What I Learned about Vlogging at the Hippocamp Writing Conference
Last weekend I spoke at Hippocamp, a nonfiction writing conference held in my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
I did a workshop called “Content Marketing for Writers.” And since I was in a content marketing frame of mind, I shot some video footage to use on my blog.
I got some lovely clips. But when I pieced them together, I realized that I’d missed a huge opportunity. I’d been so focused on telling the story of the conference that I hadn’t captured MY story of the conference.
Geez. This was like the unspoken theme of the event: TELL YOUR STORY. And I didn’t. Why? Because I was too self-conscious to insert myself into the footage. I was too shy to ask people for interviews. I was worried that people would see me filming myself, and think I was weird or self-aggrandizing or both.
Maybe they would have. As Lisa Jakub said, Let go of the outcome. The outcome is none of your business.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want to operate out of fear anymore.
I don’t want to waste any more of my energy on self-protection. I think video holds new opportunities to tell my story, and I want to come to the screen just as raw and vulnerable and human as I come to the page.
I’m brand-new to vlogging. It’s going to take courage and it will probably be uncomfortable. But I don’t want to miss any more good opportunities because I fear other people’s opinions.
Here’s what you would have seen in the video I should have shot:
Me, weighed down like a pack mule under a camera bag, laptop, breast pump and cooler, hoofing it from the parking garage to the conference center to the opulent board room where I paused every three hours to pump.
Me, duct-taping my iPhone to an easel so I could get a second angle of my content marketing workshop, and the professional videographer looking at me like I’d just sprouted a second head, saying, “Well, that’s one way to do it.”
Me, walking into a pitch session with a New York editor, feeling exhausted and heartbroken and missing my boys, and letting the exhaustion strip away all the pretenses so I could focus on telling the story of my story.
Me, telling my story.
Me, owning my experience.