I know that’s a big title for a post. And I know I’m probably not going to live up to your expectations.
I’ve had lots of big days in my life that set so many events in motion.
The day I moved away to college…
My wedding day…
The day my son was born…
The day I attended my first Bloggy Boot Camp…
No. I’m serious about that last one. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told the complete story about how I came to be a blogging superstar (in my own mind) so here goes.
Back in August 2009, my lovely employer at the time decided that they needed to make some financial cuts and my name came up on the chopping block. It was not a pretty parting but I soon found myself on the government payroll (re: unemployment) and trying to figure out where I was going to work next.
I was tired of working for “the man,” meaning I was tired of working hard for someone else to reap all the rewards. I was fearful that I wouldn’t find another job that allowed me flexbility to spend time with my son. And really, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was caught up in the software world doing project management, product management, and product marketing. I was good at it and it definitely put me in my comfort zone.
But it didn’t light my fire. And that was mostly okay. I had never really found anything to light my fire.
I started spending more time with my mommy friends including Sue, who had been writing on her own blog for quite some time. I had no desire to write about the day in and day out life of being a mom. But I did think it might be a good idea to build up a writing portfolio, especially since I was hoping/expecting that my next job would be in marketing. I wanted something more than a extremely dry proposal and a really boring PowerPoint to show off my writing skills.
And so a blog was born. I picked the name All Things Fadra but honestly, I don’t even remember picking it. I started with a horrendous Blogger template that I didn’t even know how to customize and starting writing at allthingsfadra.blogspot.com. A few short months after that, Sue came to me with a proposition.
She wanted to know if I would attend Bloggy Boot Camp in Baltimore with her. It was a one day $89 workshop for bloggers. Again, I didn’t put much thought into it. I agreed to go especially since my sister lived in Baltimore and I figured we could crash there.
(My original pre-Bloggy Boot Camp video that kind of sort of introduced myself to my future fellow bloggers. Watching this from 2 years ago makes me feel like I’m so grown up now!)
I showed up that day on March 6th, 2010 not really knowing anyone. In retrospect, there were so many amazing bloggers there but I really had no clue who they were. And I had no idea who any of them were. I didn’t even bring a camera with me.
I walked in and felt soooooo intimidated. I spent most of the day taking notes, having fun tweeting, and meeting super lovely women.
But every time I was asked the question, I kept making excuses for myself
“So, what do you blog about?”
“Me? Oh well, I’m not really a blogger. I mean, I have a blog. But I just write a little bit. I’m mainly here because of my friend Sue.”
And almost every time they would look at me and say,
“You’re a blogger.”
So matter of factly. And by the end of the day, I had an epiphany.
I WAS a blogger. And dammit, I was going to go home, switch to WordPress, and never look back.
And that, my friends, was the day that changed it all.
Since that day, I’ve attended BlogHer, Type-A Parent, BlissDom and I’ve got more on the horizon for this year. But there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Tiffany and the SITS Girls.
As a Bloggy Boot Camp veteran, I decided to write this post to officially join in by celebrating Bloggy Boot Camp Day as the girls prepare to kick off their Bloggy Boot Camp tour this year with stops in St. Louis, Philly (again!), Las Vegas, and Dallas.
If you’ve never been to a blogging conference, this is a great first stop. If you’ve been to a Big Giant Blogging Conference, you’ll feel refreshed with the small and intimate and totally fun format.
I love this, Fadra. To thank the people behind the scenes. SO MUCH planning and work and CARE. I went to BBC Chicago, and Tiff and Francesca were wonderful. Made me feel so special and that I counted. I felt part of a community. I am a blogger.
Sometimes you need someone to give you perspective and it’s what I got that day. I’m SO glad I went. And I fell in love with Tiffany, who is probably my polar opposite, which just speaks to her amazing charm.
I was so clueless sitting in Bloggy Bootcamp. I knew who a few of the people were, but OMG, now, looking at those names? Wow.
I made stupid mistakes like when Alli Worthington’s name was brought up, I asked “Who is that?”
But, it did make me get off my butt and make bloggy changes. Like starting Pour Your Heart Out the week after I got home.
Ha! I remember that moment and had that exact same sentiment. I didn’t even know who Dooce was! And yes, there were so many amazing women in that room and so many of them have grown into bigger and better bloggers!
I really was clueless but I apparently I absorbed it all!
I have never been, but keep hearing so many fabulous things about it. One of these days!
I might just have to go to Philly this year – just cuz I can!! Plus the cheesesteaks there were SO worth the drive.
