July 23, 2009

My Reason: Too Scared

It feels weird not to be at BlogHer. It has started to seem like "Bloggers go to BlogHer." Like, if we're bloggers, why aren't we there? What are we missing? Are we making a mistake? Too late now.

I don't know if this comes through in Teh Writing, but I am a socially fearful person. I'm SCARED to meet you. I would need to DRINK or MEDICATE, and afterward I would fret about every single thing I said or didn't say, and my face would be burning with embarrassment, and I would be thinking I should never go out in public again. And I do realize that it's pretty common to declare nervousness and/or awkness about social stuff, and so not particularly interesting. But here we are at BlogHer time, and it's on my mind.

The fashion element of BlogHer makes me nervous. All the talk of mani/pedis, diets, new clothes, new shoes, worrying about what to wear, getting new highlights, debuting cute new outfits. I'd been thinking I'd wear what I wear every day, which is Lands' End jeans and an Old Navy t-shirt and, like, sandals, and I'd put my hair back in a clip as usual. But I don't think that would work, not without making a Big Counter-Culture Deal about it.

I worry because people talk about how cliquey it is, and how "the cool bloggers" don't spend enough time talking to everyone else, and it sounds like a minefield of misunderstandings and hurt feelings and unintentional snubs and mental rankings and assorted celebrity issues, and I hate the whole "cool kids' lunch table" concept that gets so overused.

I worry because in person I'm different than I am in writing. In writing, I'm not scared, and I'm social. In person, I hide and cringe. In college I took a one-weekend job where I had to talk to the general public as they entered the store, and I ended up hiding in the bathroom and I am not kidding. Hiding in the bathroom at BlogHer seems like a big waste of money.

And everybody has roommates, right? So I wouldn't be able to hide in my room, and it would be people people people every minute. And how do people split bills and choose a lights-out time and figure out who gets to use the shower first OMG?

Well. I do want to go. I do. Do you? I do want to meet you. I do want to look cute. I don't want BlogHer to be different than it is, even though that's the way I think of it when I'm thinking of why I'm too scared to go. But I'm stuck. I'm too scared to go.

Why aren't you there?

78 comments:

Nicole said...

You are certainly a certified blogger. You have surveys n chit right over there------>.
I wondered if Blogher was all cool kids vs uncool kids. I read some drastically different blogs in a day- mommies, non-mommies, work related, health related, cat/dog/horse related so I think if would be a pretty cool mix of folks there.
I am not a blogger therefore I do not qualify. That and I couldn't imagine taking downtime to myself and not spending it with the kids.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I could have written this post myself.

I don't go because I'm scared...scared and can't justify spending the money to go...but even if I did have the money to go I wouldn't because I know I would be hiding in the bathroom.

Nowheymama said...

No money. No childcare (for the weekdays). And not nearly as much desire to go as last year.

Rolling Off The Edge... Together said...

Seems expensive... just like being in soriety and I do not regret NOT being in a soriety ;)

I would not be scared but I am definitely part of the cool blogger crowd, I blog for me and my kids to remember stuff that happens or is happening so there's that.

It would have been nice to hit Chicago minus the kids however! LOL!

Dr. Maureen said...

This year, I have three excellent reasons not to go. One: A 4-week-old baby. Two: No money. Three: FEAR. Yes, if I were going, I'd. probably have anxiety dreams about acting like a tool and not making any friends. I also worry that I don't read enough blogs, so I won't know enough people or what they are talking about, so when I try to insert myself into a conversation I'd have nothing to say and would have to slink awkwardly away. So, yeah. Fear.

But I'll be honest; if I had the money and did not have a newborn infant, I think I'd maybe try to overcome the fear.

Rayne of Terror said...

I'm headed up tonight after much moaning and wailing about whether to go. Why am I going even though I'm an introvert of the highest order? A free ticket fell in my lap so I can go to as much or as little as I can stand. I live 2 1/2 hours from Chicago. I'm staying at my sister's apartment for free. I'm going to be 9 months pregnant NEXT WEEK and thus travel restricted I haven't had a girls' weekend or a camping trip or one damn fun thing ALL summer. I am not painting my fingernails, my toenails, I'm wearing my regular work clothes, and I'll have my twin to lean on who is internet famous, and I've met Mocha Momma a couple times in central IL so I know the "cool kids" are not scary.

Amanda said...

Ditto what you said.

Beth Fish said...

I don't want to go, and I'm not scared (although I certainly understand that impulse, oh yes I do), I just think it sounds like a miserable way to spend a weekend, what with all the drama and the fretting and the worrying about your hair and then worrying that people actually care about your hair and I doubt people really do care, but I try to avoid associating with people who care deeply about someone else's hair. But many people love it deeply, so to each her own.

