I swear this is one of the only pictures of me and basically one of the only pictures that were taken with my camera this weekend at the Foodbuzz Festival. Last year I did a much better job at taking pictures. This year I did a much better job at just being present. This was the 5th blogging conference I've been to and the pattern is the same. People come, gazzilions of pictures are taken, and then gazzlions of posts are written. I'm making my way through all the posts and it's fun reliving the moments. It's even more fun to see YOUR pictures. Thanks for posting them. It's much appreciated. In fact if you did a festival post leave me a link on the comments section. I'll come and check you out. I'll smile and remember the funny moments and then I'll probably be in a funk because seriously, why can't people feed me ridiculous amounts of delicious food every day for free?!
At the closing brunch I turned to my table and said "I'm so sad I'm going home and I'll have to cook." Half of the table looked at me weird, the other half nodded. I'll leave it at that.
This year I had the opportunity to present on a panel titled "food blogging guide to success a slumber party gone bad" Kidding. Don't mind me. I'm just trying to find comic relief as I make my way through the dense aftermath of having my hotel room broken into and my computer stolen. Best part was Mariko and I freaking out at night looking under the bed to make sure no one was there. We were so scared the thieves would come back. Four days later and it's already starting to be funny. A little.
Back to the conference.
Because really it was a good experience. I presented on a panel "Food Blogging Guide to Success" with Stephanie from Lick my Spoon and Tina from Carrots 'n' Cake. We are not as serious as we look. We do however respect each other and respect what we do. A lot. WHICH. IS. KEY.
When I think of successful bloggers I think of Dooce (love her), Design Mom, Nie Nie, and The Pionner Woman, or as I would call her the Oprah of the Internet. These ladies are making a living, a big fat living, off their blogs. I am making enough to sustain what I love to do. I've made enough money to buy a nice camera, buy lenses, pay for conferences and hotel rooms, pay a blog designer. Yup. Pretty much that's it. Oh, wait I did buy Christmas presents with my blog money too. Not sure why. Hey Christian can I get a reimbursement on baby Maria's new doll?
Do I think I'll become Dooce or Ree? Nope. I don't think so. But I do think that I'm in the right direction to be able to do this long term, to write for a living (we live frugally around here). I'm not sure how it will work out. I'm not sure if I'll ever make enough money but I do know that because I take my blogging seriously and because my husband takes my blogging seriously I have time to write. I have time to do what I love. We've worked out our schedules so that this could happen. It took two years of both of us being in grad school and working full time to get to where we're at. We still have scheduling hiccups along the way, but we respect each other's work. So, maybe one day I will be a famous blogger and Christian will get to stay home with the kids and surf to his hearts content. Maybe one day he'll get his dream job and I'll get to write without making money but having his full support the moment he steps in the door and relives me of child watching duties. Maybe one day we'll both be contributing to the family income.
Or maybe we'll just put our kids in some modeling agency and hope for the best.
If I could give you one advice on how to make your blog successful (whatever that means for you) it would be to respect yourself. If you love blogging don't feel guilty over it. Blogging takes time. It takes so much time. You get sucked in. Dishes don't get washed. It happens. Set up a schedule if you can. Block out time in your day to do it and then....walk...away...from...the...computer. Do it. Just turn off Twitter. It will be there in the morning. Try to find balance while you pursue your blogging dreams. Your health is worth more than a post that needs to get done. Your sanity is worth more than commenting on 1000 blogs. Find a balance that works for you and for those around you. Include those around you. If you're married, if you have kids, if you're single with a cool aunt that lives two doors down, include people you love in the process. It will make for a much more enjoyable time.