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BowlHer 2009

I can’t figure out if I am an Introvert or an Extrovert. It seems to sway to either side every so often, even situational, though overall I remain rather middle of the road. I’m more Extroverted than most Introverts I know and more Introverted than most Extroverts I know. An Inextrovert? An Introverted Extrovert? Extra-introvert?


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Not to over analyze my social behavior or anything, but I have been mulling the concept of networking as of late. I realize I am fairly good at networking with the people I already know. That defeats the purpose, though, doesn’t it? It’s easy in concept to say, yeah, I need to get out there and network some more. That would be really key to utilize it to build my business, learn and get to know people. In concept. Because when it comes down to it, too many questions seem to stand in the way of actualizing it. How? Where? When? Who? Why? If I dig deeper than that, I realize I am standing in the way of actualizing it. I feel too uncomfortable. I hesitate to be outgoing enough to strike up conversations beyond chit-chat. I think I am unable to find opportunities to participate in activities and events. I intimidate myself into thinking I have little to offer and the other people there are way better at (fill in the blank) than I am.

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A few weeks ago I get an invite (and several nudges) via Twitter to attend a Party here in Seattle in conjunction with the BlogHer conference. It was called BowlHer. The idea is that Saturday night after BlogHer in Chicago, there would be this online network of parties, with the main one happening at a Bowling Alley (hence the name) and many Satellite events simultaneously via web-cam and live streamed on MomTV from across the country. Sounded like a great opportunity to network. So I RSVP’ed.


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Then when it came down to it, the day of in fact, I hesitated. All the thoughts of I’m not really a blogger ‘cuz like only 5 of you actually are reading this and the other 85 people get here every day totally randomly and never come back so therefore I don’t really have anything to offer at this party where I am going to know like one or two other people who are already all click-y with this group of women, what was I thinking?!? Yeah, I know, totally ridiculous doubts. I tossed some extra business cards in my bag, grabbed a camera and went ahead out to Bellevue, slightly disappointed there wouldn’t be any actual bowling.

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There were nearly a dozen other women there, all with varying degrees of experience and ‘success’ with blogging, all there to get to know other ladies and learn from them. I would say most of my other friends, though I highly encourage it, have very little desire to blog or be on Twitter, not getting what the benefits would be beyond it being a time waster (which it obviously can be). To be in a room full of iPhone-totting, constantly tweeting gals was striking. Not to mention the diversity of what we were all blogging about, why and to what degree. It ranged from a gal who was a Momversation panelist to me who posts pictures of my kids on the internet. Beyond that, we were plugged into quite the crazy party (er, parties) looking into the world of Mommy/women bloggers gone wild (pink feather boas and all). Plus I walked away with a bunch of new lives and ideas to follow on Twitter.

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Honestly, I liked being wrong in my preconceptions. This is going to be awkward became, this is awesome! Lesson learned on how I continue to hold myself back by thinking I am too much of an introvert for stuff like this. I also realized during this event just how much I would like to have everything done, pre-packaged, figured out and ready to present (read: established and polished perfectionism) because I want to show results and not process. Process is messy. I realized I have done that with the redesign of this site. I am doing it with my Photography business. I am afraid to launch into the mess of actually doing it because I am afraid it looks not done. There is so much I still need to (and want) to do as I get things up and running. But there is this part of me that doesn’t really want to do what it takes to get established until I am established. Get the problem there? Yeah, total inconsistency.


Since it was a night of breaking out of my comfort zone, I tossed out an idea I’ve been mulling around in the private world of my head, where everything is worked out exactly how I will want it to be. The ecstatic reception the concept got was surprising, I was a bit taken back. Everything’s a good idea in my head, but often I lack the motive or have too much uncertainty to actually follow through in doing it to make it a reality. Throwing it out there, in all it’s messy process and talking with other people (many complete strangers) has actually helped me solidify that I am going to do this. Last week I finished writing my Vision Statement, Mission Statement and Brand Statement for natalie g. photography. A big part of my Mission is to teach, more specifically to serve women by using my knowledge and talent to aid others in using photography as a means of expression and to demystify the technical process of the camera to enable them to take better photos. I want to start running a series of low-cost or no-cost workshops that give hands-on experience provide tools, resources and feedback, the first series to start up this summer. Obviously there’s a lot more there, I have already been thinking up topics and witty names to call each session.

In the spirit of processing aloud, if the notion of participating in a workshop strikes your interest, please chime in with thoughts and ideas of what you would like to see as an offering and how something like this could best serve you.

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