Sarah said...

I'm not going because I'm not a big enough blogger to justify the time and money.

And I'm totally social, but I have anxiety and awkwardness because I will INEVITABLY say something inappropriate and weird and beat myself up about it for (potentially) YEARS. One of the reasons I first loved my husband was that no matter what strangeness came out of my mouth, he never judged me and always gave me a chance to clarify or redact!

Cookie said...

I'm with you on the socially awkward. I always feel like the most socially challenged person in the room. Heck, I feel awkward on the phone. I always second guess everything I saw, and have habit of hiding in the corner at social events. This is in stark contrast to my husband, who is a social butterfly and can chat up anybody. Guess that's a good thing, because I probably never would have talked to him otherwise.

Courtney said...

I would go except for two reasons: 1) I think it's too expensive for a non-family related trip (does that makes sense?) and 2) I would want the comfort of a friend to go with and I know no one from the blog world well enough to tag along (or those that I do know well enough do not go).

I would hate to spend that much money on something that only I would enjoy, not the rest of my family. If I had the extra money I think I would take my family on a trip instead.

jen said...

I'm just not the fashionista, socially gracious type. I'm the jeans and t shirts, thinks khakis and a clean shirt are dressy, sarcastic person with an awkward sense of humor and hey why does this sound like a singles ad? I don't drink, have no appreciation for sushi or evening gowns, I do not get along with anyone because everyone seems to take everything I say totally wrong. There should be a blogher for the rest of us poor dorks. I think we'd get along famously :)

BunnyBear said...

It sounds a lot like high school and boy did I hate high school.. so I avoid anything that gives off that vibe.

Kristi said...

Let's see... I'm not really a 'real' blogger. I'm truly & officially a mommy blogger and don't devote much time to it. Sometimes I do wish I would spend time honing it, because I largely find it fun but too many other pressing things. Like not selling houses! Sigh.

PS - You ARE one of the cool bloggers. Writing is insightful and dare I say the authentic you. You don't have to 'be' cool to be cool. :)

Cassie said...

Sometimes I think I would love to go, but then I think about all of the reasons you listed here and I panic. Also, there's the money issue. I'm hoping I can save up enough money and pull myself together enough to maybe go next year.

Sam said...

Swistle DARLING - if I went to BlogHer and found out you were hiding in your hotel room, I would go leave chocolate chip cookies outside your door with a little love note or something.

I used to want to go, but now I am much more interested in doing something artsy and creative like SQUAM. In fact, I am DYING to go to SQUAM (if only because the creator was my first blog friend and I worship her). It would just be a better fit for me all the way around. So I do plan on going, but spending that much money on a trip just for myself is a little out of range for us these days.

Courtney in FL said...

I'm not going because I'm a blog reader and not a blogger. I would be worried that I would be thought of a stalker because I was just there to go" OMG it's SWISTLE!". Plus, I would be hiding in the bathroom due to fear too. But I would love to go so I could meet all the amazing bloggers that I read on a daily basis (you are at the top of that list).

So if you ever do go and some girl runs up to you and talks really fast about how much she adores your blog, umm well hi, thats me! :)

-R- said...

I didn't go because I'm really not interested in any of the conference stuff. I don't care about marketing or developing "my brand" or whatever. I would like to meet people though. I would prefer a smaller conference, I think, with like 50 bloggers I read instead of 1000 bloggers I've never heard of.

Anonymous said...

I think most of us would prefer to go to your alternative version of BlogHer, with the fudge.

Also, you and Maureen and Mr Pickles should go next year and room together. Mr Pickles gets the first shower.


Slim

marybt said...

Thank God I'm not the only one who feels out of the clique!

I just thought it was my engineer-type social awkwardness coming out. It's good to know that bloggers who I think are cool feel the same way. :)

Raven said...

I went last year, I didn't get a whole lot out of the conference itself but I got a lot out of my roomies and none of my roomies can make it this year.

I'm going to Sacramento to hang with two of my roomies and meet some new bloggers in September instead.

And you don't HAVE to have someone in your room, it just saves money :)

Jen said...

