#BlogathonATX: A Little Anxiety Goes a Long Way

There’s a nasty rumor going around that I am a tad on the neurotic side. I’m not exactly sure how this rumor started, but it’s likely that #BlogathonATX Part 3 had something to do with it. Now, that’s not to say the event itself was tense and Xanax-filled (present company excluded), and hopefully none of the attendees could tell, but I do have a tendency to worry a bit. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance some of the members of my planning team noticed a personality shift during the weeks leading up to the event.

Perhaps it was the the 27 emails I sent to Kay and Laurie about napkins or the panicked phone calls to Blair and Cathy about sentence structure and trash cans. Did the the worry tweets I regularly aimed at Amanda hint at a tad of insecurity, or was it my preoccupation with Julie and Jeremy’s choice of fonts that gave me away? It’s really hard to say exactly what may have tipped them off.

Since I am not an event planner by trade (nor, apparently, by nature), a considerable learning curve is to be expected. Blogathon started in August of 2010 as a random idea based on a tendency to procrastinate and my underachievement in the blogging arena. In other words, I needed accountability. What started as a shout out to my friends about a coworking session ended in a fully-sponsored event with dozens of attendees. In the end, I ate a lot and got approximately zero blogging done.

Fast forward 13 months to Blogathon #3, and the event has grown by 40%. The stakes are higher, and so is the anxiety. Fortunately, I have one magical skill that makes all of the work of planning this event possible, and that skill is called “delegating.” Now, that’s not to say I’m a perfect leader. My tendency to micro-manage is in direct proportion to the time left until the event takes place. In other words, I leave my team alone until everything is humming along smoothly, then dive in like a seagull to make things super-annoying and rather messy. It’s my superpower, and they love it.

I want to thank everyone who has withstood this squawking seabird of doom to make our most recent event such a success. I owe my sanity to: Jeremy Arntz, Cathy Benavides, Talmadge Boyd, Valeka Cruz, Jackie Dana, Julie Gomoll, Summer Huggins, Jacqueline Hughes, Laurie Leiker, Jenny Magic, Kay Marley-Dilworth, Lisa Maxwell, Michelle Myette, Dara Quackenbush, Amanda Quraishi, Pat Ramsey, Deb Robison, Claire Rodriguez, Blair Smith, David Weddell, Eric Weiss, Mama Weenie, and Mr. Weenie. You saved me a fortune in therapist’s bills.

I also want to recognize Austin Free-Net for their wonderful program. AFN provides technology training and access—particularly for underserved communities—to help foster skills that help people obtain jobs, improve their lives, and participate as active citizens. We are incredibly grateful for your support and look forward to partnering with you in the future.

To our wonderful sponsors who are the reason this event could take place at all: Againa Rain Water, Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar, Austin Bakes for Bastrop, Austin Java, Beanitos, The Cake Plate, Dos Equis, GoodPop, Google Places, The Go To Gay Guy, GraphiTee’s, Healthy Housekeeping, Honest Beverages, Kohana Coffee, Link Coworking, Lonely Gourmet, Lucky Layla Farms, Mass Relevance, MXTOOLBOX.com, One Taco, PinqSheets, Pubcon, Rackspace, Red Bull, RegainYourTime.com, Tito’s Vodka, Turnstone, Waialua Soda Works and Whole Foods Market: Thank you for your extreme generosity and for believing in our event. Our success was possible because of your support.

And finally, to you, the attendees of #BlogathonATX: If it weren’t for your enthusiasm and willingness to spend a Saturday in nerd heaven, I would be sitting alone in a coffee shop with my iPad and a dream. Thanks for making that dream a reality.

I hope you enjoyed #BlogathonATX as much as I did. Be sure to mark your calendars for #BlogathonATX Part 4 on April 28th, 2012!

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Anxious Seagull In Charge

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