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Carpool Candy, Moi, One Funny Motha, Chew Nibble Nosh and Smiles and Duct Tape at Eataly Friday night. Heaven.

I got home yesterday from the whirlwind that is Blogher, the annual ginormous conference where bloggers from all over the country gather to learn, network and eat and drink for three action-packed days. This year it was held in New York City, which made going for me a no-brainer. It was fun to meet writers in person whom you immediately recognize from their websites. And it was especially great to reconnect with writers from Bloghers gone by. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. S-T-R-E-T-C-H: Blogher ’15 was chock-full-of-speakers, addressing everything from Internet trolls to maternal health challenges and featured an A-list lineup including “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, “Every Mother Counts” founder Christy Turlington Burns and the Goop-y Gwyneth Paltrow. But the story that resonated most with me was told by Teneshia Jackson Warner, a multicultural marketing expert, who spoke about those defining moments we all have in life. She told the Blogher audience about leaving a good job that left her wanting more and having the tenacity to land her dream job with hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. “When you have a moment before you, be willing to stretch into it,” she told us, and I knew just what she was talking about. I knew that to get what I want, I’d need to do some stretching of my own.
  2. Take what you want: “Selma” director Ava DuVernay is a badass. She’s really the very definition of a boss ass bitch. She closed the conference on Saturday with a great discussion about the dearth of women – especially those of color – in Hollywood and really gave the impression that she was kind of over putting up with bullshit. “Women have been trained to ask for what we want instead of taking it,” she told us. “We’ve been indoctrinated in a culture of permission.” I’m gonna stop asking and start taking, too.
  3. Divorced parents need to get over themselves: I lunched with Gwyneth Paltrow on Friday. Well, there were probably about 1,000 of us there, listening to her speak while we ate our turkey sandwiches and faro salads. Say what you will about Ms. Goop, I kinda like Gwynnie and think she gets slammed a lot by trying to be forthcoming about her personal life. Anyway, I was especially impressed by this portion of her conversation:

  1. Conferences are more fun when you’re part of a posse: Dudes, I went to my first Blogher in Chicago two years ago and knew ZERO PEOPLE. Like, not a one. Of the four blogger/writer friends I made that year, I mostly stayed connected with two — Carpool Candy and Em-i-lis — and both were there this weekend and it was, in a word, a lovefest. I’m really getting good at surrounding myself with solid people and we added a few more to our crew (Chew. Nibble. Nosh. and Smiles and Duct Tape) and it was lovely having a posse to pose with  the weirdAquafresh guy and share a lovely plate ofburrata.

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    Hanging with Captain Aquafresh at Blogher’s Expo was a little weird but I did walk away with a year’s worth of toothpaste. So that was something.

  2. Blogher makes me ballsy: In my regular life, I don’t like taking risks. I always feel like I’m bothering someone or acting needy. But for some reason, being at Blogher makes me nervy. I ask editors to meet for coffee. I go out to dinner with bloggers I think are funny. I tell writers I admire how much I like their work. And I’m not even drunk.
  3. Trust your instincts: I initially planned on staying in my room solo until I noticed a blogger I’d met online and chatted a bunch with put out on Facebook that she was looking for a roomie for the conference. It took about two seconds for me to decide that A: I could use someone to help split the hotel bill and B: She seemed like a great girl. At any rate, she seemed like someone who wouldn’t put a pillow over my face while I slept. And she’s also from New Jersey and likes cats, so how bad could she be? Err … But it turned out, Stacey Gill of One Funny Motha is not only funny but a pretty great all-around girl. She was friendly and inclusive and is a lovely addition to my growing blogger posse.

    Can you say swag? Staples back-to-school breakfast with One Funny Motha.

    Can you say swag? Staples back-to-school breakfast with One Funny Motha.

  4. Network like it’s your last day on earth: I got into Manhattan on Thursday afternoon and by late Friday night I was seriously tired of talking and I still had another 24 hours to go. Thanks to Stacey, I met a bunch of people I maybe wouldn’t have met at the conference and I had the great good fortune to shamelessly hand out my new super-gorgeous biz cards, compliments of Solari Creative and Moo.
  5. It’s all about the writing: Sometimes, I get distracted by all the bullshit. All the noise like networking and social media and forget what the whole point is: my writing. I was inspired this weekend to spend more time working on that writing and developing a larger project to start shopping around. I’m not getting any younger, for fuck’s sake.
  6. There will be bread: I went into the conference thinking I could just stick to my regular no carb/no sugar (or really the almost-no carb/almost-no sugar) diet. But that proved impossible. I mean, nothing is impossible but I’m just not a great committer and between all the sandwiches the hotel put out for our lunches and the loaf of very delicious bread I ate at our 10:30 p.m. dinner on the rooftop of Eataly Friday night after a super long day, I came home feeling less than skinny.
  7. Girls named Amy rock: What is it about girls named Amy? Why do I love them so much and feel such an affinity towards each and every one of them? They’re usually super awesome (although tread softly around ones that are amazing) in many respects. This weekend I connected with a great writer who blogs at The Amy Situation. You should check her out. I feel like this isn’t the last we’ve seen of each other.

I came home Sunday afternoon and ate a big bowl of kale at my favorite new eating spot to counteract all the bread and spent the rest of the lying on my bed to escape the heat and read the paper. I feel motivated and excited by my fellow bloggers and buoyed by all the support.

Time to stretch.

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14 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned at Blogher ’15

  1. A!
    Total LOVEFEST which I enjoyed completely, and right you are that at the end of the day, as we clear away cobwebs and silence noise, it’s the writing that drives us, makes us tick.
    I really liked much of what Gwynnie had to say. She speaks her truth, that’s for sure.
    I would also like to say thank you for introducing me to the phrase “boss ass bitch,” and for bringing me to Lickher which was fabulous.
    XOXO, E

    • LOVE getting to know a gal who frets about her hair as much as I do! Glad we made that fateful ladies room connection and look forward to meeting again but perhaps this time over a cocktail instead of standing at a mirror? 😉

  2. Loved reading this and can’t wait to discover another awesome Amy! I met Em-i-lis at BH on my coast last year and thought she was great too. I saw you in a pic with Sarah Maizes on FB too…one of my fav funny gals. It looks like after 4 BlogHers, this was the one I shouldn’t have skipped. It’s so great to hear it inspired you (as if you, the boss ass bitch, really needed that)!

    • I think this is a serious case of birds of a feather. Or girls named Amy who like the same kind of people. At any rate, let’s BOTH plan of meeting up at Blogher next year!! xo

  3. Not that the whole post didn’t totally rock, but THIS: “A: I could use someone to help split the hotel bill and B: She seemed like a great girl. At any rate, she seemed like someone who wouldn’t put a pillow over my face while I slept.” <-BWAH HA HA LOVE!!!

    I've been reading everyone's recaps and enjoying the heck out of them, I am doing mine in small bite size chunks, I posted a Wordless (or ahem, NOT so Wordless) Wednesday with me and Captain AquaFresh today. I am an anti-social introvert, but Mascot photo opps get me out of my shell! (Darn, too bad we didn't meet at The Staples Breakfast!) 🙂

    • Hi Tracy! Even though we didn’t meet on the line to oogle Leeza Gibbons, I’m glad we’ve found each other online! It’s a date to meet up Blogher ’16 for sure!! 🙂

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