I considered going. Chicago is a pretty inexpensive flight and I know the city well. My SIL lives there so even though I wouldn't stay with her, I could have always gone and seen her if I chickened out of going to the actual conference. I decided not to go for three reasons:
1 - Am Chicken
2 - Do not "know" other bloggers who are attending. I would have to have someone standing next to me so I didn't feel so awkward.
3 - I think I would see a "big" blogger (someone like yourself, only not because evidently you would be hiding in your room so let's say Linda at Sundry or Alexa at Flotsam) and melt down. Meaning, I would start acting like an idiot and wringing my hands and just stare inappropriately. I've never encountered a celebrity and I don't know how I would react (I'm thinking 13 year old girl at a Justin Timberlake concert with a backstage pass) and even though, yes, I know bloggers are just real people 99% of the time, at BlogHer it seems like that is not the case.
4 - All the preparation. Worrying about what I am wearing, my hair etc. Most of the time I don't care about that stuff but I think it would make me feel like I should.

AndreAnna said...

I could have written Beth's comment word for word.

There are some people going that I'd like to meet but the reality is that if we're good enough "friends", we don't need a conference to go to in order to be so.

I've met a bunch of people from blogging that have become facets of my every day life. For me, there is no separation of my blogging self and my real self and I've melded and mixed the worlds thoroughly, so I don't feel the need to go to a conference to "meet" my friends where a lot of people will be Judgy Von Judgerpants.

Do I make any sense?

nicole said...

No money, no time. I would like to go, just for the fun of it. I am by no means a serious blogger, so I can't really justify the expense at this time. I want the swag too. ;)

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I'm not going for a number of reasons. I'd have to fly & I can't overcome my fear of flying for it (I can for visiting my family). It's a lot of money for socializing, which is all I would really be getting out of it. I'm not going to brand my blog or monetize myself. I'm shy, so even the social part would be small. I don't mind the clique thing. I was a sorority girl. I know most of the time people hang out together because they are comfortable together, not to exclude me. If I can bring myself to say hi & find something in common, I know mostly I'll be welcome.I just don't usually have the nerve to do it.
And I'd be wearing my Old Navy jeans & shirt & my comfy 6 year old sandals.

We could all go and hang together in our less than shiny new put together appearance. People might think we were a clique!

Marie Green said...

My reasons not to go THIS year (they stay the same EVERY year):

because by next year I'll be thinner, have better clothes, and have more readers. By next year I'll have met some of the bloggers that I read in person and therefore have someone to "roomie" with. By next year, I'll know more about blogging in general (HAI html) so I'll get more out of the conference side of things.

Also: I'd be constantly worried that I *should* know who someone is, but in fact I don't read her blog, so I *don't* know who she is and O_M_G AWK!

Lawyerish said...

There are a bunch of reasons I've never gone: (1) I wouldn't be interested in the conference stuff at all (my brand? AHAHAHA!); (2) I would only go if I knew I would have specific people to hang out with and/or wanted to meet (mutually) -- not like a "clique" but a "small but welcoming group with whom I would feel comfortable spending most of the time so I wouldn't end up standing awkwardly in a corner like a potted plant"; (3) huge crowds of women make me nervous even under the best of circumstances (I am a small-group or one-on-one type of person); and (4) I hate reading about all the drama or quasi-drama or even fabricated drama that seems to occur every year, and whether or not it's actually like that, the idea of it turns me off.

All that said, I imagine that people build it up in their minds to be one way and if you're actually there it might be entirely different and maybe even all kinds of great, especially if you go knowing that some of the people you've been wanting to meet will be there and you can be silly and eat lots of cookies together.

donna said...

I'm here already in Chicago (long tale of using miles for my flight and having to bend to their schedule).

I was always nervous about going, but my husband encouraged me to go. I said that if one blogger I was dying to meet in real life said she was going, I would go too. And lo and behold, here I am.

I don't really care about meeting other bloggers that I don't know already. That's not to say that I'm not open to it, but I'm here to meet the ones I have a relationship with already, and to hang out with Shelly from Scenic Overlook, who I know in real life and who will be my roommate. I personally would not room with someone I had never met before for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

I don't care what other people think or if it's cliquey or not. I brought comfy clothes for sessions although I don't plan to attend that many, and clothes that I'm happy to go out to dinner and drinks in and then I'm not worried. I did get a pedicure but only because I HAD to whether I was coming here or not. My roots need a touch up and I did not lose 15 pounds. Big deal.

I say if you want to go next year, find a friend who is going and stick together! You'll meet some like-minded people who aren't all wrapped up in stupid crap and just enjoy. And you would not be the first person in history to need a drink before socializing. That's why they have the cocktail parties!

This has been a long diatribe to say that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to go but don't be scared to go if you want to. That just lets the mean girls win.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I'm just not into it. And I live in Chicago.

Shelly said...

