Over the weekend, like hundreds of other bloggers, I had pleasure of attending Britmums Live, a blogging conference incorporating the awards ceremony for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. I didn’t win in my category. I smiled my ‘Joey’ loser’s smile and felt more disappointed than I thought I might. But, never mind – I am still over the moon that I made it to the final with Supper & Syntax and it has given me the confidence to go forth with a little writing project….
There is a lot of hugging at Britmums, and a lot of laughter. But, of course, where there is laughter there is also tears. The moving speech from Katie Piper who has lived through being raped and then having acid thrown in her face. More tears came at the tributes to dear little Matilda Mae and also Kerry from Multiple Mummy, both taken from us too soon. But what I took away from their stories was not sorrow, but strength. Strength and love and courage.
I enjoyed the seminars, particularly the ones on publishing which were useful and well-delivered and the session on whether we are addicted to the internet, delivered by a slightly scary but very impressive neuroscientist from Oxford. Some of the others could have done with being more interactive or perhaps streamed for more advanced bloggers as well as the basics. It must be a hard balance to achieve, but as blogging strides forward, so do the capabilities of its bloggers.
The most wonderful thing about Britmums is the bloggers. Five hundred of us sharing a common goal. And this produces an astonishing atmosphere. Pretensions are left at the door as avatars materialise into actual flesh and blood and we silently acknowledge the relief of mingling with a bunch of people who been through cold turkey with their stats addictions, happily refer to each other by their Twitter handles and understand that online friendship is a very real thing
Britmums Live is about affirmation. Of people’s lives, their laughter, their grief and their self. Of their writing, online relationships, technological savvy and the fact that for many, blogging is a sanity-saver. It affirms all that makes blogging the phenomenon that it is.
I have come away from Britmums Live with fresh ideas, new friends, things to try and a smile on my face.
Same time next year? You betcha. Already bought my ticket.
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