Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reflections on writing from Mumsnet Blogfest 2012

I really enjoyed the panel discussions at Blogfest and got quite a lot from them. Although I have written up and posted my notes from all the other sessions, this one has been sitting in draft form for a couple of weeks now. Why? I guess the others were easier, I just had to write down what someone else said. This one involves a bit of thought. My reflections on what was said, and how that would impact on the way that I blog in the future.

Here are some of the things that stood out to me:

Being anonymous - pros and cons
I am sort of anonymous. I could be outed. Does it matter? I was amazed by Zoe Margolis. I had sort of heard of her and the whole thing before Blogfest, but didn't really know the story. It would be hideous to have your cover blown like that. She has handled it very well. I don't think I need worry about being exposed to that extent. I try to keep a little distance for BB's sake, but I am not sure if it is really necessary. For now though I will stay as I am.

Write to someone you know (and make sure its someone you want to talk to!).
This advice came from several people, but I remember it most from Zoe Williams. I think who I write to depends on what I am writing about. Lots of posts are written to other SMC's, several are to my friends, some are to parents in general, sometimes I write to people who don't know what I just found out (thinking they'll want to know about it too!). Does this mean I haven't yet really found my voice? Or that I have many voices? Do I need to fine tune?

Write for yourself
Yes I think I do that too. It helps me process and focus. It also offers me a great support network. Many people in my blogging community are now friends - even though I only met a couple of them in real life (so far!). I also write for BB, but not so much here as on a private blog that we share with family and friends.

Be yourself
Yep, I definitely do this. This is important to me, to write from the heart, what is real. I think my semi-anonymity enables me to do this more that perhaps I would otherwise.

Write at least 1 post a week of at least 500 words
I think I might be reaching this target at the moment - not always though - I have to have something to say. I guess when you get to the point where you can write something of interest to others when you don't have something specific to say you have become a writer! I'm not there yet!

Make contact with your inate authority
This was just one of the many inspiring pieces of advice from Rachel Cusk. She talked of using your own life to challenge the social construct. I guess in lots of ways that's what this blog has evolved out of. It was great to hear it from Rachel though, in a few sentences she validated the lives and opinions of everyone in the room. I would love to be in her class.

Am I a Mummy blogger?
This came up a few times - there are always debates and posts about it too. To be honest I don't care that much. I am a mummy, it's the thing in my life for which I am most grateful and most proud of so you can't take it out of me. I am a blogger too. So I guess I am mummy blogger. Am I just a mummy blogger? Well no, of course not! But I am not writing to people who think like that, as frankly, I wouldn't want to talk to them either!


old fashioned typewriter with a modern mouse

My other posts about Blogfest 2012 are:
SEO for Bloggers
Photography for Bloggers
Social Media with Paul Armstrong

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