Tomorrow I'll be heading into London to meet up with lots of lovely other folk who all write blogs too. There'll be tea and talking and cake and goody bags (hopefully - I forgot to pick mine up the last time!). Maybe even a half-naked waiter or two (pretty please?!).
I'm Steph, and I started writing this blog in January 2010 - can hardly believe it's been four and half years now. Every May and June I struggle to post anything as our in-house birthday/party season kicks off, but I always want to come back to my blog. My head is always full of posts I'd like to write, but I rarely have the time. Even this morning I intended to get straight onto writing this post, but like a moth to a flame I couldn't help but read and comment on some of the other fab writers out there on the world-wide internet thingy.
So anyhow, back to Britmums. It's an event where hundreds of bloggers get together to share advice, learn how to improve and network with writers and brands. I've been to this annual event once before, in 2012. I wrote the following before attending that time, and when I read it back I felt it was still relevant now:
I'm excited. But I'm also nervous. And a teeny bit anxious.
Britmums Live! My first ever blogging conference. In less than 2 months time. What have I done? What have I signed myself up for? Will there be enough tea and cake?
It's true, that's what I'm really thinking. I've just watched the lovely video by the ever-so-friendly butterflies (see here for 2014 ones), and all I can think of is that there aren't enough of them to go round, and no doubt I'll be at the back of the queue, and they'll all have flitted off helping others by the time I get to the front. Herrumph. Oh well, as long as they leave the cake behind I guess I'll cope.
I'm not really a big-time blogger. More like a small-fry actually. No awards or even nominations for little old me. I'm still at that stage where I'm not sure if I want to be big. A pat on the back and the acceptance which comes with awards and recognition generally would of course be lovely. Blog comments are the best thing in the world - I don't think I'd ever have enough of knowing that people are out there reading and actually listening to what I have to say. I just don't really have the confidence to promote myself. I'm still a shy little girl; I don't know if you ever grow out of it.
I started my blog for personal reasons, a diary for me and for my family to explain what was going on in our lives once we found out we had joined the 'Special Needs' community. I doubt I'd have ever started blogging if it wasn't for that - it's not as if I'd had time to twiddle my thumbs since giving birth the first time.
So in a way it feels right to me to keep it small, and personal - not that you can really call that worldwide web t'internet thingy personal. On the other hand I've always been an honest and open type of person, and I feel the need to share for both my sake and for the sake of understanding - spreading the word about autism is what I hope for. Maybe it'll get bigger, in time.
So anyhow, back to Britmums Live. What can I expect? By the sounds of it, lots of other 'novices' who would also like to meet people. What happens if they're all talking to each other when I get there? What on earth am I going to wear? Is my self-esteem really this low?!
I'm wondering now why I signed up in the first place.... oh yes, I remember, first and foremost it was to meet my old school chum who I've not seen for 29 years (cripes!), and then it was to hear some amazing ladies speak, and to learn anything from those other established bloggers on the list whose words I love reading. Maybe I won't be doing that much talking after all......
So that's it in a nutshell. I still have no idea what to wear and I'll be packing last minute as always. Panic and excitement are setting in.
Even though I've been blogging for a while, and I've now been to four or five events where I've met some fantastic people, I'm still nervous. I know more people now to say 'hello' to, but I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with butting into others' conversations, or with walking up to complete strangers and saying 'hi'.
Above is a picture of me and my two girls - my reasons for blogging, my reasons for living.
So if you see me, and you're a bit braver than me, please do stop me and say hello because I'd love to meet some new bloggers to chat with! To the 'old' bloggers I do know, can't wait to see you again!! *Squeals!* *runs off to find a tiara!*