Thursday, November 14, 2013

Memories of Blogfest 2013

Last Saturday I had a grown up day out all to my self. A rare occurrence, which I appreciate immensely, but it's also a reminder that I wouldn't would to go to work every day. The event was Blogfest 2013. I went last year and loved it. It was my first grown up day out alone in 15 months, I was blown away by the quality of the speakers and loved being in the company of some intelligent professional women - and a man!

My blog has come a long way since then. I have written a lot more frequently, and I like to think I am getting better at it. I have started using Twitter, and Google + and Pinterest. I have even made a little money - who'd have thought. Still, I wanted to go back to Blogfest 2013 for another great day, to meet more brilliant people, to be inspired and entertained.

All of this occurred - and more. Having been to a couple of blogging conferences before and attended the practical 'how to' sessions, my focus now is on developing my writing skills, so the sessions I chose reflect that.


Here are some of the things I will remember from the day:

  • I personally found the first keynote session, The New Wild West, a bit of a strange way to start the day. If I had organised the agenda,  I would have started with a more positive and uplifting topic than internet trolls, bullying and rape threats. Still, I enjoyed the session and the stand out speaker for me was most definitely Stella Creasy, what an amazing and articulate woman.
  • Writing Funnier Stuff was a very entertaining session - I am not sure that I will become a comedian as a result, but I did enjoy the session a lot. Viv Groskop for me is one of those people you feel like you know - I'd probably say hi in the supermarket and be thinking, now where do I know you from, and I'm sure if she did know me we'd be mates! Andrea Mann was new to me, but definitely someone I will be looking out for in the future. I also got to meet Kate who writes London with a Toddler, a blog I have read several times, and it was great to say hello
  • Future Minds: How will technology shape the way we think? was one of my favourite sessions. All the speakers were brilliant, it was thought provoking, inspiring and funny - why didn't the day start with this?
  • How blogging and social media can change the world  I had never heard of Helen Lewis before this, but she was an amazing chair and I will definitely be looking out for her work in the future. I also loved how all the bloggers were just ordinary people who did an ordinary thing, which became something quite extraordinary. 
  • Cracking yarns and tall tales, how to tell a better story was another excellent session - things that will stay with me are a few quotes from AL Kennedy - 'as a writer you have the utmost privilege of being in someones head' and 'bad writing is like having a little piece of shit in your stew' 
  • Other thought provoking things I wrote down but have no idea who said them:
What are people going to get out of reading your blog posts? 
Always write in a way that you are practicing writing at your best!
Write as if you respect the person who is going to read it 
Write lots and lots, but only put a small amount out into the public domain 
Remember there is always a gap between what you write and what other people perceive 
Stick to one topic per post  
  • Can you be a Mummy Blogger and still be a feminist? Could you ask a more stupid question? We touched on this last year and it annoyed people then, so a whole session was dedicated to it this year. It was a debacle. I don't really want to give this too much space, but it has to have some as it really p*$$ed me off! The way the question was worded ensured that everyone entered the room in defensive mode, having already been insulted by the title (unless you are a man of course, then you were just excluded from the outset). Things like this annoy me as they make women look stupid. It makes a mockery of feminism, dividing women and pitching them against each other, and sets the debate back rather than furthering our cause. Hmph! 
  • Whilst I'm having a grump, the food was rubbish, signing in took forever, we queued a lot, and the drinks reception room was too small. The location was great though!
  • And Jo Brand was great - we were all extra pleased to see her after the 'heated discussion'. She actually squeezed past me in the drinks room and for a brief second out bottoms touched - that can be my new claim to fame! 
  • As for whoever it was that said that all 'Mum's' that blog write the same thing, here are the blogs I discovered as a result of my trip to Blogfest 2013

         Quite diverse, don't you think?



Reflections

I do need to think more about what I write on here. I write for me mostly, but now quite a lot of other people read it, which still seems a bit odd, but perhaps I should make some changes. 

Am I happy to direct someone to this site to see examples of my best writing? No, probably not!

I really really want to read more - I need to find a way to make time for that.

This post breaks the rule of only publishing your best writing - this is far from it I know - but I need it done and to free my brain for the next thing - I have a 2 day training course this weekend and I need all the brain capacity I can muster.

An overriding thought of the day was how young some of the presenters are. How can these people be so brilliant and so young? And why didn't I get to that point yet when I am older than they? 

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And now to break the rule about one topic per post, here's my Top Tip for Family Holidays

If you maintain their eating and sleeping routine, you can do pretty much what you like in between

On trips with BB I always make sure that the thing we do in the morning provides him with lots of running around and activity time, then after a good lunch we do something he's less interested in so that he sleeps. Happy child, happy Mum, happy holiday! There's more in my Paris with a Toddler post.




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3 comments:

  1. Hi Emma, we didnt meet at blogfest but I really enjoyed reading your post about it...it let me know what I missed by going to the 'wrong' sessions!! Keep up the great writing...and if you ever need a new recipe to try then hop over to my blog...freefromfairy.blogspot.co.uk!

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  2. Thanks for your comment - I have already had a quick look at your blog and added it to my reading list - lots of gluten free food - that's great. Maybe we'll catch up next time

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  3. Only just found this, but lovely to meet you too :D

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