Rookie Status

What's cool about being a blogger? Everything! I get to write about what I want, when I want. Totally different from any of my past writing experiences, such as college courses or writing press releases at work.

Even cooler is getting to connect with fellow bloggers. I just attended my first official blogger function. A fun affair with twenty or so local bloggers at an event sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission. Who knew such an organization existed?

It was all very official. Pre-printed name tags, including the name of our blog. Representatives from the CA Strawberry Commission were on hand as well as author and guy-a-tician David Grotto to enlighten us about healthy eating. Especially eating strawberries, which I now know are a super-food. Safe to say that I will be eating more chocolate covered strawberries now that I can consider them a healthy  snack.

CA-Strawberry-Tour-Dallas-event-bloggers

I must admit that I was a bit nervous about attending the event. No qualms about my social skills or my ability to consume mass quantities of strawberries; my concern was about my credibility as a writer and blogger.

Stop worrying, I kept telling myself. These people are all just like you. They put on their mascara one eye at a time and probably type on a similar laptop.

With my head up, I entered the event. Just be cool, I tell myself. So far, so good. At least I passed the dress-code test, which is very important when you are in a group of women.

Our hostess was wonderful, making sure I was introduced to the other bloggers. We dined on dishes all created with strawberries; my favorite was the fish tacos with strawberry salsa. Not to mention strawberry mojitos “ yum!

Coming to the event I thought I was pretty good at my craft, even though I am still a newbie to the field of blogging. As I listened to my colleagues talk, I found myself feeling as though I had rookie  stamped on my forehead.

I ™ve been blogging since ˜04 , said one colleague. Did blogging even exist in ™04, I ™m thinking? I ™ve got billions of followers; how many do you have?  Including my family? I use WordPress, how about you?  said another. Remember when we had to code in QBL#R! instead of HTML? 

Uh-oh.

Fear and panic crept in as I realized I have no idea what they're talking about. While I have my own URL I have yet to build it out. Mainly because I don't have a clue about coding in HTML. I know what it is, but as my grades in computer science have shown, programming is not a core-competency of mine.

Questions raced through my mind. Would these pros accept me? What if they discover I ™ve only been at this for a short time “ will I get shown to the door? Or worse yet, laughed at?

My tactic? Try not to say too much. Maybe they won't ask me anything technical. If they do, I ™ll use my PR skills to divert them to another subject. Or I ™ll fill my mouth with strawberries to avoid answering.

Sigh “ so hard for a social chatty-Cathy like me to be silent.

Good news is that my fellow bloggers were incredibly gracious and welcomed me to the fold. After all, everyone has to start somewhere.

Isn't that the same as searching for a new job? We're all going to find a new opportunity. And we may wonder if we ™ll be accepted into the new company.

If we are daring enough to try something new, possibly switching fields or hanging our own shingle, the fears can be more intense.

I believe our response to trying something new speaks volumes about us. Stepping out on a limb is tough. Yet I ™ve found that the fear usually exceeds the actual experience. We can all do it if we really want to. No obstacles are too big to go after our dreams.

While I ™m still considered a rookie blogger and writer, I ™m no longer afraid. And I ™m proud of myself that I took the leap of faith and stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new. Not to mention that I really enjoy writing. I hope to connect again with the wonderful group that I met that night. This could be the start of something big.

Anyone else want to try something new? I double-dog dare you.

3 Comments

  1. Great piece, Tammy.

    No matter what level we are at in blogging, there are the unknowns, the new adventures, the fears, and achievements.

    I think sometimes we are afraid of your our abilities. I have worked and worked to ‘build’ my site. Day in and day out. And still, as it grows and some of my visions are unwrapping right before my eyes, I get butterflies. I get scared.

    I think it is just the cycle of blogging. KWIM?

  2. While it is great that you got to meet and connect with some fellow bloggers – I think this more a story about successful networking. It is often missed that networking is 2 sided. Both sides of the party have to be open, receptive, and approachable – and this includes the group as a whole. A group that doesn’t embrace and seek out newcomers can be very intimidating.

    Congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone and congrats to the group for embracing you. (Not to mention that it is ALWAYS easier when food is involved!)

  3. LOVED meeting you. There are no strangers in blogland – that is part of the fun.

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