Just over a week ago I went to my first Blogtacular conference, and it has been one of the highlights of the year so far. It was the first time I’d been surrounded by so many like-minded people and I couldn’t help being inspired and awestruck by the pearls of wisdom so generously given by all the speakers. So if any of them are reading this, a huge THANK YOU for your advice – and to the sponsors, another big thank you for supporting the event!
Here are some of my favourite inspirational quotes – first, Grace Bonney’s opening keynote:
“Everyone is a publisher, everyone is a creator, everyone has a point of view.”
“You can’t stop forward momentum, so you have to jump in first. Don’t be afraid to see where it takes you.”
Marte Marie Forsberg:
“All the ideas are out there, it’s just for us to download them.”
“Promote what you love instead of trashing what you hate.”
“Decide what you want to do, tell your story, stay true and people will find you…”
Then these simple but powerful words from Anthony Peters’ keynote, which I managed to capture on camera:
The overarching theme was collaboration, and despite feeling as though I’m some way away from collaborating with anyone from the knitting world, I made lots of notes and definitely feel more confident and comfortable about getting stuck into new things when the time is right. Momentum is definitely a key thing; that’s something I’ve learnt since becoming self-employed and starting this blog nearly two years ago. Also, working in sync with momentum is a long-term habit, and the Mollie Makes session on ‘Finding Your Voice and Cultivating Creativity’ left the deepest impression of the day.
Led by Lara Watson and Jessica Bateman, this session had a completely different format to all the others. Instead of inspirational and motivational speaking to rouse the audience, Lara and Jess put together a very professional and seamless presentation of their very best advice on how to manage yourself when you write for a living – or at least spend a big chunk of your time writing. It was so different to all the other panels that as an audience we were completely bowled over! – but not so much that we didn’t appreciate and take on board the gems in front of us.
I took pictures of every single slide and listened intently: of all the sessions, Jess and Lara’s advice was something that I could put into practice almost immediately. And I could definitely do worse than listen to two “classically trained journalists.”
This pedigree also connected a few dots in my mind regarding my thoughts about Mollie Makes. I’d looked at the magazine before and seen the first issue besides, but despite dipping into it and admiring the concept I couldn’t get on board, largely due to the fact that I only ever make clothes, not small, bitesized, cute projects. Because of my family influence and personal experience with crafts, designing and making sweet, useful objects and home accessories doesn’t come naturally to me – it’s all about the clothes. What I did like – and still do – was the intent and purpose evident from the editorials. Nothing light and frothy here, and after hearing Lara and Jess speak, I now understand that their team’s grit and integrity was the lynchpin of my attraction.
Going back to the conference, the one thing that I took away and found most valuable was the insight and advice on creative and blogging practice; habits and routines to adopt so that it becomes natural and part of everyday life. June has been a bit of an unsettled month thus far – not in a negative way, more in the sense of routine and planning, which has meant less time for writing and fewer posts than I’d like – but going to Blogtacular has really helped me to reconnect with why I’ve chosen to do certain things and their original potential. I might not be ready to act on other precious pieces of advice, but I’ve take lots of notes and put them to one side, ready for the auspicious moment.
All in all, a brilliant weekend. Part two on the following day, was a completely different kind of inspiration and escapism. It involves the London Underground and, to completely recontextualise Leona Thrift-ola’s words during the Instagram panel, “celebrating the little things [and thinking] creatively about the routine things that you do.” More to come on Wednesday… 😉