A few weeks ago I wrote about Scott Dinsmore and how his website and a workbook he published helped lead me into the direction of becoming a blogger. Part of this planning process involved doing some research and finding people and information on how to do this.
During my research I discovered something wonderful…I discovered See Jane Write. I had heard about this network – and The Janes – through my friend Nicole Thurston (Destination Unknown) a few years ago. She is a blogger and attended one of the See Jane Write conferences and wrote about it. I remember tucking that bit of information into the back of my mind for some reason. Now I know why I did that.
After the self-assessment I did with Scott’s workbook, I went online and looked up See Jane Write and started reading. I also noted that there was a mini-blog conference coming up at Homewood library. I couldn’t wait to sign up for this conference! I signed up and anxiously awaited that Saturday in July 2014…I was ready to meet The Janes and see what I could learn from them!
As I began gathering information about the conference and who the panelist and speakers would be, I dug a little deeper. I looked up their blogs, took note of their blog design, read through some of their stories/posts. I really wanted to get a feel for what they were saying and how they were saying it. I didn’t know at that point if there was really a specific way to go about blogging. I also found all these bloggers on Instagram. Since I love photography, you know I LOVE Instagram! So I began following the panelist and looking through some of their photos to get a feel for their personalities and their lifestyles.
Then the night before the conference, a photo popped up from panelist – Chic in Academia (aka Bertha Hidalgo) and I commented on it. She mentioned how excited she was to be a panelist at the conference. Now, how many times have you commented on an IG photo of someone who has thousands of followers and you get a reply right back? That had never happened to me but it did with Bertha! I commented that I would be attending and she immediately followed up and said to come see her and say hello! Wow! I was fascinated!
So….I did! I got to the conference fairly early – I’m always an early bird and I quickly took a seat on the front row. Can you tell I was eager? I was excited to see Chanda Temple (Chanda Temple Writes) there and we sat next to one another on the front row. I took a walk around the room a little bit later to explore, checked out the vendor tables and hen there she was…Bertha was sitting with two other panelist. As I remember it, we made eye contact and it’s as if we already knew one another. She jumped up and hugged me and I tell you, it made me feel wonderful! We chatted for a bit, she asked me about my blog – which I hadn’t launched yet – and I told her my ideas and what I hoped to accomplish. She was so encouraging to me that day and continues to be as I take this journey.
As I met and spoke to other bloggers that day and shared my vision for Southern Senora, they were all so encouraging and liked my blog concept saying there really wasn’t anything like that “out there.” I still had work to do to narrow things down but it made me feel good that everyone was so willing to share their experiences and offer advice. I had come to the right place, for sure!
That day I learned so much and the mini-con also confirmed a lot of things that I had researched and discovered about blogging and myself in the process. In addition to hearing from Bertha, I loved hearing from panelists Erica Bunker (Erica B’s DIY Style), Vanessa Culpepper (Budding Fashionista) and Heather Brown (My Life Well Loved). Later in the day a great panel discussion took place featuring Carla Jean Whitley of Birmingham magazine, Tanya Sylvan of All in Stride, Williesha Morris of My Freelance Life, and Alexis Barton of Same Chic Different Day. Alexis also gave the opening keynote speech and then Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Southern Femme closed the conference out by sharing her success story. What a day!
And all this was possible because of the vision of one woman – Javacia Harris Browser – founder of See Jane Write. Javacia is quite simply a rock star! I am forever grateful to her for creating this organization that has given me access to such wonderful and encouraging people. Thank you, Javacia!
Meeting the Janes has been a highlight in my blogging journey…