This year I have been asking myself one question over and over – why do I blog. I know why I started the blog but what keeps me doing it three years later? What is my ultimate goal for this and how do I define my success as a blogger? Ok, so maybe not just one question. But all the same, I’ve been looking for answers. I went to Big Summer Potluck looking for answers, and instead found a community. And when I went to IFBC, not knowing what to expect, I found ways to define myself by what I am not.
I am not looking for a book deal. I am not interested in playing the SEO game. I am not a recipe developer. I am not educated on the needs of specialized diets. I am not interested in paying to attend a conference and sitting through infomercials for websites or cooking encyclopedias. Ultimately, the message I took away from the Big Summer Potluck was indirectly reinforced at IFBC – blog for myself, be authentic, and define my own success.
There were good moments at IFBC. There were bad moments. There were events I was excited about which provided huge disappointments. And there were unexpected moments of powerful validation. So instead of focusing on the parts of IFBC that made me question whether it was the best use of my time and money, the message I have decided to hold onto is that I decide my legitimacy as a blogger.
So, what did I learn at IFBC 2010? I learned that I really don’t need to spend $$$ to attend a blogging conference. Many of the best moments, the ones that really resonated with me, mostly occurred outside of the conference. To me, the journey is where I get my inspiration and excitement. The opportunity to meet new people and expand my food world can happen anytime, anywhere. Next year, instead of sitting in a venue for 8 to 12 hours a day over the course of a weekend, I can pack up the car and see where the road takes me. Someone else can have my seat at IFBC 2011.