They ask for two questions, why you would want to attend and who you would pick to take with you. And since It doesn't mention anything about this being a random drawing, I'm hoping that someone might actually read this because I really believe I could win!
It's absolutely unrealistic for me to attend this when we will be leaving Germany and arriving sometime at the beginning of September. We have no cars, no apartment and not much of a plan. So that makes it even better. I want to attend even if I have to knock a caterer over the head, change into their uniform and slip into the back door like you see in the spy films. But since I don't want to spend my first days in America incarcerated, it would just be easier if I could win the tickets.
So here's my response and I ask my awesome readers to cross your fingers for me.
Dear Creative Connection,
I want to attend your conference because I've been blogging for years from my home in Germany, completely removed from society except by internet connection. I've often said that although I'm geographically in Germany, my heart and mind live in Blogland.
Nobody read my site for the first three years except my dear arty friend in Hawaii. Then one day, I noticed somebody was checking my site regularly and I was excited at the prospect of an actual regular reader! After a few weeks, I was crushed to realize that the new reader was actually myself checking Studio Mailbox from my new iPhone. Although amusing now, at the time it was completely defeating. It was like looking for your glasses for hours only to find out they were on your head the entire time.
I kept blogging anyway. I am the Bridget Jones of the blog-o-sphere. A little chubby and somehow always managing to just miss the bus. The biggest mistake I've made from the start is failing to connect properly with other bloggers. Because I had so many unanswered questions, I was scared to make mistakes or break laws that I still don't understand. Even today as I tried to watch the video that was posted with testimonials from last year's attendants, it didn't work in Germany.
If I could attend the conference, I would imagine that I would learn some blogging basics that I have missed along the way. I would meet other bloggers and gain a network of people. These connections would in all likeliness lead to collaborations and opportunities over the coming year. I would also get to see industry movers and leaders in the US and how things are happening.
This of course is the idealistic lah-dee-dah-ding-dong version of how things could go down.
In the real world, here is what is more likely to happen if I don't attend the conference. Our family will find a dwelling and transportation, I will find a school for my child, I will get offered some sort of employment and I will probably take it because I have been out of the work force for 9 years now. I'll consider myself lucky in this shitty economy to get a job. My time and energy will be eaten away with work and family obligation and my blog will inevitably die a slow death. I'll always make art but it will be "on the side." Like a little packet of french fries.
But hey, I'm really hoping for the first scenario.
As for who I'd bring along with the second ticket - I have no idea. My only blogging friend in MN is already a panelist so my immediate reaction is to offer the ticket up to another lucky winner. Heck, I'd even throw in the hotel stay - who wants to sleep at time like that anyway?
Please pick me Creative Connection. The other month I looked at my stats and saw 2,500 visitors. I have no idea if this was the same visitor, obsessively looking at every page of my site or if it was 500 visitors stopping by 5 times. There are a lot of people who say without SEO, social networking sites and programming knowledge that you're not ever going to amount to much. Call me old fashioned, but I think writing something decent and sharing what you're passionate about can be unstoppable. I might not have the MOST readers, but I'd be willing to bet that I have the MOST LOYAL readers.
If I could attend, just imagine what would happen to Studio Mailbox if I actually learned something about blogging! And since CONNECT is my main word for 2011, it feels like this is meant to be.
Plus if you pick me I'll shamelessly blog about every moment of the experience and will have my head so far up your ass you couldn't dream of a better promotional opportunity. Seriously. Think about it.
*Note on the photography - during my German professional photo shoot I actually checked something on my laptop when she snapped this. This was the springboard to her posing me with the laptop for a series of shots, but this is the one that I really like. The shadow and the leg of the light stand don't matter. Neither does the fact that I don't actually blog looking like this. If I get to go to the conference, I will finally have a reason to pack the skirt!