Saturday, November 16, 2013

#DearBlogalicious {My 600th Blog Post & #Blogalicious5 Recap}

When I first started blogging, I had no idea a community like Blogalicious existed. And after I met a few bloggers and learned about blog conferences, Blogalicious was a name that constantly came up. It seemed different from other blog conferences I heard about. The women that I knew, spoke about it with affection, they all had a story about their first time. And for many of them, Blogalicious seemed to be a turning point in their careers.

I'll be honest, while I wanted to attend Blogalicious, I had no intentions of making the trip to Atlanta. But when I was invited to speak on a panel on awareness blogging, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I had to make it happen. 

And I am so very glad I did. 

I don't attend many conferences. Working full-time (outside of the home as a legal secretary), blogging is my side gig and often takes a back seat to my other responsibilities. Attending conferences means taking vacation days, spending money and time away from my family. Attending a blog conference is difficult to justify. But Bloglacious was worth it. 

Usually I'm intimidated by conferences. The crowds, the brands, the pressure to network and practice my elevator pitch. But Blogalicious was different. I mean, yes there were brands and networking is always a must. But the vibe was so laid back. I felt the sense of sisterhood. And everyone was so genuine, I felt completely at ease.

While at Blogalicious, I spent time with Ananda Leeke and got a 15 minute coaching session. She gave me a game plan and set a time line for me to publish my book. For the first time in a long time, I was inspired to write. The plan feels like a real possibility.
I can go on and on about why I loved Blogalicious. But what I really want to say is thank you

Thank you for creating space for bloggers to come together - to reunite with old friends and to make new ones. Thank you for creating a place for us to learn and to be inspired.   

Thank you for being a one of a kind experience. Blogalicious is my fourth conference in the three years I've been blogging. With each conference I've attended, I learned something new. I've learned to value my writing and my work a little bit more. But what I learned at Blogalicous couldn't have been learned anywhere else.

At Hispanicize, Pierra Jolly taught me I needed to own it. At LATISM, I learned that my voice matters

At Blogalicious, I learned that I was worth the investment. I realized that I needed to start seeing myself the way others saw me. I realized that my dreams were within my reach, I just need to continue moving forward. I learned that I have the power to make it happen.   

Blogalicious used to be the conference that changed other bloggers lives, and now it's the one that has changed mine. 

I cannot wait to see you all next year!
from top to bottom, left to right 
(1) [@ the Gloria Estafan Concert for AARP] w Denisse Montalvan, Crystal Gudino, Vanessa Martinez Bell, Nicole Pressley, Monique Frausto, Maura Wall Hernandez, Jessie Nuez, Yoly Mason and Lorraine Ladish 
(2) Jessie Nuez & Monique Frausto
(3) Ananda Leeke  
(4) Jessie Nuez 
(5) Pierra Jolly 
(6) Ana Flores 
(7) Denisse Montalvan 
(8) Nicole Presley 
(9) Maribel Lara 
(10) The best damn donut I've ever had in my entire life. There's bacon on it. 
(11) Rhachelle Nicol, me, Christine Koh and Janee Darden

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.