Brit Mums 2017
Am I a Brit Mum?
Interesting question. Obvious answer at first glance. Well, no of course!
I am neither a mum nor a parent. So technically I disqualify automatically.
Let’s delve deeper though and put this into a different context, where perhaps the answer may turn out to be something quite different.
At the start of 2017 one of my best friends, the lovely Annette from 3 Little Buttons, suggested something that immediately raised my eyebrows.
“You should come to Brit Mums”, she said.
Umm, the first question to enter my head, “what is Brit Mums? Well, essentially it is a conference for bloggers. As already established I am definitely not a mum so I thought that I was not eligible to attend. It would be weird right? if someone said Brit mums to you the last person you’d think of is me. Sound logic.
Annette said, “no come, it’s not just for parents”. Umm, perhaps this was something I should consider further.
I do like the idea of being in a space full of people doing the same thing as you and spending a day learning new things to help along your journey. As I am trying to embrace all things blogwise perhaps this was a good opportunity. Also if Annette were going then I’d at least know someone. So clicked on the link I did and before you could say Brit Mums, I had purchased a day out in September. Woo Hoo! The Brit Mums website does say that you don’t have to be a parent to attend so that made me feel more relaxed about what I was getting in to.
Putting faces to the names
As any blogger reading this would testify, having the opportunity to meet the community you’ve forged online might not come around too often. Location predominately is the big reason for this. So a blogging conference is a perfect opportunity to put faces to the names.
Despite not being a typical attendee (i.e. a parent) I did actually know some of the other people attending. Through a linky that Annette co-hosts I had come into contact with other bloggers; Dawn from Rhyming with Wine, Nicola from All Things Spliced and Bridget from Bridie by the Sea. I honestly couldn’t say that I knew all there names but I definitely didn’t know what they looked like. Dawn from Rhyming with Wine actually found me during the first coffee break with her friend Gemma. They actually found another Ed at the conference as well earlier in the day but didn’t realise straight away that it was not me, haha!
Now, of course, there is always going to be a certain amount of doubt about how a person will come across in the flesh. Their voice, behaviour or appearance may make you feel uncomfortable. “Who the hell is this person I have been speaking to all these months?!!” My experience with people at Brit Mums, however, was all good. Meeting all these lovely people vindicated my decision to come. Everyone was kind, warm and easy to talk too. I felt like the odd one out at the start of the day but by the end of it, I felt like I was part of the community.
There is so much reward for meeting people who feel and think the same you do about creative work. I did not feel uncomfortable sharing my good or bad experiences and I took inspiration from others.
Shits and giggles
I’ll be honest and say that when I first read the scheduled sessions I wasn’t that impressed. On the day though my opinion totally changed. All the sessions I attended inspired me to start blogging again and sparked new creative ideas.
Judith Lewis ran an SEO Deep Dive session in the morning and her funny and honest personality brought to life a subject matter that to be honest we all find a bit tedious. Although I didn’t stay in this session all morning the one thing I remember her saying was that if you are just blogging for shits and giggles you don’t really need to worry about ranking and keyword research. That is sort of me. I’m not running my blog as a business or to write for other people so focusing on what I want to write about is more important.
I am ready to smash my goals with focussed blogging using the 90-day goals, delivered by Aby Moore. I was really good at planning my content at the start of 2017 so now is the time to get back on top of it.
Rachel Riley delivered a very good session about photography. I am now ready to play about with the manual settings on my camera to start taking incredible photos to use.
The most rewarding session I attended was listening to other people talk about their creative journey. Jennie Maizels (Sketchbook Club), Rich McCor (Paperboy) and Sean Byrne (Byrne Photography) shared how their creative idea has grown to be something they love and led to unique opportunities. I absolutely love Jennie and her Sketchbook Club. If you haven’t heard of it check it out. I think that it is such a fantastic idea, so much so that I am very intrigued by the idea of running a Sketchbook Club Franchise.
The story that Rich told about how he grew to become Paperboy, was one that has such great parallels with where I currently find myself in trying to grow my creative following. In a nutshell, he was inspired to take full advantage of living in London and combined his love of photography and paper craft to show locations in unique ways on Instagram. I am totally at the stage where I am thinking of how to create a unique identity on Instagram.
I took so much from the sessions than I thought I would and that was the real hope for the day.
So am I a Brit Mum?
Considering the things I learnt, plus the experiences of meeting such wonderful people, I’m safe in saying that I got as much from the day as anyone else did. We all had fun, meet new people and were really moved by what other people had written. It was worth me being encouraged to go. Now that I feel a real part of this community, even though I am not a mum or parent I do consider myself to be a Brit Mum.
Bring on next year!
No need for postcards, feel free to leave a comment…