Monday, 2 September 2013

BlogCamp 2013

BlogCamp has given me so much to think about, I am actually feeling really overwhelmed and excited about the possibilities of a directional change to my blog, but I'm still unsure of where to start. When I tried to sleep that night, my eyelids would flutter open as my brain tried to process what it had learnt. I'm scared that if I don't write it all down or start making some adjustments to my blog Right Now, I will forget all the advice I was given.

Having attended this seminar to help clarify what I want to do beyond my year of crafting, the day raised a few more questions in my mind than it gave answers. Is Wordpress better than Blogger? Can I even say the W-word on the Blogger platform or will my blog mysteriously disappear?

I learnt about scrapers and leaky juices, which all sounds very unhealthy.

We received some legal expertise in relation to the basics of privacy and copyright. In short, it means that I might have to bid a reluctant goodbye to Gerry and my plan to introduce you to my other closet crafting thespian friends in any future posts. Although if he - or Channing Tatum (not fussy) - ever knocked on my front door to issue me with a Take Down notice, I'd be quite up for that.

Meeting the group of bloggers and people who are considering starting a blog was a real highlight. These are some of the attendees, taken by me in a privacy-abiding manner, and their pretty green goodie bags.


I briefly met Leanne from Manda Burms Farmstay, who now blogs at Cottage Tails, her friend Robyn, and Sheena, who we may see starting up blogs of their own one day. I hope they do. I also got to chat a little more at length with Madeleine from NZ Ecochick and Meghan from Adventures of MNM's, who between them both have 8 years' blogging experience behind them. It was really great to spend some time with these women, they are very inspirational people.

This is Vicki, the coordinator, or, as I like to call her, The Font of Blogging Knowledge in all her privacy-waiving, consent-giving glory. She is bright, bubbly and I suspect if there is anything she doesn't know about how to become a successful blogger, it probably isn't worth knowing.

Interesting term that; successful blogger. There was some discussion about how to encourage traffic to your blog and page ranks, which really could give someone a complex if things like that are important to people. If you think about it in high school terms, my blog's current page rank means I would be the girl who walks unnoticed past a group of popular kids. I am invisible. It doesn't actually matter though to me, because you are here reading this and you can sit down at my cafeteria table any time :).

My blog may be small, but this year has never been about readership numbers for me or how visible my presence is on the internet. Maybe in future it might become more important. This year has been about the promise I made to myself 12 months ago to throw caution to the wind, try new things and document my creative journey. I have enjoyed following and connecting with many talented people who share their knowledge so freely with others.

This space is successful to me because I actually held true to my promise that I would blog and craft for an entire year. It is proof that I can teach myself to do anything if I apply myself. A year ago, I did not know how to crochet, how to embroider, how to use an overlocker and I would never have thought I could reupholster a chair. But I did all that, and more.

I have received comments from people who told me that I have inspired them to have a go after they have read about my experiences here. That is success.

The regular readers who consistently leave comments here strike me as being loyal, funny, encouraging and genuine and this year has shown me that real friendships can be formed through the internet. These genuine connections are what has made blogging so rewarding and constitute success (in my opinion). Thank you, you are the reason why I have lurched forward on so many projects when I doubted myself.

Our little community of crafting bloggers were able to band together for a really worthwhile cause. This demonstrates, albeit on a small scale, the impact that bloggers can have to make a positive difference in other peoples' lives. This is success.

Having had some time now to reflect on the day, I think I just need to go back to what is important to me and why I blog. First and foremost, I write and I create and I share with you because I enjoy it. However, my family remains my top priority and I blog when it fits around their needs. The minute I think about needing to blog more frequently than I do at present, I start to sweat and worry my stories will sound forced. If I cannot write from a place of honesty and with a willingness to write, I don't want to write at all.

So, I still need to mull things over, but think I am leaning towards reinventing my space. Whatever it may look like, it will still have a creative aspect to it. It's an undeniable part of who I am and makes me happy, but there are also other areas that I would like to explore and share with you too. Will you join me? Spring, new beginnings. I like that.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Leanne! Sounds like you had one heck of a time at camp! Poor Gerry :p. I love what you said about being a successful blogger, i share those thoughts and views completely. Will watch with interest to see where you go from here and will enjoy your inspiring creations and whitty banter as long as you choose to share it xx

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    1. I know, we had a good run, Gerry and I, and it's hard to tell someone it's over, do you think he'll be ok? Thanks for your support x.

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  2. Was so wonderful to meet you on the weekend. I know so much to think about!!! I'm debating about moving to W as well. So torn about what to do. ugg head might explode with all the stuff to do and not do!! Will follow you all the way!!! Look forward to spending more time with you in cyber space and real life. Look forward to seeing where it all takes you Mx

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    1. Thanks Madeleine, you were so full of great advice too, by the way - I disabled anonymous comments because of your suggestion :). Best of luck too with your amazing venture, I'll be following you right back.

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  3. New beginnings are always good. I think it's really important to work out what 'success' looks like for you and pursue that. It's different for all of us :o)

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    1. That is absolutely true, I agree.

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  4. I'm here for the ride baby!

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  5. Hi it was lovely to meet some bloggers in the real so to speak. It was a busy full on day - Vikki put in a lot of work.
    I've begun to make changes. Lokk forward to see where the blog camp takes you too.
    Love Leanne

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Leanne. I was sorry to not get a chance to chat at length with you, the way the day was set up didn't really allow for that, but you never know, our paths may cross again. All the best with your naturopathy studies.

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  6. Hey Leanne

    I really loved meeting you on the weekend, and I can't believe we are nearly neighbours. I'm definitely keen to cultivate our online and real-life friendships so here's to many more meet-ups. I was also completely inspired by the weekend and have SOOOOO much stuff I want to now put in practice too xx

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    1. Well my dear, not only is Vicki inspiring, but you and Madeleine are too, and I have no doubt that whatever you choose to do in your life and how you share it with others on your blog, you will be amazing at it. I hope we do meet up again.

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  7. Gorgeous lady, so wonderful meeting you! What fun your blog is. And I think that as your readers and commentators are consistently saying that you are already a successful blogger! I'm looking forward to seeing how you develop and grow from here. Thanks so much for coming Vix x

    NB/I think you can court the lawyers with Gerry. You'll get away with it.

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    1. I really wish I could have stayed later and joined you for your chat after the conference. I did send you a thank you note on Facebook, but in case you haven't seen it, thank you for giving up your time to travel down and share your expertise with us all. You have such interesting stories; when is your book coming out?

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