Over the past weekend, my mom, brother, and I went to CHEA Convention. CHEA stands for Christian Home Educators Association. I was homeschooled my whole life. Oooh ahh, weeird. However, I assure you that my socializing skills are top notch and I can hold a fork correctly.
Since the beginning, my parents have gone to CHEA together. They sit through sessions and shop the vendors for that perfect curriculum for their child. (Or in my case, they might’ve described me as “a child who HATES school. Does your curriculum work for a child who HATES school? … Yeah she won’t do it.”)
Oh yes. I was the prized student.
Last year, I went to CHEA on a whim. I don’t have any children, and I’m not homeschooling, but honestly, I had a great time. At CHEA is where I bought my Medical Transcription curriculum. I was excited to go back.
What made this year special was that they were going to have a Bloggers Night Out meet up! I was so excited.
After arriving at the hotel and unloading the car, I put on a blazer in an attempt to look more mature/professional (as all blazer-wearers do), grabbed my camera, and the three of us headed down to the convention center on foot.
It took no time at all to get our wristbands and guide books. CHEA doesn’t officially start until you have an orange band around your wrist and guidebooks in your hands.
Bands = We were #OFFICIAL.
It was time for the Bloggers Night Out!! I strolled in, casually hiding the utter excitement bubbling forth within me. I desired to be accepted among these fellow Blogger Peoples. I wanted to be professional, but witty. Fun, but mature.
I didn’t want to freak anyone out.
I joined a table with a husband and wife who were more than friendly, and I felt right at home. Out of the two, she was the one looking into blogging and trying to decide if it was really something she wanted to pursue.
A man with a gold name-tag joined our table, and I wondered if he was going to be on the Blogger Forum. There was a select group of bloggers chosen to participate on a forum. I counted six chairs on stage.
He asked us about our blogging. He used words like monetization and Blue Host. I was nodding and nodding. Then he turned to me.
“So, are you one of the up-and-coming mommy bloggers?” He asked.
I look like a mommy? I thought.
I told him no and excitedly shared my blog and how I had been blogging for about six years, then the event commenced.
Angela Mills led the event, telling us about her experience blogging, while being a 24/7 mother, wife, and homeschool teacher. She talked about having to make choices and the kind of balance it takes to juggle all the things life brings on top of writing blog posts and responding to comments. She said that moms can sometimes feel guilty if they do anything that takes away from time spent with their kids. She said that some moms even hide their work in the early morning time or late evening. However, she stressed to let the kids see you (if you’re a mom) work. Have them grow up knowing you to be a hard worker on top of a great cook, teacher, nurse, etc.
All these things were gold nuggets of wisdom I’ve tried to store in my brain for when I’m a mom and hopefully still blogging.
We were then instructed to take index cards and write two questions for the forum. I jotted down two lame questions, I don’t even remember. The index cards were collected and the forum was called to the stage. The man I had spoken to was on the forum after all.
The questions were great. How do you deal with negative comments? Why did you start blogging? WordPress or blogger?
We were then called to collect into groups and share blogs and links. This, I thought, was the most exciting part!
I stood to join the table next to mine, and it filled with ladies immediately. It was like I was in high school all over again. I thought about grabbing a chair and scooting in, but I was trying to be cool. So I went to a different table.
“Oh. Before you sit down, you should know. None of us are bloggers.” The man said, gesturing to himself and two other people. “Are you?”
I told him yes and glanced around the room. I felt bad. I couldn’t just flash a peace out and leave.
They said that while I was there, maybe they could ask me some questions? Soon I was sitting comfortably and chatting up the table. I knew way more about blogging than I thought. I heard my voice coming out of my head. It even sounded like I knew what I was talking about. It was like a Rebekah Forum of one.
It was weird.
All that to say, if anyone wants me to do a post on blogging, let me know. I seem to have a pretty good grasp on what I’m talking about.
This was the first blogger event CHEA has ever put on, so it was shaky and sparse as all firsts are, but it was an awesome experience to sit in a room full of people who either get it, or they want to.
Sometimes I feel like being a blogger means I’m alone in this thing. Friends and family try to get it, but me saying I’m a blogger resounds to them as much as “I like fishing” resounds to me. It’s just something that fills up time. Don’t understand it, but good luck with it—type of thing. And it’s nice to hear someone who comes from your perspective.
I enjoyed myself immensely. They even drew index cards from a cup for a giveaway, and my index card with the two lame questions… was picked! I won a comic book!
The artist/author was actually there at the meet up! I got to talk to him and how he came up with his main character. He’s one of those people who is so excited about his stuff that you fill with excitement for him! It was a pleasure to talk to him. I told him he had to start a YouTube channel and show videos of him drawing or even teach basic art techniques!
See! All! The! Exclamation! Points! He got me that excited.
Being able to promote things like his comics is something that makes me so happy to be a blogger.
It was an awesome first bloggers event for me. I also heard that there’s something called Blog World? WHAT?!
Great start to CHEA 2015!