(Thanks to my cynical friend Bexy McFly Figaro for creating this meme)
I’ve talked about my complete lack of success before, and this entire blog is basically a profanity-strewn ode to under-achieving. The pinnacle of my writing career to-date is that I was once featured in Australian Women’s Forum as a fanzine writer – right next to a full-page advertisement for over-sized dildos and sex toys. Me in a soft porn magazine with hairy-chested nude male centrefolds. My mother was so proud.
Fast forward to today, and I am now an uber-successful mummy blogger. As befitting an uber-successful mummy blogger who makes shitloads no money whatsoever from her blog, it was finally time for me to cast aside the pesky issue of amateurism to attend a professional blogging conference with 699 other like-minded creatives. So that’s what I did.
ProBlogger is a huge national conference that brings together hundreds of Australian digital creatives and entrepreneurs to talk about how we can make lots of money on the internet (errr I mean, to talk about “how we can change the world and create meaningful connections on the internet”).
It’s basically Anthony Robbins meets Oprah Winfrey meets that guy from Hillsong for people who write online and want to make lots of money change the world. We all stormed out of the first session en masse like the bristling hordes of bold warriors in Braveheart, pumping our fists in the air and bellowing “Green smoothies! Green FUCKING smoothies! LET’S SELL SHIT!”
Contextual note for non-attendees: the first keynote speaker has made shitloads of money changed the world by spruiking the benefits of simple green smoothies. That shit was fucking inspired. We’d all drunk the Green Smoothie Kool Aid and were determined to stride boldly into the world to start making our first million dollars. But not until after morning tea. Those mini-pavs were to-die for.
(Quote from Jadah Sellner of Simple Green Smoothies)
I was surrounded by dreamers and entrepreneurs and high achievers and it all made me feel like a total loser. Their numbers were way better than mine and their reach was more pervasive and they were talking about creating opt-in offers and 30-day challenges and gangbuster e-products like it ain’t no thang.
Then there was me. The blogger who sniggered every time she heard the word “gangbuster” because it made her think of “gangbanging”. The blogger whose most-inspired idea for an e-book was something titled “30 Days To Becoming a More Sarcastic Smart-Arse”. The blogger who wore a custom-bedazzled bum bag to the after-hours networking event.
I met some amazing people with grand ideas and great ambition during the two-day conference. I was not one of them. The conference opened by asking us to think about our “Why?”
Why do we do this?
Why do we spend so much time doing something that makes no money we feel innately driven to do?
After two long days of inspiration and insight, my answer is still the same as it ever was: because I want to write stupid shit that makes my friends laugh.
I loved every minute of the conference but it did nothing to shift my creative compass or inspire me to change course for more lofty goals. I don’t want to make money. I don’t want to change the world. I don’t want to inspire people. I don’t want to develop apps or create podcasts or do video blogging or worry about SEO or send newsletters.
And that’s OK.
These two exchanges pretty much sum up my ProBlogger experience:
Drunk Internet Friend #1: So, are you going to do anything differently now when you go home?
(swigs from champagne glass)
Very Drunk Internet Friend #2: But you’re so INTELLIGENT. You’re so INTELLIGENT!
(Ever notice how drunk people always say stuff twice?)
Me: Yeah, but I have no AMBITION. I have no fucking AMBITION!
(swigs from champagne glass)
ProBlogger 2015 was all about making peace with my inner loser. The one without massive hordes of internet followers. The one who came home with an empty notebook. The one who doesn’t have a lengthy “To-Do” list of epic ideas to brainstorm. The one who had a melodramatic freak-out at the networking drinks because she thought she saw her ex-boyfriend but it turned out to be some woman in a dress and high heels.
The loser who just wants to make her friends laugh.
The upside of all this is that she has even more friends now, which is why she’ll be back again next year.
ProBlogger 2015: I’m more of a dip-stick than a glow-stick, but you make me want to shine through all that shit anyway. Kudos.