Y’all. Seriously. Y’all.
My little light? It’s getting a big chance to SHINE!
Every year at the BlogHer conference, there’s an evening party called “Voices of the Year.” Last year, Queen Latifah was the host! It was one of the highlights of my first blogging conference–a joyful celebration of writing, because good blogging always comes down to good storytelling. Last year’s VOTY stories ran the gamut from discovering one’s gayness at Jesus Camp, poisoning yourself in the effort to craft a perfect pine cone wreath, fighting to save a suicidal child when the medical establishment isn’t listening, chasing pin worms with a flashlight, being mistaken for your child’s nanny, living on the thin edge of poverty, and explaining race to your mixed race son. I laughed. I cried. I was inspired.
Any blogger can submit a piece to Voices of the Year. This year, over 2000 stories were submitted. The selection process went through round after round after round. From that pool, one hundred blog posts are selected. Then from those 100, a dozen lucky bloggers get to go onstage in front of the whole conference and read a story.
And I got selected to read.
Or to quote Carlos’ favorite new phrase: Seriously, dude.
I am thrilled. Delighted. Honored. Scared-Shitless-But-Gonna-Do-It-Anyway.
And I’m proud. Proud of myself. Not for getting chosen by a panel of reviewers–I didn’t have any control over that–but for choosing myself. Back in February, when the submissions were opened, I chose myself. It took me a couple of tries to get up the nerve. I made a few visits to the website before I had the guts to hit Submit. I overcame my doubts and said, “This is something I want to shoot for. This is something I have the right to try. This is something that would be really really really fun to do.” I gave myself permission to want it. I gave myself a voice. It was heard!
I am tickled pink.
So today’s message is: Put yourself out there.
Oh, and here’s the funny part. I’m at a bit of a loss. If you go to the announcement page for 2014 Voices of the Year, there are links to these wonderfully entertaining posts. But the ones that get read on stage? They don’t have links–they’re a secret. Y’know, gotta keep the suspense up. So the link beside my name is just to Baddest Mother Ever, not the specific post that got selected.
Wellllll…unfortunately, I can’t remember which story I submitted! Duh. So after a couple of days of playing it cool, I will have to email someone at BlogHer and say, “Thank you SO MUCH for giving me this opportunity to read….now, can you refresh my memory on what exactly I wrote?”
So today’s message addendum: Put yourself out there, but jot down where you put yourself.