The panelists! Meredith, Amy, me, Rebecca (moderator & Blog Out Loud co-creator), Megan (co-creator of Blog Out Loud), Alison & Erin. I think we might be the best looking panel in the history of ever.
Monday night was Blog Out Loud 6 (finally!), & to say I was superly duperly psyched would be a superly duperly understatement. I had a private session and a group coaching session scheduled, but I cleared the rest of my day to get ready (a combination of getting into the “right” frame of mind & straightening the hell out of my hair) & just enjoy everything leading up to what I knew was gonna be a wonderful night. This was as close to performing as I’ve gotten being a coach, & I couldn’t wait to get in front of an audience & have my “castmates” be a panel of really highly respected, awesometastic bloggers. I knew this was my jam.
I was cool as a cucumber until, oh, 5:30p or so, when I got on the subway & made my way to tonefarmer 75 minutes before I had to be there. Of course, the usually long-ish wait for the G train took mere seconds, & I got out of the subway 40 minutes before Rebecca & Megan asked the panelists to arrive. I decided to head over to tonefarmer anyways, figuring that my two hands might be of use for setting up, stuffing goody bags, etc. ( I ain’t above some manual labor – yet!). I ignored the butterflies in my stomach and made my way to 25th Street.
Rebecca’s the one who asked me to be on the panel! I tricked her super good.
My nerves immediately melted away when I walked into the beautiful space, met / hugged / squealed with Rebecca & Megan, & welcomed my friend Jen with her Fanny & Jane goodies (holy drooltime). Although Rebecca & Megan didn’t need my two hands for anything other than drinking wine, I managed to put out some Fanny & Jane treats while only eating one of them. For now.
Fanny & Jane Red Velvet Cake Bites are, simply, love. I contained myself to 3 of ’em. And 1 salted peanut butter buckeye. And 1 Nutty Graham Bar Bites. And 2 Mini Choco Buttercream Sammies. But that was my dinner. Yeah. That sounds good. It was my dinner. Another photo by Blog Out Loud.
One by one, I met the rest of the warm, good-looking, amazeballs panel. Everyone was so friendly & sweet that I knew I was in good company.
Yup. Blog Out Loud 6 was gonna rock my socks.
The crowd, and me getting to my seat on the panel a bit late. Thank God I’m cute! Photo by Blog Out Loud.
Before I knew it, it was time for the panel to take their seats & for the panel-ing to start. Megan & Rebecca gave everyone a super warm welcome, & then it was time for the panel to introduce themselves – starting with me! Thankfully I had mentally rehearsed my elevator speech (which is really an elevator sentence or two: “My name’s Michelle Ward & I’m the When I Grow Up Coach. I help creative people devise the career they think they can’t have, or discover it to begin with.” In this instance, I added, “Blah blah certified life coach blah blah NYU blah blah whenigrowupcoach.com/blog” with the “blah blah blahs” replaced with brilliant, sparkling, genius-ish words) & didn’t have time to get flustered. And thankfully, my new BlogHer friend Patty (of the Inadvertantly Doing Something Scary post) was in the front, & every time I’d look her way she’s smile at me. That gave me the warm & fuzzies. (Thanks, Patty)
The hour just flew by as we all gave our takes on the rewards of blogging, time management, monetizing your blog, twitter, authenticity, the line between personal & professional when it comes to blogging, using the word “amazeballs” in public (& often!)…I can go on & on! Generally, I just loved the diversity of the panel as a mix of bloggers bloggin’ for themselves/their business & those blogging under larger corporate umbrellas (Alison blogs for Etsy & Meredith blogs for Ebay). So, so interesting to hear about the difference. Also, the whole vibe of the evening was very down-to-earth, inspiring, intimate & laid-back but with a really fun, high-energy, uh, energy.
It was absolutely reinforced to me last night that the blogging community is one that is a positive, supportive neighborhood. We’re here to share our wins/lessons/challenges, make connections, build relationships & find the like-minded people who live on the other side of town and on the other side of the world. It really is all about claiming your uniquity & not being afraid to put that out into the universe. I love how all the panelists encouraged the bloggers/budding bloggers to create their own space that reflects their own vision, everyone who doesn’t agree be damned!
No, I didn’t start drinking ’til after the panel ended! Unless you count the glass of wine beforehand…
I got nothing but awesometastic feedback from those who I knew that went last night, whether they’re new bloggers or seasoned ones. And the twitter accolades have me smiling all day! Thanks again to the Blog Out Loud ladies for asking me to join this esteemed (yes, esteemed!) panel, for the incredible panelists for being so smart & friendly & good looking, to everyone who came out & everyone who sent me encouragements along the way!
In summation: I can’t quite believe that that this is my life.
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