Mom 2.0 Mop-Up
Of course the Mom 2.0 Summit was about more than staying in expensive hotels and getting manicures, as much as I have made it sound like it was.
The Summit is advertised as:
AN OPEN CONVERSATION BETWEEN MOMS + MARKETERS + MEDIA
Social Media Influencers. Industry Leaders. Leading Brands.
True. All that is true. But here’s what is even more true for me: we are social media influencers because we are creative. All of our influence wouldn’t amount to a bucket of well-chewed tennis balls (my dog is much on my mind lately) if we weren’t primarily creative. The productive output of a creative mind always comes first. That’s what draws people in.
It is by putting ourselves and our ideas and our fancies to work that we gain influence, not by declaring ourselves as influencers, though there are plenty of people who think that’s how it works.
I also think that’s where a lot of the jealousy comes in – the idea that we don’t deserve the attention or accolades because we don’t really do anything – we’re just bloggers, just nerds noodling away at little creative projects. So it’s ok to go on vicious gossip sites and trash bloggers because who are they, anyway?
(I posted one photo of Cecily K of Uppercase Woman and started to notice a huge traffic spike. Someone had linked it up on a blogger gossip site. I went over and could only read a couple comments before I was so mad I had to walk around the block to calm myself. I have no insults bad enough for the people that contribute to those sites, but in case you are one of those people – you suck. You’re hurting real people, and you should take up knitting instead).
I was walking with Schmutzie to breakfast and the person walking with us asked about what she did, and Schmutzie said she has a blog, and oh, Five Star Friday, and Grace in Small Things, and the Canadian Blogging Awards, and is an enthusiastic iPhoneographer and does web design and and and…
And I know Schmutzie is kind of a creative superstar, but everywhere I looked, it was the same. People started a blog and sooner or later, all kinds of creative strings and streams started flowing in and out and the next thing you know, they were appearing on the Today show or becoming Editor in Chief at Disney Interactive or whatever magnificent thing came their way because they were creative which is no small thing.
Later that same night, I relaxed on my hotel bed as Schmutzie snortled on hers with her laptop, cranking out a hilarious and spot-on blog post about why she isn’t following people back on Twitter.
That’s the thing about being creative. Once you get started, you can’t stop. You get addicted.
The thrill of bringing something into the world that no one had thought of before – and which the world didn’t even know it needed – it’s a thrill ride like nothing else.
So while the marketers and PR people of the world think we’re building our brands and wielding our influence – and maybe we are (especially people who are way more focused and smart than I am), but first and always, we are creators.
The brand-building talk comes in handy, though, because there are times when it is just easier to talk about the business of blogging than to try and explain what it is to live a creative life.
We do what we do because it is who we are, right down to the very core, right down to the brilliant blog post wedged between a day of seminars, networking, brainstorming and that night’s Kentucky Derby-themed party.
You can pretend for a while. You can fill your blog with sponsored content and links and blurbs about how clever and influential you are. But unless you have the real juicy juice to back it up – the creative energy that you funnel from the universe around you by leaving yourself wide and honest and clean and by taking leaps and chances – it’s all for naught.
It’s a fearsome and wonderful thing, this creative life, and one we’re not entirely in charge of. We’re holding the tiger by the tail because we know it’s going to take us somewhere. And that’s about all we know.
So I guess if you asked me what I was doing at Mom 2.0, I’d have to say I was luxuriating in the Ritz and hanging out with friends, but I was also soaking in the glorious sparkling pool of creative humanity, enjoying, filling up, and feeling happy and juicy again.