I love this post. I have very conflicting feelings about BlogHer. There are definitely some bloggers I would LOVE to meet in person, so I would love to go to meet them. But the "conference" aspects leave me cold. "Market" my blog?! Not only do I not know anything about that, I don't want to. Blogging is SO not my job. And rooming with strangers makes me break out in hives. I have to do it for work occassionally and that's weird enough, I don't need that in my regular life without being paid for it. Plus, my family would think the whole trip was WEIRD. So yeah, there's all that.

MzEll said...

Everything you said, really and truly. Especially about feeling so much different in person than in writing.

Plus:

The flying: I haven't flown since everything got so complicated and LOST scared the crap out of me.

Childcare: Who is going to take care of my kids? My husband works full-time, we have no babysitter, MIL isn't healthy enough, and my parents live in another state.

The money: holy moly, the guilt over spending that much on myself would haunt me forever.

The nerd issue: I would LOVE to go to the sessions and take notes and learn about the different things available. This makes me feel silly.


I did put on my brave shoes and meet two of my online knitting friends this summer. The 2 of us who were moms met and let our kids swim together, and then all three of us met for brunch the next day. It was good, because after the swimming, any one of us could have backed out without it being awkward. That's how I'd have to meet people for a LONG TIME before I was comfortable going to a whole conference where everyone was a blogger.

C @ Kid Things said...

My daughter's 1st birthday is tomorrow, that's why I'm not there. Even if the timing was different, though, I'd still have many concerns about going. Simply because I'm also a very shy person and I can totally see myself just hiding out in my hotel room all day/night and really, what's the point of that.

Jess said...

I'm not scared to go, exactly, though I know if I were going I'd totally be on that train, the "oh god I'm ugly and boring and unfashionable in person" train. It's just that... well, I know it's fun. But the parties and the drinking and the seminars and the cliques? And the crowds and trying to figure out where the people you want to meet are?

I just want a laid-back girls' weekend with some of my favorite bloggers. Instead of all the hullabaloo about BlogHer.

AndreAnna said...

In an addendum to my comment, I'm not ruling out the possibility of ever going because I think the convenience of getting to meet a bunch of people all on one place is awesome.

It it so hard when you really become friends with someone and they live in like Canada or something. Having something like BlogHer allows for a bunch of people to have a reason and a place.

However, as someone above me used the word, it does feel very sorority-ish. I'm so conflicted though because so many non-sorority-ish people that I think are really cool are going.

Am very conflicted about this whole thing. LOL

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

It sounds fun in theory but if I went I think it would be first grade all over again and instead of making friends during recess I would be hiding by the trash can.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I'd like to go, but I can't justify spending the money. Plus, I'm an introvert, but I can talk to strangers. It just takes a lot out of me to be social, so then I'd need to take a nap. :)

I think you and I would be perfect roomies, though!

Oh, and I'm not a big drinker and I could care less about fashion, so I don't really know what I'd talk about with people.

I would like to meet a number of bloggers, though. But maybe in a smaller venue.

Annika said...

I don't go because I can't afford to go. But also because a lot of bloggers who used to be super-friendly to me have totally dropped me. Probably not deliberately or anything, but you know. I've been doing this for seven years and nobody remembers who I am and I don't think I need that magnified.

Also I've lived in Chicago in the middle of summer and swore NEVER AGAIN.

Maybe next year. I'll have a six-month-old, so that should make it super exciting.

daysgoby said...

Personal:
I am HORRIFIED by the thought of 1500 people in one place, all dropping names and business cards and flashing lipstick. I would be the one with the unfortunate hair in the corner with the sweaty handshake and the half-moon cut into her palms from clutching her hands too tightly.

Otherwise: Why would I spend that much money to go to a conference where SIX MONTHS after the all the bally-hoo started, I still don't know what the topics being covered are? My point: If the conference isn't the important part, than it's really just a giant cocktail party.

I'd love to meet more bloggers - I went to a fifteen people meetup in Niagara Falls last year and have met a few others here and there, but 1500? I think I'd plotz.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

No one reads my blog. No one's ever heard of me. Other bloggers THINK no one reads their blog and no one's ever heard of them, but I probably have the fewest readers in the universe.

And I am good at cocktail parties, really I am, but I would be so charming and then no one would remember me and if they did, they'd read my blog once and be surprised that such a charming professional writer has such a boring stupid blog.

Or I would be too shy to talk to anyone, until I decided I wanted to talk to Heather Armstrong or someone, and then I would say something horrible and stupid and the next thing you know I'd be a story on HER blog, which everyone would link to, all about this moron she met who Just Doesn't Get It.

