Okay okay okay okay okay okay okay DEEP BREATH okay okay! I’ve been sitting on this information for SO LONG and I’m really excited about it and I finally get to share it with the world, so here goes…
Hey guys! What are you doing in April? Want to come hang out with me in Phoenix, Arizona?
SATURDAY, APRIL 18th / WordPress’ “Press Publish” Conference / A One-Day Conference Featuring Inspiring WordPress Bloggers and the people behind WordPress.com
Don’t everybody look at once, but I’m (whaaaaat) totally one of those “inspiring WordPress bloggers.”
Here’s an actual gif of me dancing about this, recorded the day that I found out that this was happening.
(To be fair: this was also taken because the sound designer of the show I was working on decided to use “Call Me Al” as his pre-show speaker check, and also because I just felt like starting a dance party. Also, for the record, I’m on a set in a theatre. I don’t typically take a Paul Simon dance break in shantytowns).
(Guys, I’m also not so sure about the hat. The pom-pom just feels a bit too whimsical, even for me).
What does this actually mean? I’m giving a speech. In front of an actual audience. Like a TED talk! But not, because this isn’t a TED event.
What’s it about?
Well, here’s the blurb:
My Blog Made Me Happy
Humor blogger Katherine Fritz will tell the story of how she started a blog in an act of whimsy, went viral four or five times, poured her heart out to millions of strangers, discovered a creative outlet she never knew she was missing, landed a gig as a contributor to MTV Style, and finally told her mother about her blog.
That sounds great! I know! Right?
Is that what your speech is actually about? Yeah, man. I’m still in the process of writing it, but that’s the general outline. The theme that keeps emerging is this idea of vulnerability, and how that intersects with the process of blogging. The idea that in choosing to expose parts of your flawed and insecure self to the world, you are creating a pathway towards connection and empathy and understanding.
So you’re thinking about getting up on stage and talking about feeling vulnerable? … How does that make you feel?HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH OH GOD WHAT HAVE I AGREED TO DO??? …… VULNERABLE. The answer is “vulnerable.”
But also excited? A kind of terrified nervous thrilled excitement. I firmly believe that when something really scares you, you should do it. At least once.*
*I should clarify that I mean things like “Say yes to a new job” or “Try a public speaking engagement.” This logic does not apply to, say, “Licking a snake!” or “Recreational murder!”
No, but for real though? So when the very funny Andrea Middleton, who is one of two WordPressers behind this entire shebang, was interviewing me for this job, she asked, “So on a scale from ‘Totally Comfortable’ to ‘Jenny Lawson Hiding In The Bathroom,’ how are you at conferences?” And the truth is that I’ve never actually been to a conference of any kind before. So I sort of babbled something about how I can usually handle opening night parties at the theatres I work with, as long as I can hunker down behind the cheese plate, and that is very true, and I breathed a little easier because, you know, if I can handle that kind of social scenario, I can totally handle this, right? It was only after this that I remembered that the major difference here would be that if I was up on stage, everyone would know who I am.
And then I remembered that I’m going to be in a room filled with other bloggers, all of whom probably get it. That it’ll be about as warm and supportive an environment as I can imagine. So I figure that even if I do have to hide in the bathroom, at least I’ll be in good company.
(Andrea, I’m dead serious about this part: I really will do better at the mingling stuff if I have access to a cheese plate. Andrea is organizing this alongside the also very funny Jen Mylo, both of whom I have now “met” via Skype and both of whom are working so hard to make this thing amazing, which I think it will be. Hey Jen! CHEESE. PLATE).
You’re being a little self-deprecating and didn’t you just write all about how you need to stop downplaying your accomplishments and just own the fact that you’re a funny, smart writer and people want to hear what you have to say? AWW CRAP. Yup! I sure did. Thanks, self, for that reminder. I’m gonna rock this. I’m gonna be so inspiring and funny you won’t even know what hit ya.