There is a blogging conference that happens once a year. This conference is probably the biggest in the country geared toward women (although it’s so big now that men often attend). This conference is the BlogHer conference.
Every year BlogHer holds nominations for something called called Voices of the Year. One hundred posts in different categories are honored as Voices of the Year, and two out of each category are given the ultimate honor of being selected as part of the Community Keynote.
I was reading a post over at Good Day Regular People recently about people lacking the confidence to submit their own words, and simply hoping someone out there will choose to nominate them. My Twitter and Facebook stream have also been a flurry with bloggers typing things like:
“I can’t nominate myself. I’m not good enough to win.”
“Is it wrong or conceited to nominate my own post for VOTY?”
“It’s a popularity contest. No one knows who I am.”
Let me just stop you all right there. It is NOT a popularity contest. You could be nominated, not receive a single vote, and still be picked as a Voice of the Year. Yes, there is a People’s Choice award (some posts touch a great number of people and should be recognized for it), but everything else is chosen by committee. I know this because I was on the scoring committee last year. It’s about your words – not how many people you know.
How did I get to be on the scoring committee?
By being selected the Community Keynote in Humor for the BlogHer’11 conference…
as a little known blogger…
who with butterflies in her stomach, nominated her own post.
I stood on that stage with swollen ankles, a fat baby in my belly, and spoke to thousands of people. Even though I peed my pants a little, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
Do you know who shared that category and that stage with me?
Alexandra from Good Day Regular People…
who also submitted her own post.
We threw our words up into the air and prayed that they would reach someone…
That they would be understood…
Why else do we write?
The truth is, if your a writer of any kind (and not famous) you probably don’t have a publicist.
You have to be your own.
It’s okay to want your words to be read by thousands of people!
If you didn’t you would write in a private diary that you keep under your bed.
Sharing our stories is how we remind each other of our humanity.
Go after something.
Don’t worry about what other people will think if you advocate for yourself.
Most of us know the difference between someone saying, “Look at me! I’m the best”,
and someone saying, “Look at me. I deserve a chance.”
You deserve a chance.
PS – If you are a member of the BlogHer community, you can nominate someone’s or your own post here.