When I was asked to write a post about my experience of BritMums Live, I jumped at the chance. You see, four years ago I tentatively bought a ticket for my very first blogging conference and could never have imagined that it would be the start of an amazing journey. If there is one message I’d love to pass on to anyone unsure about attending #BML16 it’s this – you never know where it will lead!
Back in 2012 I was recovering from a traumatic pregnancy and registered for BritMums Live on a whim. I had started cognitive behavioral therapy and as part of my therapy had been pushing myself out of my comfort zone to rebuild my confidence. Whilst I knew it was a step in the right direction, I was terrified. So I understand the fear of stepping out from behind the screen, I really do.
But you know what? Those two days I spent at The Brewery began to show me the depth of this amazing community we bloggers are a part of and it still amazes me today. I had been blogging for several years by this point, but I had never known quite how influential and inspirational the community is. And as for the welcome, well, you have to experience it to believe it.
Walking into a room full of bloggers, many of whom you consider to be famous, is incredibly daunting. But when you actually do it you realise that it is so empowering too. Sure, there are moments when you find yourself wandering aimlessly and feeling like the only person not talking to someone, but if you build up the courage to introduce yourself you’ll find you’re quickly embraced by anyone and everyone you meet. Even the “celebrities”!
Last year was my fourth time at BritMums Live and I was honoured to be chosen as one of the Blogger Keynotes. Seeing my name in the programme and walking up onto that stage was one of the most incredible yet humbling moments in my blogging career. I stood alongside some of the most famous names in the parent blogging world and yet I knew my name was pretty much unknown. But it didn’t matter. Within this community we are all equal, and I’ve found that the most successful bloggers are the first to remind us of this. They understand blogging is a community, not a competition, and the whole purpose of meeting together in this way is to share knowledge and experience, support and champion each other, and quite simply have a great time!
This year I am returning with a whole new blog, and I feel like a newbie all over again. It feels overwhelming to start from scratch once more, but there is one thing I know I can depend on and that’s a warm welcome at #BML16. See you there?
At the beginning of 2016 Amanda walked away from The Family Patch, her blog of 5 years, in order to set up Spirit Kid Network. As daunting as this felt, she knew it was an opportunity to finally write about something she has a real passion for but had always been too scared to share. Spirit Kid Network hopes to encourage and inspire parents to raise children who are confident in exploring faith and spirituality, in whatever form, to find their own path in life. You can also find her on Twitter and Pinterest.