If you’ve been reading my blog for over a year, you’ll know that last year I attended Blogtacular for the first time. Blogtacular is an annual conference put together by Kat and Kat, two individual bloggers who united to bring us “a place for bloggers whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire.”
Last year, part of me was dreading it. My heart does not beat with creativity, I’m not very good at sharing ideas (cos I don’t have very many, not because I’m a greedy bean) and I’m not very inspirational. I was pretty sure it would be one of the most traumatic days of my life.
I arrived, petrified, and made my way over to someone who looked quite nice. (Isn’t it strange how we hone in on people who look like they’re ‘our kind of people’, making snap judgments in an instant. I’ve written about that before.) We got chatting, we told each other about our blogs, and she gave me a business card – among other branded goodies. She asked for my card and I admitted I didn’t have one. She looked at me like I was an idiot, and I felt like an idiot. She asked me how I was going to promote my blog during the day and I stammered. I wasn’t really there to promote my blog… I just wanted to listen to some lectures, attend some workshops and be inspired. I hadn’t prepared myself for intense networking and self-promotion. I ripped a page from the back of my notebook (classy) and jotted down my blog details. I’m pretty sure that girl binned my poor attempt at networking, and we didn’t speak again.
Thankfully, I later met about 100 people who didn’t have business cards. In fact, I met people who didn’t even have blogs. They were there to see if blogging was for them (a great way to explore the sector) so I soon calmed down and I had a wonderful day. Have a look at last year’s post to see the amazing things I learnt and the people I met.
All that said, the business card experience stayed with me so this year I’m going prepared.
I don’t think cards (or care packages, or whatever) are essential Blogtacular equipment. We all want different things out of our conference and I’m sure there will be things this year that I later wish I’d thought about.
Last year I felt like a very inexperienced blogger, and had no idea what my hopes and goals were for A Life Less Physical. Fast forward a year and I have this blog, I write for New Life Outlook, my photographs have been used by mental health and chronic pain organisations and people with Fibromyalgia contact me regularly for individual support and advice. The chronic pain element of this blog was meant to be the ‘bit on the side’, but it’s the bit that’s grown and made my blog a success.
If I’m honest, I often wish that my posts on food and travel were the ones that got retweeted on twitter and shared across blog networks, but there are sooooooo many amazing bloggers covering these topics (in ways that are far better than mine) that it’s an incredible struggle to make a dent in the world wide web.
Once upon a time, my pain was something that made me different to others and for that I was angry. Now my pain is something that makes my blog different to others and for that I am surprisingly grateful.
I can’t wait for Blogtacular this year. I know there will be bloggers that are far better and far more professional than I am, but I also know that I am doing okay. I’ve been blogging for over two years (I forgot to celebrate with cake and balloons – really should do that at some point) and things could be better blah blah blah, but I’m doing okay. And I have no doubt that at tomorrow’s Blogtacular I will be motivated, inspired and in awe of incredible bloggers from all over the world. Plus, if last year is anything to go by, I’ll learn some new skills that will make things even better. I can’t wait!
Oh – and if you’re going – come and say hi! Now, what to wear…