This year I decided to take the plunge and go to Brit Mums Live. It was a pretty big decision for me because since having children I have suffered terribly with anxiety.
Because I live I Cheshire, attending Brit Mums Live is incredibly expensive. After paying for the ticket, the hotel and my train fare, I was starting to feel a lot poorer to say the least. But I figured it would be a great learning curve and I would meet a lot of new people, which can’t be a bad thing can it?
To be honest, I sort of bumbled through the day. I wasn’t given an agenda when I signed in because they didn’t have any left at the front desk, so while one of the organisers went to get some more, I grabbed a cuppa.
I’ve never felt so out of my depth and I wanted to cry. Thankfully Jade from Raising the Rings came to save me and introduced me to Chantal from Milk & Nappies and Stacie from Parker and Me who were really friendly and quite honestly stopped me from bolting for the door.
After my cup of tea, I grabbed an agenda and set about planning my day. I nipped into the Travel Blogging talk, which was great. We are planning a European road trip at the moment, so it was really great to hear about what it is that brings people to travel blogs and what it is that keeps them there. Cathy Winston from Mummy Travels told us that lists bring them to your site and stories keep them there in case you were wondering! I absolutely loved hearing Cathy Winston and Susanna Scott speak, they were both so captivating and motivating and they made blogging seem like something fun opposed to a militant business ordeal. I’m now so excited to start taking my blog in this new travel direction in the future. During the talk I also got to meet Laura from Life with Baby Kicks, who is really lovely and looked after my things while I ran around looking for my ‘lost phone’. It was actually at the bottom of my bag… very awkward.
After the talk I popped back upstairs to speak to some of the brands, met Carole Smilie who has launched a new underwear range with Annabel Croft, for when your pelvic floor is a bit weak. Considering I’m starting to work with a physio to strengthen mine, I’m hoping these are as revolutionary as I’ve heard they are. I also had a great chat with the people from Touchnote, where we discussed some exciting possible projects in the future. Since BML16, I’ve had a lot of lovely emails from some of the other brands about working together, so that has been a real confidence booster.
I then attended the ‘How to make money Blogging’ talk, which reminded me a bit like a group of children trying to sing the longest line of a song. Apologies to the speakers, who are all very successful and I enjoy their blogs, but the session was a bit much for me. It was just a bit too egotistical for my taste and I didn’t come away feeling like I had learnt that much. That said, the speakers did talk about using your blog as part of the bigger picture. This actually made me realise that if truth be told my main focus isn’t really the blog at all and that I want my blog to be part of my bigger goal, which is to publish a book. So despite the talk not quite being what I expected and leaving it early, I did take something very motivational away from it.
After the talk I grabbed some lunch, which was so delicious I grabbed seconds (I know what a pig). While scoffing my face and trying my hardest to not look awkward I met Martyn who writes a fabulous home education blog called ‘Inside Martyns Thoughts’. Aside from the girls I had met that morning, he was only person to introduce himself to me and actually strike up a conversation, even though by this point my anxiety had hit a record high and I was finding stringing a sentence together quite difficult. So thank you for that!
During the lunch break I met the lovely Emma from Motherhood for Slackers, who too had decided the day wasn’t really for her either and so we got talking about the books we wanted to write. It was so lovely to talk to someone who was feeling quite overwhelmed by the whole event and found the atmosphere extremely cliquey too.
After lunch I headed down to the talk about working with PRs, which to be honest completely contradicted the previous talk about making money blogging and wasn’t particularly helpful to me at all. So I walked out of that talk too and headed back to the room serving tea in the hope that I would meet some more fellow bloggers. Everytime I started talking to someone, a bustle of people came behind us and I had to move away to avoid being ‘in the way’, so after ten minutes I grabbed a cupcake from the MAM stand, had a quick chat with their social media and PR team and then headed home.
In all honesty I came away feeling like I had wasted a lot of time and money and felt really deflated. I starting wondering if blogging isn’t for me after all. So I decided to focus on the positives;
- For starters catching up with Jade from Raising the Rings was really lovely and I feel like I’ve made a genuine friend through blogging.
- The travel blogging talk was really inspirational and left me wanting to take my blog (even just in part) down the travel blogging route.
- The whole day made me want to draw my focus to my book projects. I’ve been putting ideas together for both a children’s book and a novel, so perhaps it’s time to really start focusing on the actual writing.
- The bloggers who did actually take the time to speak to me, were really lovely. So while I may not be in the ‘bloggers club’, I’m going to attend smaller events, make a small number of actual friends, instead of loads of acquaintances and do this whole blogging thing my way. Because if truth be told, I’ve never been one to follow the crowds anyway.