You know that funny, tickling feeling that runs up your spine when you’re close to something big, something potentially life changing? I had that more than once on the weekend, where I was one of more than 150 bloggers taking part in the inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference in Sydney.
I set off on Friday morning, still feeling haggard and spent from a week spent riding the porcelain bus, but with a spring in my step. I was not only going to spend a whole weekend talking and thinking about blogging, but I’d be spending the whole weekend alone. The second time in almost 17 months. I was looking forward to revelling in the quiet contemplation that being alone brings, just as much as meeting and chatting to some fabulous bloggers.
I had big plans for solo shopping trips and cafe meals. But by the time I’d hauled arse to the hotel room from Museum Station I was spent. ‘A bit of a relax and then a jaunt into town,’ I promised myself. Two and half hours later I woke up dazed. Man, I needed that sleep. It was then I resolved to take it easy … room service menu was fetched, towelling gown and slippers where eased into. Just me, Music Max, a trashy mag and a view from the 20th floor. Bliss!
By Saturday morning I was glad I took it easy. My stomach was still tender and not even a buffet breakfast could coax me into a decent meal. I was getting a bit jittery … excitement mixed with apprehension.
I needn’t have worried, on stepping out of the lift on level one I surfed the wave of happy vibes and smiley faces to collect my conference pass and one mother of a goody bag.
The whole day continued on in a similar fashion. It’ s hard to capture all the things I learnt in that room that day in one blog post, so here is a reel of highlights, thoughts and feelings in no particular order:
- Your blog is your own space, do with it what you want. Follow your passions and find your voice.
- Content is king, but its not everything. Making connections with your readers and other bloggers is important too.
- I really need to connect more, there is nothing to be scared of . There is plenty of room for a range of divergent voices and experiences.
- Blogging raw can help release feelings and help you connect with others, but it can have repurcussions. Think about how much you reveal and the way you reveal it … find a level of exposure that you’re happy with.
- Stories and truth can be so powerful. The ‘My Blog, My Story’ session was my favourite of the day. I was particularly inspired by Carly Findlay from Tune into Radio Carly, who I was lucky enough to share lunch with.
- Also awesome was the crowdsourced blog readings. I’ve totally got to print out this one by Edenland and pop it on my fridge … such truth. I was also left a blubbering mess by this poem Woman, a History by Wanderlust.
- Surrounded by so much awesomeness, I sometimes felt the old inferiority complex tugging at my sleeve … but the conference was a reminder that I am awesome too no matter how small-time I am.
- The dinner dance was so much fun. I may or may not have partaken in some barefooted Nutbush and requested a Britney number (in my defence, the DJ didn’t seem keen on playing Gold by Spandau Ballet or Don’t you Want me Baby by the Human League).
I’ve been floating on a bit of a cloud since coming back, but have laboured over this post a bit longer than I planned to. Hopefully now that this difficult first post-conference-post is done I’ll be free to get back to the incessant navel gazing for which I’m not famous for.
Bring on next year’s conference!