This time last year I attended BritMums Live, my first ever blogging event. This weekend I will return for the newly rebranded #BML16. A lot has changed in the intervening year.
I remember arriving at the event last year a nervous wreck. I’m socially awkward at the best of times but the thought of spending 1½ days with 700-odd people I’d never met before gave me the screaming heebie-jeebies.
I left having made dozens of new friends, my head buzzing full of ideas and determined to take my blog to the next level.
Since then, I’ve been to a couple of other blogging events (Blogfest and BlogOnWin), launched my own parenting podcast and then relaunched it as a collaborative effort, made the shortlist for the BiBs Readers’ Choice award (but not, alas, the final five) and taken up writing and performing parenting-based parodies of pop songs, one of which (this one) I will be delivering as one of the seven bloggers’ keynotes this Saturday at BML.
(Do please sing along, or else I am going to fill the room with the kind of out-of-tune singing normally only seen on the most cringeworthy of X Factor auditions. Alternatively, bring earplugs. Your choice. Consider yourselves warned.)
A year is a long time in blogging. Despite having floated around on the periphery of the parent blogging scene for 18 months or so before last year’s event, I felt like a complete newbie beforehand. I suppose I was, really.
But here’s the thing. Every year a significant proportion of the attendees are first-timers. And yet even if, like me last year, you have never met any other bloggers before, the odds are you will know many people there from their blogs. And many of them will know you. At worst, as a fellow blogger you will have something in common with every single person there. And that’s a pretty good starting point.
So if you’re coming to BML for the first time this weekend, genuinely, don’t worry. Throw yourself into the day, say hi to people (none of us bite) and don’t leave at the end of it wishing you’d said hi to so-and-so but didn’t pluck up the courage to do it.
If you want to know any more about me, you can either read my I’m going to #BML16 post or just come and say hi at either the Friday Fringe do or on Saturday at the main event. I won’t be wearing black tie, but this is me …
If you’re coming to #BML16, I hope to say hi to you there. (Warning: I have the world’s worst memory for names and faces, so don’t be offended when I stare at you blankly.) If not, well, you know where to find me online.