Last year I attended my first blog conference, Relevant10, a conference for Christian bloggers, and it was just up the road from my home. Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote after the conference.
It was a big deal for me, a huge deal, because I’ve never been to a blogger’s conference before and didn’t know what to expect. Hundreds of women I’ve never met before, all ages and all blog niches brought together with a few things in common…..all women, all bloggers and all Christians.
It WAS a wonderful experience…..mostly. I knew no one, not one person and I was definitely feeling the weight of my social anxiety. I am NOT unfriendly, snobby, stuck up………….I AM intimidated by YOU. I AM terrified of YOU. I AM in awe of YOU. If I were a doggie I would put my tail between my legs and cower in the corner!
Then something wonderful happened. Someone noticed my anxiety and crossed the room and started to chat. That sweet gal was Shelly Noonan. I didn’t know then that she was a published author, I only knew that she was warm and welcoming and beautiful. Later I learned she created Pumpkin Seed Press and writes a blog, B’Twixt & B’Tween which is aimed at mentoring girls and women.
She’s speaking this year at Relevant11. She will be an inspiring and uplifting speaker and sadly, I’m not attending this year.
With Shelly I also met Dani from Domestic Serenity.
Taken from her blog, a space for preserving beauty, gathering grace, celebrating family, and nurturing the soul. No lavish displays of ‘the perfect life’, instead a humble record of an intentional one, mistakes and all.
She writes about her love of God, family, the pleasures of a simple life and I always come away from her blog feeling peaceful.
If you suffer from social anxiety like I do, know that despite your fear, you will meet incredible women at a blog conference!
So……. I decided not to go to Relevant11 and attend Haven12 instead.
I truly want to meet the fabulous gals of Haven12, but my social anxiety will be with me…. I’m choosing to ignore it…..GULP
I think I can I think I can I think I can
asks the question, “what do you do if you feel like the odd man out?” Here’s the part where I’m cowering in the corner…..under the table.
She’s written a post about blog cliques where she answers that question and offers some really great advice. Some bloggers feel that niche=clique. I’m guilty of feeling that way too sometimes, but I know it’s a coping mechanism ….thinking negative of others because you feel left out helps lessen your anxiety.
So if you’re going to Haven12, get over to Serenity Now and read THIS post. Read her whole Blogging Myths series while you’re there.
And remember this, the people you’re terrified of may be just as terrified of you. Just keep telling yourself that!
If you see me and my camera at Haven12, please say Hi, because I have this social
anxiety terror and am afraid of you!