage you to do it now. It can be funny, meaningful, ridiculous, heavy, sentimental. Just submit it yourself, quietly. Have a go, otherwise you never know. I know it's hard and feels weird to put yourself out there and you're asking, "As if it would be me." But honestly, as if it wouldn't be. My post Blogging Out Loud was chosen as a finalist at BlogHer Voices 2010 .. doing that led me to one of my best mates on the net now, Alexandra Wrote. Check out her post on how we met. This year, SHE is speaking on a BlogHer panel. You never know what comes from having a go at something.
If a butterfly flaps its wings and causes ripples in a pond .. does it make a sound?
In so many ways, the internet gives us a level playing field. If you've been toying with the idea of writing one then do it right now, this weekend. You have until Monday 5pm America time. You can do it. Have a big splurge and get out something you've been meaning to write and submit your own piece - don't patiently wait for somebody else to discover your genius. Hell, I usually always submit my own stuff. We all do!
I'll never forget sitting in the green room before I went on, looking around and spinning out at these hugely talented, amazing, deep women. They had achieved things in life, so maybe it meant I'd achieved something to. I followed Bon to the toilet and we bonded over nervous wee. I gave a bangle to Alexandra and it matched her outfit PERFECTLY. I listened to Kate read her piece out and was floored by the sheer brilliance. After I walked offstage, I turned right and went over to the corner to cry, at finally being done, telling Alex's story and all that it meant. When I finally went back, Cecily enveloped me in the biggest goddamn hug. I'll never forget it. As I walked back to my seat, all of my fellow-bloggers, my fellow-humans on the planet .... stood up to hug me. We all hugged everybody when they got back from reading their piece. That? Happens every day, all around the world, in blog comment sections everywhere.
When I read my post out, I made sure to wear the same boots I wore when me and fellow-ninja Vee decorated the cancer ward together. You can see those boots in this BlogHer badge ... I'm sixth from the left.
Think I might change my blog tagline now, from "You can't outrun your shadow" to "I WAS IN A BLOGHER BUTTON." Again with the honour. Honour among thieves .. honour among inspirational arseholes.
So. In conclusion, I think you should go for it. And that doesn't just go to bloggers ... that goes for anyone who is toying with the idea of anything in life at all. Have a go.
Lastly, I have a follow up for Vee .... mate. Guess what? All three pieces of Alex's art are still hanging in Nepean chemotherapy ward. The oncology nurses there all wonder where they came from. They love them. It's almost a year since we stealthbombed with your husbands beautiful art. I wonder how many cancer patients have looked at them, maybe found a bit of peace during all the sick and black and chemo? We done GOOD, Sisterman.
Lastly lastly, if you want to know what a blog is, check out the comments on my last post. I'm running a krillion-dollar giveaway with the question, "What is a blog?" The answers are incredible. My mum is judging the six winners .. she keeps ringing me with the latest tally, and she asked me to clarify that it's not just the photo of Dead Kermit that you win .. it really is the whole Samsung Galaxy Note. I was just trying to be clever. Mum is taking her job very, very seriously.