And I would go to workshops on how to do everything better, how to get more readers or write better or make a million dollars, and I would try those things, and I would still be broke with a boring blog with no readers, because I simply don't have what it takes.

And everyone there would be either impeccably dressed, or able to pull off that they don't give a damn, and I would be neither.

Or maybe everyone would talk about their husbands and babies all the time, and I like (many) husbands and (most) babies, but I am a childless single dyke, and that would come up and everyone would be all quiet for a minute. Or wouldn't. Either way.

I mean, I'm not going to BlogHer for the same reason I blog. Totally insecure. :)

samantha said...

Aw, this makes me sad. And a little uneasy. I'm going to BlogHer and am beyond excited about it. But I don't want anyone to judge me prematurely for going. I was never in a sorority. I am outgoing and social and can't wait to meet all my friends even though I've never heard their voices. Rooming with someone I've never met before doesn't freak me out in the least, as she and I are practically the same person anyway.

I have heard it's clique-y and that some of the bigger bloggers ignore others and that's not my crowd, so I'm not worried about that. My crowd is pretty much similar to the one I hung out with in high school--diverse, more laid-back, and not into All Of That.

But! Am I stressing a bit too much about my clothes? Yeah, but I do that anyway. Am I going to be a networking fool? Yes, but that's what I'm there for as I actually WANT to be a writer. Plus I'm in sales so it's like second nature to me.

I really don't see crying in the bathroom as something I'll need to worry about this weekend and I hope I'm right.

I'm sad people can't go that want to, and I'm sad people are afraid to go for all the ugly reasons that have spread from conferences past. I'm optomistic that this will be a good weekend for me. Though of course it will suck for others because with that many people, EVERYONE isn't going to have a fluffy kitten and rainbow experience.

I'll let you know how it goes on Monday. Fingers crossed!

(Oh, and about finances, I TOTALLY understand. I'm only able to go for two reasons: 1). I live here so no flight. 2). My conference pass was a birthday present as I couldn't afford it if I wanted too.)

Hotch Potchery said...

I'm not going because I love the bloggers I read and who they are in my mind...what if I go to BlogHer and that isn't who they are?

I will feel cheated and stupid. Plus, what if I am not what my readers think I am, and I make them feel cheated and stupid?

Smiling Mama said...

I'd love to meet you, too! And, we could hide in the bathroom together. (Different stalls, of course!) I mentioned BlogHer to my husband last night and he said, "Why aren't you going?" I started outlining all the costs and he said, "That's all just a cover for your anxiety." Ding ding. He got me. Maybe next year....

l'ananas said...

Meeting people in person? Eww.

Kim said...

All the reasons you said, plus I'm going on a personal vacation starting tomorrow. I'm anxious and nervous NOW and that's about being with people I've known my whole life - BlogHer? There isn't enough Xanax in the world.

mom huebert said...

Maybe we should have our own blogger conference in the bathroom, far from the madding crowd.

the snarky lady said...

I honestly can't justify money to talk to other moms about writing blogs. I know moms in person who write blogs. We never talk about them. I don't care about SEO and advertising and budgets and Google readers. I write to write. I don't write to make a full time income. Sure that would be nice -- but eh, whatever. I live in Chicago. All I would have had to do was hop a train downtown and I still just had no interest.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not there because 1. it seems cliquey 2. it seems too much like work 3. it weirds me out that people no one IRL knows about are these hallowed rock stars during this one insular weekend and 4. it's way too much money.

But I'm having fake Blogher at my house! You should come! No cliques allowed, no figuring out how to amortize your brand, AND we have a wine sponsor.

Jody said...

It's expensive and if I'm going to coordinate a weekend away, I'm going to see the friends I want to see, not a select subset of the friends I want to see in the midst of a huge crowd.

I don't go to college/high school reunions, either. When I want to see folks, I organize a reunion of my own, in a location we all like (it involves access to hiking paths, not hotel conference centers), and a weekend we all choose together.

Of course, these almost never happen. But the principle stands.

Jeninacide said...

I'm not scared, necessarily- but I would definitely feel better going with one of my close blogger buddies so that we could hang out together and I wouldn't be the lone chick in the corner, ya know?

Also: I can't justify the money. Oh and my husband is out of town so nobody to watch the child which means that I would have to take him and THAT WOULD KILL ME. Literally.

Jenni said...

I'm not there for a few reasons. One is Miles, the baby, is only seven months and still primarily breastfeeding. I could bring him, but he's not at an age that's great for that. He needs to nap and go to be early and I think that would put a damper on the networking aspect.

