I asked some awesome ladies I don’t really know friends if they’d like to share their thoughts on the upcoming BlogHer conference. Some have been before & others are newbies like myself. I gave them no other direction ~ just to share their thoughts as the weeks count down {4 from today!}. I’m looking forward to their advice/thoughts/plans/fears if nothing else, to feel less nervous & more excited myself.

Up first is Suzanne from bebehblog. As a fellow Suzanne, she’s been memorable to me from the first time I found her on twitter then began to read about her & her two precious children on her blog. From there, I stalked found her on FB & now we’re friends. I can’t wait to take a Suzanne photo with her in San Diego!

When Suz asked me to guest post about BlogHer, I was a little worried. I haven’t actually BEEN to BlogHer yet (besides in my dreams) so I didn’t think I had too much to say about it. Well, except for 5,000 words on what I plan to wear and what shoes to bring and how many different headbands one girl needs for three days time and OMG I’m going to look like an idiot in my trendy clothes or like a mom in my mom jeans and I still don’t know what exactly one wears to a Sparklecorn and help help me Rhonda. As a BlogHer virgin I am just as freaked out as Suz is. Maybe more, since I am not so good with the talking to people in person thing. There’s a reason I am a blogger.

But actually, I DID go to a conference once – The Creative Connection Event in Minneapolis last September – and it started out totally terrifying. At least I know (internet know, but it still counts) people at BlogHer. When I accidentally won an all-expense paid trip to The Creative Connection, I knew NO ONE. I had written an essay for their contest, thinking it was like the lottery (“you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket”) but when I got an email saying “Congratulations!” I pretty much died straight dead. My incredibly supportive husband managed to rearrange his schedule last minute – those artsy people who arrange crafting conferences aren’t so good at planning ahead – and less than a month later I was on a plane to Minneapolis. I was in my chauffeured car from the airport (once again dying dead with amazement) before I realized I was going to be All Alone. All alone and totally unqualified to even BE there – the essay that won me the chance was actually about how uncreative I was, so what the heck was I supposed to do with myself during three days of quilting and sewing and crafting classes?

Within 30 minutes of checking into my hotel I had made a friend, found the conference hashtag on Twitter, and was sitting at a table with the fantastic Amy Turn Sharp of Little Alouette listening to The Pioneer Woman give the opening keynote. Not a single person I talked to all weekend was rude or stand-offish or anything less than incredibly awesome. I made friends. I tracked down acquaintances and forced them to be my friends, introduce me to THEIR friends, and take me to IKEA. I had a super fun weekend and came home inspired.

And this was all while still being my super shy, worried about what everyone thinks, introverted self. I’m not some sort of magical friendship butterfly who sprinkles happy dust and people suddenly like her. I’m what you might call hard to get to know. Some people might call me stand-offish. Or if you’re really blunt, “kind of a b****”. (Only at first, I swear! It’s just because I’m awkward! I’m really very nice!) But I tried to remember that EVERYONE was out of their element and a little overwhelmed and probably happy to have someone start a conversation about their shoes or their purse or their hair. If it helps, you can use the old “picture them in their underwear” trick, although for BlogHer it should be “everyone in their Spanx”.

So my plan is the same for San Diego – I will hug your face if I see it. I will tell you your shoes are cute. I will be absolutely terrified. But I will have the time of my life. And so will you.

Awesome. You love her already too, don’t you! Thanks, Suzanne, for your advice. I will be counting on that hug!

Come back for more BlogHer related posts & guest posts in the next couple weeks. If you’ve been or you’re going this year & want to share your thoughts with a guest post, email me at suzstreats{at}gmail{dot}com.