Blog conferences are ADDICTING! So much fun and so much to learn, and I TOTALLY remember meeting you that day and having those exact conversations with you. You could tell you were just getting ready to take this on and kind of getting all your eggs in a row. I wish I had the courage to go to a conference that early on! I would have saved myself a whole lot of Google searches trying to figure it all out!
And I didn’t even know I was in the presence of greatness. I just thought you were some wacky chick in an apron 😉
Well in your defense…I was.
and now look at you … such a bloggy supah star 🙂
Let me know if you want an autographed copy of our picture together 😉
I’m still bumbling around the blogging world and often fairly clueless no matter how much I read. Since BBC is in Vegas this year (where I live) I’ll definitely be attending that. Also planning on a blog re-design that I hope will start moving things into the right direction for a change.
Maybe some day I’ll be a few notches higher than I am now. Gosh, that sounds so self-deprecating. LOL
The awesome thing about blogging is that those notches are self-defined. You can go as far as you want and BBC is a great step in the right direction. You will feel so inspired!!
I wish I had known about Bloggy Boot Camp sooner last year, when it was in Boston. I would have loved to have gone. Looking forward to BlogHer this summer though, although I admit a tad bit intimidated and nervous too.
I’ve been to BlogHer twice and I’m still a tad nervous but I’ll be there this summer. You’ve got a friend in me 😉
I’ve been to a few conferences by now, and Bloggy Boot Camp is one of the most intimate, supportive, and helpful I’ve attended.
And it DOES change lives. That’s no small claim, because I’ve seen it happen again and again with people who took the next step with their blogs, launch careers, and start businesses from BBC’s inspiration.
Exactly. There are no cliques or pretentiousness. Just bloggers having fun.
Oh my goodness! I was that Bloggy Bootcamp in Baltimore! We must have just missed each other… hopefully, the future will bring us a time when we can officially meet in person and not just be in the same place and not know it.
Actually, I remember you. You gave me my badge when Sue and I walked in late. But next time we’ll have a clue about who we are 😉
I’m so glad to have discovered your blog today! I really related to this as I have a new blog and just can’t call myself a blogger. But more importantly, does your video mean that everyone doesn’t LOVE Mac and Cheese?! It’s the main food-group, right?! (P.S. Don’t give up pasta for lent. No mac ‘n cheese. I didn’t think that through.) Now, to go find out more about this “Bloggy Bootcamp” of which you speak. #newbie
Glad you stopped by! The first time you call yourself a blogger is only the first step. Eventually you’ll work your way up to calling yourself a writer. It’s very empowering. I promise.
As for mac & cheese, it’s a common theme on this blog. I even wrote a post about the time I got to be a judge for a mac & cheese competition. HEAVEN!
Thank you so much for all of your support. You made such an impression in Baltimore and seeing your again in Philly was just icing on the cake. I just love smart people. Period.
Right back atcha, Tiffany. I wrote this because your BBC really did set me on the path I’m on now. I’ll never forget that!
I’m itching to go to BBC Philly this year because I feel like it would be a good stepping stone to bigger conferences (of which I’m thoroughly intimidated) and because Philly is only three hours away and therefore a doable drive. But there’s still hotel costs to consider – at least one night, and preferably two – and after recently investing in a nice redesign, I promised my husband I wouldn’t spend anymore money on my blog this year. So. Therein lies my dilemma.
But I did love this post. Someday, someday…
I won’t try to convince you. I’ll just say this. Think about what you want to accomplish with your blog. As for me, building a community of fellow bloggers and networking with PR and brands and other people all started with BBC. And it’s the main reason I go to conferences. And they aren’t that scary. I promise!
I so want to go to one sometime!! It will be in the cards for me. Just not sure when! 🙂 Great post!
If you get a chance to go to BBC, it’s a GREAT first conference. And so much fun!
That video made me smile. Turns out we have a lot in common 🙂 I’ve been working up the nerve and saving money to attend Bloggy Boot Camp in Dallas. I’m getting butterflies just thinking about it.
Thanks for sharing.
DO NOT BE AFRAID! If anything, it will really make you fall in love with blogging because you will really get a sense of community. I hope you go!
Can we call this meta-blogging, since you’re blogging about blogging?
I blog about blogging on this blog and my other blog. What can I say – I blog what I know!
March 6, 2010, huh? That’s the day that changed my life too. That’s the day I got married. 🙂
I loved reading this post. It means there’s hope for me yet. And, I now know that you know exactly how I felt at Blissdom. Totally intimidated and confused because I had never even heard of most of those people!
What a coincidence, huh? I’ll tell you, Beth, you can make blogging whatever you want it to be. Figuring that part out is the hard part though. Yes, I’ve been there. And it’s actually fun for me to look back and see how far I’ve come.
P.S. I still owe you a package. Sorry for the delay!!