Also, there's the money. It's a whole lot of money that we could use in better ways, or for a family vacation, so I can't justify it.

And, the cool kids aspect. I know a lot of blogger poo-poo this, but the ones that poo-poo are generally the cool ones. I'm not incredibly socially awkward (but am a little; I am a blogger) (I actaully think I'm funnier in person) but I can be a tad inappropriate and I'm not sure how people would take that. What if I got flamed? What if no one wanted to be my friend? What if I ended up walking around by myself with no one to talk to for days on end in to ETERNITY?!

el-e-e said...

I think it would be a fun spectacle to witness, and I think I could PLAY the part of socially unafraid, but I definitely would NOT be unafraid.

My main reason for not going is that my blog is not a business for me. If I had the guts to quit full-time work and try freelance work, which I doubt I ever will, I would go. (And I would LOVE to wear plain t-shirts with you (all of you here), and we could have lights out at 11:30.) :)

Kristin said...

I've only had a blog for less than a year, so I don't think I have any business going yet. It would be cool to meet other bloggers (I don't know anyone IRL who does it too and none of my friends or family know about my blog), but no.

I'm not scared to go for social reasons; I think I can hold my own in a group and I'm not easily intimidated, but, eh. Just not my thing this year. Oh, and I'm due to have a baby on Sunday? So the timing would be a little poor. I did seriously think about it a few months ago though, because I live near Chicago and it would be easy to travel, etc. But then I realized how insane that would be.

And Swistle--you are totally one of the cool bloggers. I am sure many, many people would love to meet you (which would be overwhelming) and you would spend far less time in the bathroom than you would want to!

Kristin H said...

Well, I don't have a blog, so they probably don't need me there.

But I can totally relate to your hiding tendencies. I did my student teaching in Australia, and I hid upstairs in an office at lunchtime every day until I realized what I was doing. Then I forced myself to go down and mingle. But it was very intimidating.

Misty said...

I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to go. Just...don't want to.

But I don't think I am a real blogger either. I am a poser. And I am totally ok with that.

HollyLynne said...

oh, i'd love to go but i've never been one of the cool kids either. i'd be burning w/ shame right along with you! if it ever comes w/in a few hundred miles of home though, I think i will go. maybe ;)

Eleanor Q. said...

I think that if you went to BlogHer your biggest worry should be how to deal with the hoards of people crowding you going "Swistle! Be my BFF! No Mine! Swistle!" I think you'd even have paparazzi.

I feel like I'm a hobbyblogger, I don't really have a "readership" or a "brand" and there aren't people out there dying to take a picture with me so I wonder how much I would benefit from a conference like BlogHer. On the other hand, I'm super nosy and when I hear of a party or a cool thing going on I want to go. I know I would stand awkwardly around trying to make chit chat with strangers dying a little bit inside with every word.

minnie said...

I think you could dress any way you wanted and there would be not one comment or wayward look. I swear that is true even though people make a big deal out of dressing cute. For every painstakingly dressed woman there will be someone who is perfectly happy in jeans a t-shirt.
I mostly like to wear jeans and a t-shirt even though i TALK about wearing a cute dress...
You are a popular blogger and I bet you would have so many people who would love to meet you and hang out.
It's still cliquey and the people who are the most outgoing and social are the ones who are being outgoing and social and like whooping it up... those damn extroverts!
Even at my most shy and non-talky I have always had a pretty good time and been very inspired, not just about blogging but about all kinds of things. It's lovely to be in a huge room full of nice women.
I tend to get my own room so that I can go hide. But then I always also feel like I am missing out on the fun of having a roommate...
if you had a roommate you would always have a partner in crime and wouldnt feel lonely!

I'm not there this year due to money and childcare issues but I will probably go next year!

Michelle said...

Well, unlike YOU, I am a crappy blogger. I also fear I would be That Creepy Woman who gives all her favorite bloggers the skeeves because I would squee and gush too much upon meeting them.

brightfeather said...

I'm not a blogger. I have a blog, but posting in it is a rarity. And well, I'm with you, swistle in the socially awkward. I'm the always-hiding-in-the-shadows type. I'll go hide in a corner somewhere, preferably with a book. IRL, I'm shy. I have been to one convention, but it was a fandom convention for a small, tightly-knit fandom where I'd been talking to the same people for three years. That wasn't awkward because not only did I know everyone, I had fans of my fanfiction there. (Now that was kinda embarrassing. Me. With FANS.) And as for wardrobe, well... my idea of dressing up involves clothes that don't have holes or stains in/on them. One of my majors was art, and you become real hard on clothes in art.

