Blogging is an art form of our technological age, few can ignore this.  So what did the Mumsnet conference develop in terms of wit, humour and brutal honesty?  Each year I go and each year I come away more alive and revved up than the last.  Blogging is a singular sport and very often I feel lonely in my quest to ensure that the world takes account of many different voices; it’s sometimes very hard to see the exact technological “wood” when you only see the “tree” that’s your laptop.  But worse than this, some times I have posts and simply never let them free to roam the technological super highway because I never know if I should…

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So I vow to make a good account of what flavour of the day.  Each year develops a section in my brain that you may relate to.  My year 1 (Blogfest year 2), was my introduction into the more technical world of blogging.  I went because I felt that I was technologically falling behind changes from being a home mum.  I didn’t know what this world was all about so “Discovery” was the nomenclature and the beginnings of recovery from deep depression was an added bonus!  Thanks Mumsnet Blogfest!  I never expected to listen to “actual people” speaking about “actual experiences” and hearing actual passionate swearing and thinking OH MY GOD I never want to leave this place.

2013: Development, 2014: Confidence (and trying to persuade Carrie Longton to take two of her own cakes from the high tea MOST embarrassing moment ever!) 2015 Margaret Atwood shared my tweet, did I explain that clearly enough…?  “MARGARET ATWOOD SHARED MY TWEET!”

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Blogfest 2016 was more about authorial existentialism (quick pause to check in Google that I actually mean this),  Yup, cracking!  Grab your voice, pull it from you and don’t be ashamed of it. Allow your voice to exist “Ehum. Laaa!”

The highlights:

Fi Glover’s matriarchal trip through the challenges of writing for women allowed Shappi Khorsandi, Jess Phillips and Victoria Smith to unite in a blast of feminine power.  Khorsandi stating it’s hard to remove the British reserve and let loose (Jess Smith chirruping in “it isn’t”) and simply say what needs to be said, but once you do it, you don’t look back…

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Bryony Gordon’s Thinkbomb exploration through Obsessive ‘O’ a compulsive disorder that makes you believe you have done some really bad things, was heart breaking but essential. One thing that it is scary about mental health is how volatile it is, but for me what is scarier is missing the signs that makes someone vulnerable because this can be so easily misunderstood.

The ditsy (By this I mean little and amazingly creative) Emily Quinton and her fabulous photography tips  – the main message was all about lighting, so Emily, please don’t look too closely at my pictures from Blogfest16 – no natural light, eek!

Beyond the best part of the day was the fantastic session on Know Your Voice: I wish that I could wake up in the morning to Zoe Williams, Sara Pascoe, Stella Duffy, Miranda Sawyer, Liv Little and Cash Carraway, who were an entity of voice all in themselves, sitting at the end of my bed preparing me for the day ahead…  well I suppose that’s twitter.

Sara Pascoe’s advice for a mum struggling with MS and horrific fatigue was simply astounding.  Essentially her words were… become a fallow field and allow yourself the time to rest, note down some ideas when they bubble up, but wait knowing that the regeneration will come.

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Then we snuggled up with Davina and felt safe in her warm guidance through developing resilience.  The definition of insanity is behaving in the same way, making the same mistakes and thinking the outcome will be any different.  Have an attitude of gratitude and you will begin to see things very differently.

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Thinking Theory:  If we have an idea and we write it down, we bring our own context to it.   When someone reads our writing, they bring their own context and will always involve themselves differently with our text.  So we cannot shape the people who read our texts, nor can we shape what they take from our texts, but we should still contribute, otherwise, as Cash Carraway said, then we can miss some good that can come from the things that are a little taboo.

I am already looking forward to next year’s highlights… Blogfest 17, you are just too far away.

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