Letter #19: My Type of Camping

Dear PodCamp Pittsburgh,

All day I've been debating on the merits of writing a letter versus a list about you.  But really, I have nothing but gratitude for you and giving me one of the best Pittsburgh weekends of 2011. So a thank you letter is only appropriate.

You see, I get nervous in new situations.  Sure I work with the public every day and hell, I even moved to another continent without a real plan but I don't actually always feel confident when it comes to new things in my own hometown.  There were going to be so many people I admire; some of the best bloggers around. Seriously, what does a girl like me think she is even going to talk about?

But then I went to Friday's Meet 'n Greet and just fell in love. It's kind of hard not to when upon arrival someone calls out your Twitter handle and says that he was super excited to meet you.  And meet I did. In fact, Friday's event was pretty much a cute-fest of Pittsburgh's most creative. Presentations by my favorite Pittsburgh blogger. New works to discover. And connections put together.

I walked away from PodCamp Pittsburgh feeling as if I wasn't crazy for wanting to get my thoughts out in the open. I realized my Why was because writing has always been a part of me. I don't keep a blog because I want to shock. It's not about making money. It's just about me.

I write because it helps heal my thoughts and it makes me laugh, a lot. Once, soon after I graduated from college, a few people told me that I should give up my desire to write. That maybe an MFA program wasn't for me, that perhaps I should just stick to reading books.  And despite that be being extremely rude and despite the fact that many, amazing and best-selling authors don't have MFAs (and gasp! some aren't even James Patterson) I believed it for a very long time.  I barely wrote, had a hard time filling journals and felt that no one should ever read what I put on paper again.

Even though the events that founded this blog were sad ones, and even in the middle of change and upheaval, I'm at one of my happiest periods of my life right now. Writing has become a part of me again. And I'll be bold and say that I'm willing to bet that more people read my blog than read their critical analysis, essays and books on a daily basis. So arguably I win after all.

I would have never gone to PodCamp (even if I wasn't working) two years ago.  I was too afraid to take risks and put myself out there. Just like I was too afraid to write two, three, five years ago. But times change, social media has given us a voice and I'm proud of what I put out there.

So, PodCamp Pittsburgh, thanks for the knowledge, entertainment and drinks. Thank you to all of the coordinators, volunteers and sponsors for putting together such a unique weekend in our city. Thanks for introducing me to too many people to write in one post. Thanks for expanding my horizons and giving inspiration in addition to validation. Thank you for having Zombies that don't actually chase people (seriously, I walked by them at lunch scared out of my wits and worried they'd follow me around). I'll be wearing my T-shirt and giving you lots of free press from here until next year.

And really, next year, you might just need a librarian to give a presentation. We're kind of awesome with searching and the Internet and more. You never know...

With love,



  1. Awesome letter. Kudos for rising above any negativity and putting yourself out there. Glad you had a great experience at PCPGH6. And I would love to attend a "library and tech" type of session!

  2. I'm really glad you had such an excellent time! You are one of the people who I was looking to meet face too face after calling you out on twitter a few days ago.

    Keep blogging and keep writing!

  3. You have one of the best "Why" explanations I've ever heard. Rock on!

    Now I expect to see you around a lot more. :-)

  4. Great letter, thanks or sharing. It was great meeting you. My only regret is that you're not MY librarian!

  5. I loved this, you said what I think a lot of us feel. We're all scared at our first Podcamp, but by the end of it we come away with tons of new friends. I'm glad you had a good time; hope to see you there next year!

  6. Oh!!! I have heard such great things about Podcamp and am always so curious about it. You have to fill me in on Thursday!

  7. I always look forward to meeting new people at Podcamp, and I've enjoyed reading you since I found this a few months ago. So yeah, it was great to meet you :)

    I'm glad I could help make you feel welcome on Friday night, but it's even better to hear that you left Podcamp feeling energized about what you're doing here. Keep it up!