BlogHer? No way. Maybe we need one for rednecks so we can go around in our least holey, cleanest jeans and a clean tshirt. Then we can talk about the kids and the funny things they do and trying to keep the toys from eating the house alive while chasing active kids...

The Gori Wife said...

I write about such a weird little topic. I mean, I read all the same BlogHer-ish blogs too, that's almost ALL I read, but I write about something completely different. I have a few readers, too, but the two don't overlap. So I'm positive no one at BlogHer has ever read my stuff. Which would be like going to a party and knowing NO ONE.
And I've never been a blogger either. I only started mine a few months ago, and after YEARS or reading lots of blogs, it feels like I'm still not really a blogger yet.
And it sucks because I would love to meet my favorite bloggers. I refer to you people in my "brick and mortar" life, even, you're that influential for me. And there will be people talking about how to make a living writing. I would love to make a living writing about the stuff I write about!
Ah, maybe one day. In the meantime you should come over to my house. We could have a party where we play 80s music, paint our toenails and crimp out hair. Everyone could wear acid washed jeans with that pinch-cuff thing. If its more like a costume there's no worrying about what to wear. At least not about what to "fashionably" wear.

bluedaisy said...

I totally understand your post but since I don't have the $, I never even thought about all of those things. WOW- it just shouldn't be so intimidating, right?

Alicia said...

I identify so much with this post. I need to DRINK or MEDICATE to meet people too. Which is why I sit in my house with my kids and write. Heh. Definitely very different in my writing than I am in person. It's not a bad thing, really, unless those two worlds are supposed to interact.

Anonymous said...

I know this is totally off topic...but I was on Etsy, and saw this and thought of you:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27112842&ref=sr_gallery_17&&ga_search_query=birdie&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=date_desc&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title

Bet she could make it with 5 eggs.

Whimsy said...

And then there were 60-ish more people saying the exact same things, with the exact same reasons for not going. Which makes one think that so many of us wouldn't go because we're awkward, because we don't know anybody, because we're in Denver meeting our BIRTH FAMILY AND IT'S TOTALLY FREAKY ---oh right, that's just me. But you're speaking my language, friend.

Anyway. I think that Bzzzgrrrrl makes a good point: there's a reason why so many of us are online, writing a blog: we're introverts at heart. We put our Best, Most Social Self out there on our blog every day. And that doesn't leave a lot of room for a REAL LIFE social self. At least it's that way for me.

I'm going to write about this when I get home, but that's actually one of my challenges meeting my birth family this week: my birth father, my brother, his wife --- they read my blog. And they know **that** me, which isn't really a good portrayal of In Person Whimsy. It's a tough thing, living up to an online persona. No matter how hard you try to be true to yourself in your blog, you're always going to be a little different in person. And that's exactly why I write: because I'm much better at expressing myself in writing than I am using actual spoken-aloud words.

That was a very long comment and I'm sure there's more I could say. And will say. Sometime later.

Now I'm going to sleep because I am very tired. But you know what? I'd totally go to your low-stress fudgetastic alternative blogger conference. And I'd tell you you looked SMASHING in your Lands End jeans.

Kristi said...

The reasons you listed are why we love you!

Kathy said...

Too scared, no money. In that order.

Swistle said...

Anonymous- OMG that is so pretty!!

Whimsy- YESSSSSSS. Yes yes yes.

smilingsherpa said...

I just have to say that it all makes me sad. I'm sad that you want to go, but you can't because you're scared. I wish that wasn't so. I wish your commenters could make you realize how cool you really are. But, that's not the way social anxiety works, is it? I hope you have a fantastic weekend NOT being at BlogHer. At least maybe it means you'll still be posting, unlike the other ladies I read who have left me hanging while they are away this weekend!

Sam said...

I am thinking about going next year. I am THE person you want to go with if you have social anxiety issues. I have a habit of finding nervous people and making them feel at ease, if only because they are laughing at me so much they forget to be nervous. Plus, when I'm making an ass out of myself by saying "clitoris" in mixed company you don't have to worry about anyone noticing your jeans.

It's not that I don't have social anxiety, I just fake it until everything seems less overwhelming. I'm a very good in person social faker. I think we should go. Anything can be fun if you put your mind to it or take downers. :)

Sam said...

DUDE. I was totally comment #69. WOOT!

Jane said...

