Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend an event us bloggers refer to as ‘The Holy Shrine Of Blogging Wisdom’ and others refer to as ‘Problogger’. To put it in basic terms, it was two action packed days up on the Gold Coast where our socks were well and truly rocked off by a bunch of peeps who know all about this blogging business. Equal parts informative ‘how to’ and ‘let your imagination soar’, it was 8+ hours a day of information on top of information with a side of information.
I have never been to a blogging conference before (scratch that, I don’t think i’ve ever been to anything termed a ‘conference’ period) so I was slightly nervous about what was to come. I only decided to go maybe a month before the event itself as I’d missed out on the first round of ticket sales and only managed to snaffle myself one after tracking down someone through social media who was selling theirs.
I don’t really know what made me do a complete turn around from ‘hmmm maybe I should think about going to this’ to ‘I NEEEED to go to this event’, but something had shifted and when the stars aligned and a ticket became available, I snapped it up. Frequent Flyer points took care of the flights and my lovely blogging buddy Bron (who blogs over at Baby Space agreed to share a room with yours truly which made the whole thing affordable (just).
Reading back over that paragraph I’ve realised that I’ve told a bit of a lie. I think I DO know what made me desire that ticket so strongly. I needed to go this event to see what my future held. I was at a bit of crossroads with blogging. I felt as if I’d moved away from this space and become disinterested in the whole concept. My freelance work outside of this space has been trotting along steadily and I was wondering if I would be better of just pursuing that. As any working mum will tell you, time is a precious commodity and I really wasn’t sure what I should have been doing with mine.
So Problogger was going to be my decision maker. Two days of the best the blogging world had to offer should well and truly push me one way or the other, I thought. And so I boarded a plane on Thursday night that took me to Coolangatta Airport and The Breakfree Beachpoint.
Friday morning dawned and I pulled on my maxi dress and headed for the QT Hotel where the conference was being held. I still wasn’t sure if I was in the right place to be honest. I was excited but hesitant. I didn’t want to get caught up in the whole ‘vibe’ of the thing and lose sight of what I was hoping to discover.
I think part of me was hoping that I would rock up to that first day, listen to a few talks, take a few pics and head back to the Beachpoint to get ready for a glass of wine at the networking event that night. Part of me had decided, without consultation, that I was taking the road away from blogging. Although by no stretch ‘easy’ freelance writing is straightforward. I know how to do it. It doesn’t require me to up skill or learn anything new. It’s just my laptop and I. And I get paid to do it. It might’d be something that makes sparks fly in my creative consciousness but it was fine.
In the first hour of the conference however, I suddenly realised that just settling for that which is ‘fine’ wasn’t going to be possible. Something was ignited within me in the first opening address and that something continued to fan the flames so that I was on the edge of my seat at each and every seminar/talk I chose to go to. My notebook was open and I was scribbling furiously, constantly. I had ink smudged down the side of my hand and writers cramp from trying to catch every word. My head was spinning as I tried to record and listen at the same time.
Bloody Problogger totally screwed my plans. Suddenly I was watching people speak passionately about blogging. I’d never really heard that before. I guess I’d always kind of placed it in the ‘hobby’ basket or the ‘will lead to other things’ basket and while there is nothing wrong with those baskets, what I was seeing and hearing catapulted blogging right up and out to something that was contributing to the wider written landscape. These peeps were making real money. And forming communities. Doing amazing things. Listening to their words was like reaffirming that a blog CAN BE something.
I have no clue what time I went to bed that night as I ended up sitting up, cross legged on top of the doona, scribbling in my notebook. Part reflections on the day that had been, part ideas and part just random ramblings that I’m still trying to decode. I think my brain was so full it was bubbling over the edges.
And so the decision was made. Turns out it wasn’t a difficult one. And while I will keep freelancing and working with some amazing people, business and brands, I’ll also keep blogging. Because it’s the only thing that could keep a girl who LOVES her sleep, awake part midnight, scribbling non-sensical stuff in a dogeared notebook.