Yeah! Blogfest! Things, stuff. The Good, the In-Between and the Oh Dear Do I Really Have To Mention it?
The Good :
It was GREAT to hang out with Lynn and Sonya and so nice we had the time and chance to catch up again.
When you’re stood outside, you tend to see the speakers leave – usually not long after they’ve done their bit. A special mention to Stella Creasy who chatted with us for a while outside and has a very good sense of humour – I liked her, we found her easy to chat to and hopefully she got her ballgown.
Jon Ronson! I do like the man’s writing and wish I’d seen it all, but what I did see was great. See also : Jo Brand, Tim Dowling.
Going into sessions and wishing they were twice as long – see: Cracking Yarns and Tell Tales – How To Tell A Better Story, particularly AL Kennedy and Lionel Shriver. Just sitting hearing them both talk was like you’re in their living room listening. On purpose. It was ace, and I came away feeling really happy. I’m no writer, but what they said has made me think about all this, although if you were to see the number of posts in draft on here… I’ve already bought some books. I dare not enter the competition.
In It For the Lolz – Writing Funnier Stuff. See, I see the funny side of a lot of things I write and can never make it funny. I’m a better speaker than writer and I’m a terrible speaker. There were helpful tips, and Sonya was fab AND funny.
Cocktails. Really quite scrumptious ones too. Thank you Mark Warner Holidays for being there plus it meant I could Instagram Lynn and use the ‘Lynn is having sex on the beach’ comment.
The In-Between :
Having the Twitter feed behind the speakers on the big screens. I was distracted. I seemed to spend more time watching a tweet happen on my iPad Mini then watching to see how long it would be before it appeared on the screen. This is also due to a week at work, finishing at 2 every day without a lunchbreak and general tiredness (I also had an ocular migraine on Thursday night) – next year I’m taking the Friday off beforehand to concentrate. TOP TIP.
Food. Oh food. Lunch was fine, but why oh why do all events seem to rely on cakes. I can not exist on cakes at breaks, I need cheese straws, crisps. Hereby starts the campaign for cheese straws at conferences. I NEED SAVOURY. By the very end the room was spinning and I was starving. (I missed the cakes at the afternoon break) Also, more vegetarian food please! (especially in the evening when I had two spoons of something meat-free)
Won’t someone think of those of us who have Tinnitus? Rooms like the bar afterwards proved difficult to hear others. We retreated to a table to the side which was quieter but it was still hard to hear what was being said. Imagine being underwater but rather than the sound of water you hear 400+ people chatting at the same level with music included and even though the music is quieter, everyone talking has gone into one great lull all you can hear are the songs. It was a bit like that. I had to do a lot of lip reading towards the end which must have looked really odd. Sorry everyone I spoke to, I’m not odd I just can’t hear very well.
The Oh Dear Do I Really Have To Mention It? :
‘Can you still be a mummy blogger and be a feminist‘. I don’t do pigeonholes. If I did then my blogs wouldn’t convey that anyway. Cue what was a happy day evolving into an evening ‘talking about THAT session’, then simultaneously sniggering about getting a jar of marmalade in our goody bags. We’ve all got our own opinions and that’s all we need. I couldn’t get angry with what was said as it’s one person’s opinion and who cares what they think? There were far more inspiring sessions* to go to that should be spoken about.
The Have You Made Your Mind Up bit
I would happily go to BlogFest again next year. I felt like it was a different kind of event (to the other conferences), and one that I came away from a little more inspired, that I can do things in a way which didn’t involve me writing loads of notes never to be written up. There were no ‘pals of the organiser(s)’ type thing going on – everyone felt equal which was nice. It was smoothly run and the content varied. I didn’t come away with a goody bag full of toys – it was predominantly for me. I met the people I wanted to and a HUGE thumbs up to Blendology – bumping badges with people is so much nicer than looking at stickers on bazooms to find out what someone’s name is. So yeah, 2014, bring it on.
*my opinion of course, I am just one person with one. For the record. Also, Sarah Ditum (who I ‘got’ – my sister did what she did and I could see it was just her opinion) has posted a response to the session which is worth reading.