People who are scared to go to BlogHer shouldn't go to BlogHer. They shouldn't change themselves or medicate or suck it up or whatever. I can't STAND it when people agonize because they're going to BlogHer and don't KNOW WHAT TO DO EVERYONE WON'T LIKE ME I'LL DIE IF DOOCE LOOKS AT ME WHAT IF SOMEONE THINKS I'M FAAAAAT. Honey, you stay home from BlogHer and I'll stay home from BlogHer and we'll have fibrous muffins across the internet. And it will be just as fun as BlogHer, wil 90% less shrieking and low self-esteem. xoxo

Astarte said...

Girl, we'll go next year, and if we feel all judgy McJudged, we'll ditch the whole thing and do touristy things instead. :) Besides, we can be our own clique, and if no one else joins, well, that's a LOT more fudge for us, and that sounds pretty OK to me, too. :)

Astarte said...

Also, is it really like that? It can't be that bad, can it? I mean, srsly?

Stacia said...

I assume you mean that there's a Blogher conference? I blog at She Blogged By Night and have been asked to join Blogher (through other members of Blogher, not in an official capacity) and declined, mainly because of live meet-ups. Online meetings are so stressful and unnecessary. The reason we blog is because we can represent ourselves differently online than in real life. Authors have done it for centuries, and bloggers are doing the same thing.

It's not that we pretend to be other people, it's that we don't have to wade through the "OMG I didn't realize you were so fat/old/female/covered in cat hair" sorts of initial impressions that go on during in-person meetings.

I think it's cool you don't want to go, and I think you have great reasons for it. Don't think of it as stuck, think of it as a decision you made based on who you are.

samantha jo campen said...

I just got back from BlogHer and I gotta say, it was amazing. Was there drama? Of course, but not with me and you just hear about it 2nd hand. Get 1500 women together and it's unavoidable.

I felt empowered. Like I belonged. I met people I've been dying to meet for years. And the awesome thing was? My favorite parts were me and the girls hanging in the hotel room between sessions/parties having amazing conversations and laughing till we cried. I'm going to feel MUCH more relaxed for next year (NYC WOO!) because really, clothes aren't a big deal to anyone but you. Your hair? Whatever. It's about fun and friendships.

Swistle, you're an amazing blogger and so many people love and identify with you. But if you go next year we wouldn't want you to be uncomfortable so as much as we'd all LOOOOOVE to meet you, don't stress over it. We'll keep coming back here for more :-)

Alice said...

hi! i just got back from blogher. and i have a lot of comments.

a) it's not that the Big Bloggers are cliquey, from what i could tell.. it's more that they're blog-friends with other people i'm not blog-friends with, so they're more excited to meet THEIR blog-friends than ME, which is pretty much fair, you know? but i met amalah, sundry, neilochka, and jessica bern, for example, and they were all very kind and not "ew, you are a small blogger"y. although i'm pretty sure i scared sundry into running away from me on sight, because it turns out i shouldn't be allowed to talk to celebs, like, ever. linda, i promise my family are not scary serial killers, no matter how that story came out. whoops.

b) there definitely ARE people there who want to Optimize Their Readership! and Monitize Their Blog! and go from Blog To Book! ...but it's not everyone, and there are some really interesting sessions as well, like on what it means to be a feminist, or how to write comedy better. and you can choose to not be involved in whatever aspects of the conference you don't want to be involved with, including skipping the seminars to hang out with other people and/or visit the city.

c) everyone was Super Cute on the first day, and it totally seemed like 80% of folks were wearing jeans / yoga pants by saturday. true story.

to sum up, i TOTALLY see why people wouldn't want to go, and i'm not sure i'm even planning to go again next year in nyc.... but the cliques / the people all dolled up / being scared of meeting people all seem like fears nearly everyone there has, so i say go for it if the spirit moves you :-)

the new girl said...

True Story:
At Blogher, I met Linda from Sundry and introduced myself and told her we were buddies. She said, 'SWISTLE NEEDS TO BE HEEEERE!' and I said, 'I AGREE! but-i-think-she's-a-little-afraid-of-people.' and she said, 'We're ALL afraid of people, aren't we?'

It was an interesting experience. I don't know if I am going next year, with an almost-one-year-old nursling to wrangle but I'd definitely go again.

P.S. I bought every new item of clothing from TJMaxx or Target and it seems anything goes in the wardrobe department.

P.P.S. I really didn't see/meet any 'mean girls.' I met lots of professional, down-to-earth women and a coupla nut jobbers focused almost entirely on getting free shit.

Becky said...

I won a pass to go to BlogHer from your very blog! Squee!! Alas - I had to give it up due to childcare issues and not wanting to spend my vacation days and travel time and money on something where I wouldn't know anybody. Maybe next year! I hope the survey is on your blog and I win again. Ohhh, dare to dream...