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Sad to miss tech cons

A moratorium on meetings makes me mopey

a screenshot of the Barcamp Philly logo, a digitized flame in red with "BARCAMP PHILLY" written in all caps digital font

Today at a nearby university a bunch of my good Philly friends in the tech and marketing (i.e. social media) industries gathered for a conference. I didn’t go.

There are quite a few yearly conferences and “unconferences” to choose from in Philly (our scene is on fire). I loved going to these meetings. I enjoyed seeing friends, hearing interesting lectures about the state of tech and taking in presentations on what the movers and shakers in the Philly scene were up to.

Eventually I realized, though, that I was splitting myself in two. I can’t keep my finger on the pulse of the tech industry AND learn fiction writing and publishing as well as I want to. While keeping tabs on social media is a good idea for my content creation work, I don’t need to stay abreast of *all* the new apps and happenings. I made the choice to drop all the tech conferences for a while.

I can’t seem to rid myself of all of it, though. I still have a GitHub account. I follow the r/sysadmin subreddit. I have all sorts of obscure techie-only type apps on my phone. I regularly read the tech websites and chat with techies online. Seeing myself as a “techie” is something I’ve done for 20 years.

It’s gotta go, though. Everything I’m learning about habits, distraction, focus, and productivity point to one key factor: how one sees oneself. Your self view, how you fill in this blank “I’m a _____________,” determines how your path winds through life. I miss the social aspect of the tech conferences and the bigger tech world, especially now that women are succeeding in their fight for inclusivity. And personally, I have a secret disgust? fear? dislike? of filling that blank with “fiction writer” or (if I’m lucky?) “novelist.” Seems like such a lame thing. Artists face a real bias, most importantly from themselves.

I hope everyone had fun at #BCPhilly today, and I hope you all are having an easier time filling in that blank than I am.