A weekend filled with my favourite things: bicycles, brunch, sunshine, and interesting people. Given my excitement, the inaugural Blogtacular event, would be hard-pressed to live up to expectations. And yet here I am, full of the afterglow from having a seriously good time. I couldn’t help but fall in love with a conference so full of inspiring ideas, beautiful scenes, and lovely people (and learn a few things along the way..)
Online hops offline with ease. What a friendly crowd! It was great to meet online friends face to face for the first time. From the front door queue, to the last round of applause, people were sharing stories, ideas and twitter handles. Naysayers may claim that social media pulls us away from real interaction, but one peek through the doors of the Royal Institution reminds us that social media can also build real, meaningful connections.
Pen and paper will always have its place. #blogtacular chat was abuzz with people buying new stationery for a weekend of scribbling. Recently inspired by Mike Rohde, I tried a spot of sketchnoting. Doodling was great fun and helped me remember details. Others shared their sketches too: Natalie Lue her wolfie cartoons, Isa Seminega her hand-drawn slides. What glorious contrast to the usual corporate death-by-power-point!
Everyone loves to create. The place was awash with colour: painted pots, balloons on string, yellow pockets, and pink bows. Be it fabric, yarn or film, the urge to make was pretty clear. Anne Ditmeyer reminded us to value our creativity and make money too. Natalie urged us to make creativity a habit. As Xanthe Berkeley told us, no one starts out perfect; we must do a volume of work to reach our goals. Now I’m itching to try several new projects: maps, movies and dresses.
You make your own opportunities. Joy Cho shared her history of business ventures; from tweenie calligrapher to adult professional slashie, Joy has always gone after the work she wanted, and viewed the ‘nos’ along the way purely as a new path to take. Anne called us to “Do what you want to be known for.” Reaching out to others is the only way they’ll know what we can do. After all, “Bloggers are awesome!”
Enjoy what you do. We were all at Blogtacular because we we love the creativity, connections, and confidence that blogging gives us. But I suspect we all occasionally catch ourselves spending too long pulling a post together and question what the hell we’re doing (right?!) Natalie urged us to “Embrace your accomplishments.” As Tilly Walnes argued that having a small niche is no bad thing, it gave license to write about what we enjoy and enjoy what we write, rather than doing it for the crowd. If we recognise and revel in what we achieve, then I’m pretty sure we’ll all live to blog another day (and have fun while we’re at it.)