Welcome writers from my workshops in Seattle and the San Diego State University Writers Conference! Thanks for keeping in touch and stopping by!
The personal is political. – Carol Hanisch
By writing and blogging, we take our personal stories and make them public, showing the world that our stories are important and worth sharing. By doing this we create a dialogue about our needs, wants, desires and in that dialogue we are creating a movement to have those needs, wants and desires met. Especially as minorities, our voices are often, both intentionally and unintentionally, quaffed, our opinions overlooked, our needs denied. By telling our stories we are saying we are worth listening to, we are here and we aren’t going to be silenced.
Often times, however, our voices feel lost in the overwhelming roar of modern life, media and politics. Often times we lose track of how important our voices are. We compare ourselves to louder, more politically powerful voices, and feel small and insignificant.
For that reason, I started a movement called the #BigDeal Campaign in which I encourage bloggers and writers to stop comparing each other’s traffic number and audience size, but instead to see each writer and blogger as influential and important in their own way.
On my very first day at my very first blogging conference (BlogHer ’11), I sat down next to a man in a suit who asked me my website’s name. He then pulled out his computer, looked up my statistics and, after apparently being disappointed my numbers weren’t high enough for him, walked away.
I was crushed.
I was more than my numbers.
We all are more than our numbers.
I met amazing women the rest of my time at BlogHer, but that man’s rejection still stung. The next year, for BlogHer ’12, I set out to provide as many welcoming, encouraging faces as possible to all bloggers. As someone speaking twice that year, I had the opportunity to amplify this message and together with my assistant editor Jessenia Lua, we encouraged hundreds of bloggers to stand up and say “I’m a Big Deal” through stickers passed out, tweets sent, cards handed out and pats on the back given throughout the weekend.
What You Can Do to Keep the Big Deal Campaign Going:
Continue to think of yourself as a Big Deal.
- Write. Keep writing. Write your truth. Write the difficult. Write what scares you, what excites you, what drives you. Having problems doing that? I have a class that can help. Can’t take a class right now? Start a writing group. Just keep writing, however you do it.
- Come back here and read this page when you’re feeling like your voice is not a valid one. If that doesn’t work, email me and I’ll send you a sticker or a card to remind you that you are a Big Deal.
Continue to think of other writers as a Big Deal.
- Read and comment on blogs. Let people know someone wants to hear what they have to say.
- Avoid reading and commenting on troll/hate sites. Disagreeing with others is wonderful, the Big Deal Campaign encourages friendly discourse and even heated debates, but existing solely to bring others down goes against the whole goal of the project. We encourage people to stay off those sites and instead give their support to other, more productive sites.
- Tell people you think they’re a Big Deal. Use the cards, stickers or site badges from the campaign or simply write a comment on a blog or verbally let someone know that you’re glad they write and support them having a voice. Point them to this page if you want, or create a BigDealCampaign page on your site.
The goal of this campaign is to keep bloggers and writers from feeling alone and insignificant like I often do when I compare myself to others. The idea is that the personal is political and everyone, especially minorities, should feel empowered to tell, and keep telling, their stories. Anything you can think of to enhance the goal and idea behind Big Deal Campaign, we’re happy hear about it.
So if you’re a blogger or a writer or someone who tells their story in any way, we think you’re a Big Deal. No matter the size of your readership or the amount you write, we think it’s awesome you share your story.
If you’re at a conference with me, come find me (@QueerieBradshaw on Twitter is the best way to meet up) and I’ll give you a sticker. Can’t make it to a conference? Use the #BigDealCampaign hash tag on Twitter and/or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll mail you a sticker. Either way, leave a comment here with a link to your blog so we can read your story!