I often talk about the business of blogging as it relates to making a career for those who want to make a living sharing their voice. During the past 4+ years, I’ve managed to do things in this blogging space that I never dreamed of doing ten years ago. I’ve been able to make money and take care of my brood while helping family and friends. I’ve been able to travel and have experiences that are fairytale-esque. I get to work from home, allowing for greater flexibility for my daughter’s schedule, school events, and extracurricular activities. But most importantly, I’ve been able to meet and bond with a great group of men and women from all walks of life who have at least one thing in common–blogging. Yes, it is a business, but it is also a lifestyle. It’s a close-knit community of over-sharers who want to change the world one blog post at a time. We can forget about this when we are scrambling to hit deadlines, pitching and working with brands, lining up sponsored posts, and waiting for the check to arrive or the money to hit our PayPal accounts.
And this weekend while attending the 2014 Mom 2.0 Summit in Atlanta, I was reminded about the reason it is that I do what I do.
For the love of it.
So much has changed since I started. I am still a newbie in comparison to those like Dooce and Katherine Stone who’ve been at it for 10+ years. And even during my short tenure, I’ve seen what we do evolve into a billion dollar industry. We have become the influencers, the tastemakers, the hot thangs on the scene. With that comes a lot of fanfare and opportunities that are amazing. But we can’t forget why we started in the first place. Many of us started because we wanted to share our voices and experiences with others. It wasn’t so we could go on the latest press junket or have the most followers on Twitter or the most repins on Pinterest. It was because we felt that our voices could be used for change. To help. To console. To be the sound that says that “you are not alone”.
When I penned my first post on this here site, I did so because I felt there was an online void as it pertained to the working parent. I wanted to champion those who felt guilty because they had to work. I wanted to be the voice who helped to stop the shaming of the working mom in particular. And I did my share. But I also got lost along the way. During the past year, I found my way back to my purpose and vision for TCC, and I’ve suffered some setbacks. It feels like I am starting over. My traffic has slowed a little. I’m not getting as many comments as I used to. I feel like I’ve run into a brick wall.
And then, I spent three absolutely fabulous days with women and men at Mom 2.0 Summit, and it was like I could hear Celine Dion singing in the background.
It’s all coming back to me now…
I cried during Kelly Wickham’s poignant reading on her blog post, ‘Calling Out My Sisters’ regarding her thoughts the lack of us speaking out against the Trayvon Martin verdict. I cheered during the IRIS Awards (more on that in a future post) when some of my favorite bloggers were celebrated and awarded. I hugged often. I laughed loudly. During a brand dinner, I told Dresden that she was beautiful and I wanted her to shine. I learned and took copious notes. I danced and shook what my mama gave me with a Gay NYC Dad (you really know how to shake a tailfeather, Mitch!). I led a room full of people in The Wobble. I exhaled. I relished. And I had an awesome roomie who showed me more love than I knew what to do with (Hey, Xenia!).
Blogging is a business, and it earns quite an income in my household. But first and foremost, it is my voice. My platform. My life’s work.
Thank you Mom 2.0 Summit and everyone who attended and participated, for bringing back to my forefront what is most important. I will not allow myself to get lost again in what everyone else is doing.
In the words of Jay-Z, I’m focused man. And I’m just getting started. Boom!
(2014 Mom 2.0 Summit was awesome. Tickets for the 2015 Mom 2.0 Summit are currently on sale. The event will be held in Scottsdale, AZ, and you need to be in the place. I’ve got my ticket. Get yours!)