I’ve been in a bummer mood this week.  To top it off, this morning I woke up with a form e-mail from BlogHer, announcing that my panel submission was not chosen.  I e-mailed the conference coordinator because I submitted two panel proposals (and assumed that I would get two response emails, even if both were rejected), and asked her to confirm that neither one was picked.  I’m sure that’s the case, because if they DID pick one of my proposals, I at least would have gotten one e-mail saying that they liked whichever one they liked.

Now I have to decide whether I still want to attend.  I often feel like the redheaded stepchild in the blogosphere– BlogHer is bound to be overwhelmed by Mommybloggers, and I definitely do not identify with them.  True I talk about my family a lot on this blog, but a significant part of my identity is shaped by my work life and professional activities and accomplishments.  There is a “Career” section of BlogHer, but that seems to be overwhelmed by women who blog for a living, and my perception is that there are very few women represented there who are in “traditional” full time careers, like law, engineering, pharmacy, or medicine.  I wonder whether BlogHer is not the right conference for me.  I’m looking into attending Corporate Counsel’s Social Media forum, because that might be a better fit for my specific interest.  However, attending BlogHer still remains a possibility.

I  am going to continue to focus on my writing   I have been working on putting a “Law Corner” into this site to showcase my legal publications (for anyone who is interested, I recently wrote about the Business Judgment Rule and Ownership Rights to Marcellus Shale Gas).  My firm has been very supportive of both my interest in social media and my interest in writing, and has given me numerous opportunities to pursue both.  I’ll be doing a practice group presentation in a few weeks on managed care issues, and have been doing a significant amount of research and writing about managed care litigation, so I’ll likely have a few publications on those issues soon.  

I do spend all day reading and writing for clients, and then I write about these additional issues in my free time.  Between that, and two book clubs, I spend a lot of time with the written word.  I really do like these extracurricular reading and writing activities, though, so it’s really not a chore.

For today, I need to gather up my bruised pride, and get back to it.  I find that a fancy coffee is a solid cure for a sour mood, so I treated myself to a huge delicious cafe au lait for breakfast.

And here is a completely gratuitious picture of Baby Beez and I saying “CHEEZ!” last night. Just to make me feel less mopey.

Update:  BlogHer’s been posting the agenda online.  It looks like the whole focus is how to make your blog into a job/moneymaker.  That’s not my area or interest.  Oh well.


Shameless self promotion, and time for blogging

BlogHer featured my piece on Multitasking and Working Moms on their website this weekend! It was featured both on the main page, as well as the Careers page! They’ve featured a million different articles and a million different writers, so it isn’t a huge deal, but I did think it was exciting.

My friend Viki asked me yesterday “how do you find time for reading and blogging and working and mom-ing and everything else you do?”  I don’t have any grand plan with time management.  I make sure to get my work done, and coordinate things with Mr. Beez to coordinate spending time with the little one, networking events, and happy hours…and everything else sort of falls in between.  My time management skills are probably “satisfactory.”  I am guilty of sometimes forgetting to put things in my calendar, or double (or triple) booking myself, or flat out forgetting things…but I manage to take care of all the important stuff, and even some not as important stuff, and it all turns out ok.

As far as blogging, I fit it into my life as a hobby.  Every time I’ve heard “It’s not about having time, it’s making time,” I’ve cringed… but it has some truth to it.  In participating in NaBloPoMo, I came across a number of blog posts where people complained about blogging being hard or too time consuming.  I’m a big believer that hobbies should be fun, and although challenges are sometimes fun, a hobby shouldn’t be so challenging that it sucks the fun out of the hobby.  I gave up crocheting for this very reason– it took forever for me to crochet anything, my skills were wanting (and everything turned out crooked and uneven), and the effort and time it would take for me to get good at would have killed all the fun, so I quit it.

At a Loss for Words

To the misfortune of the internet, blogging comes easily to me.  I always have a lot of ideas whirring around in my head.  They’re not ideas in terms of a storyline– I don’t think I’d make a good fiction writer.  They’re thoughts about things I’ve read, or seen, or heard.  I listen to NPR in the morning, and try to generally keep up with news and pop culture.  I’ll come across something that catches my interest, and I’ll roll it around in my mind for a few days or weeks.  Sometimes I’ll start a post on an idea, and save just a few sentences or bullet points.  Then I usually hit a point where my thoughts on the topic all come together, and I know what I want to say.  At that point, I can usually throw together a blog post on my idea in about 15 to 20 minutes.  It’s easy for me to find those 15 to 20 minutes in my day, because even if you’re very busy, you can often find 15 or 20 minutes to squeeze in a hobby you enjoy.  I often write at night right before bed, or after dinner while Baby Beez plays.  I will often write up an entry and save it for the next day to review and post.  It is important to me that I don’t sound foolish, and a break in between writing and posting gives me an opportunity to reflect and revise.

I’ve considered trying to write a topic-specific blog.  However, that would be much more time intensive– I’d have to spend more time reading and doing things specific to that topic.  That’s more of a time commitment than I’m able or willing to invest, so that’s not going to happen.  Writing about whatever miscellaneous topic comes to mind is easier, faster, and (for me at least) more fun.

If you’re interested in blogging but don’t know what to talk about, questions are a good jumping-off point.  I look through writing prompts when I feel like writing, but don’t know what I want to talk about.  My general approach for blogging, though, is to write about whatever I’m thinking about.  I tend to think about a lot of things, which is why I tend to have a lot to say.


better blogging

PodCamp Pittsburgh is coming up on September 17 and 18.

I first heard of the event last year, shortly after it took place, so it was too late for me to attend.  The conference hits on all forms of social media, and although I’m not interested in podcasts or twitter (I really really hate twitter), I would be interested in learning how to be a better blogger and how to capture a wider audience.

Confession: I LOVE reading my site visit stats.  I felt like it was a huge accomplishment when after writing for several years at my old blog, I hit 3,000 views.  I’m starting at ground level again, and probably because of my ridiculous ego, I’d like to see my viewer stats climb.

I won’t be able to attend PodCamp Pittsburgh this year, either, because that is the weekend I’m visiting Philly with Sandy.  (If you’ve ever tried to schedule a weekend getaway between two women who work full time, have kids, and one of whom has a husband who works on Saturdays, you will understand why rescheduling the trip is NOT an option).  Luckily last year the panel discussions were posted online.  This year I’m sure they’ll do the same.  Although I’ll miss out on the networking aspect of the conference, I’ll at least be able to learn from the speakers.