Today is Wednesday and I’m still processing the happenings from this last weekend in San Francisco. This was my first trip alone without my family I’ve taken in 9 years. When I initially bought my ticket for Blogher Food 09, my intention was to get away on a much needed break. But as the conference weekend approached, both excitement and anxiety started growing within me.
This may come as a surprise to some but yesterday my blog turned 7 months old and I still feel like such a newbie within the food blogging community. I’m still navigating the ins and outs of food blogging and the very idea I would be attending a conference with so many bloggers was overwhelming not to mention the all-star panel of speakers through out each session. But once I arrived to my hotel the anxiety melted away into peace.
There were so many people I wanted to meet and even now I realize how many of them I did not have the opportunity to do so. But as I reflect on last weekend, I am so thankful for the wonderful community of friends (old and new) I spent time getting to know better.
If I could share with you a few tidbits of what I learned as a food blogger this weekend it would be this:
Be authentic and original. When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. I was easily tempted to try to be like “this person” or “that person”. As Dr. Phil would probably say, “How’s that working for you?”. Um, not very well. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in Jr. high and I want everyone to like me and fit in. But really, I’m not in junior high and whether you like me or not, it is not what defines me or my blog. I used to think my blog was below par of everyone else because I make and bake simple everyday food. But with the help of my food blogging friends, I now see that I do add value just for being me being true to the readers who find my recipes and enjoy my posts. There is room for everyone in the blogging community from all across the spectrum. I will never be the best somebody else but will always be the best possible me. Be authentic and original and your readers will come.
Find inspiration. Like all bloggers (or at least I think all bloggers) I get burned out. Often times I will look at others blogs to find the inspiration I need to fuel creativity. Its out there, just look out your window and you’ll find it. Finding inspiration isn’t as hard as one might think. It may come as a picture, in a conversation, or in nature.. but its there.
Community. I find food bloggers to be some of the nicest and passionate people out there. This weekend I met so many wonderful people I’ve admired for so long. Many of them I’ve been blessed by their recipes, photographs, story telling, etc. But from my experience, you only experience the benefits of community by being involved in the community. Find others who are like minded and share the same passions as you. The support you’ll receive in return is priceless.
Finally I just want to mention a few people who helped make my trip fabulous. And just for fun, I will identify them by their Twitter handles:
And finally to my Hero: Thank you for making me want to be better. Talking to you was an unexpected Hallmark moment for me I will never forget.
For those of you who want to read some re-caps and photos of Blogherfood 09, I’ve listed them here:
Two Peas and Their Pod