This past weekend was a really stressful one for me, work-wise. There were some pressing issues at the office that just couldn’t be left alone after 5 pm Friday, and ended up consuming most of my Saturday.
It couldn’t have happened at a worse time, I thought, as Saturday afternoon was the very first DC-area blogger meetup that I’d organized with my blog buddy Christina. I’m not sure I let on to anyone just how much I was looking forward to this, but I really was. While last year I was focused and introverted as I launched my business, this year I really want to focus on building community both online and here in my area. Going out on a limb to schedule a gathering like this was the first step towards that goal.
Because I’d gone out on that limb, I was really nervous! What if people didn’t like each other? (or didn’t like me?) What if everyone thought it was lame? What if – heaven forbid – no one showed up?? Yes, I know, I worry too much. Add on the stress of work, and the fear that work may not be concluded in time to attend my very own gathering – and I was just a mess.
But Saturday afternoon I did manage to tie things up with work long enough to escape to Caffe Amouri for meetup. I’m so glad it worked out, because it injected a much-needed dose of happiness, laughter, energy, and inspiration into my otherwise dreary and stressful weekend. I returned home super, super happy and excited.
I often see happy posts from multiple bloggers, all rambling on about how awesome their latest blogger get-together was. And while it was exciting, I have a broader message for all of you who didn’t live close enough to attend. I’d like to challenge and encourage you to initiate a meetup of your own in your town.
If you do plan a meetup:
*Partner with another blog or twitter buddy, or even a non-blogging friend. That way, in the worst case event that no one else shows, you’ve got each other to hang out with. 🙂
*Pick a neutral, safe place for the first meetup. You don’t want to invite strangers into your home.
*Finally, I’d encourage you to do what we did – open it up to bloggers, twitter followers, and facebook fans. In my opinion, at least, blog readers are just as important a part of your blogging community as blog writers are.
There’s something awesome that happens when you get a group of blogging ladies together. I’m not really sure how it works, because we don’t all blog in the same niche, but you put us around a table and the conversation and laughter flows. It’s something I hope to enjoy again, and something that I truly wish all of you could join me for.
But in the mean time, as we wait for teleportation to become a reality, I encourage you: go forth and create your own blogging community!
Finally, here’s a list of all the awesome ladies who gathered, and where you can find them. I really encourage you to check them all out!