(Or, why I went to BlogOnMOSI 2015 at the weekend.)1. Should I go?
Will I know anyone there? What if people don't talk to me? What if no one likes me? Loads of self doubt.
You spend 80% of your life talking to other bloggers from behind a screen and the rest of the time posting terrible selfies and pictures of your own feet on Instagram. It's about time people saw your face, yes, your actual face. You may even make a few friends out of this.
Plus, because of the above you need conversation. Proper conversation, about anything that doesn't involve your children, or standing at the school gate talking about the sodding sunflower growing competition or the new school playground.
Go you idiot, you may even enjoy yourself! You did last year.
2. Ticket Sale Angst
Ooh the tickets are finally on sale. How much are they? Can I afford it? What about the train fare?
So you are looking at the Eventbrite page and pondering clicking the buy button. At this point someone will need new school shoes (actually that's a frigging life certainty) and you think, "no I won't go this year. There are more important things to spend the money on. It's very selfish of me to consider spending money on my hobby". (Actually, what you really think is FFS, why can't I spend some money on me for a change?). And, you went last year - it won't be any different.
The tickets then sell out. You still really really wanted to go. FML.
3. Pester Power
Your head is nagging you, your social media buddies are nagging you. You are in a secret Facebook group of people who are all going and that is bastard well nagging you.
You add yourself to the waitlist and pray that someone drops out.
4. The Golden Ticket
Just when you've completely forgotten about going, you get an email - you made it off the waitlist, hooray!
You hurriedly press buy and then complete the checkout process with PayPal. Only you can't because PayPal says there's a problem with your account. Arrrrgggghhhhhhh. Whyyyyyy? Just give me the ticket will you?
Finally the gods are smiling, and using a different email address your ticket order goes through!
You feel like Charlie Bucket.
I have a ticket, do you have a ticket? Oh, you don't? You must get yourself on the waitlist, it's going to be a great event!
6. The Build Up
All the important questions. Which sessions will I attend? What are my dietary requirements? What are the train times?
And most importantly. What shall I wear?
Change your mind about 18 times on all of the above. Remind your husband of the date 18 times also.
Then. Realise that you are really quite nervous and excited about the whole thing.
7. The BIG Day
It's here! Finally.
You wake up dead early because you had to set your alarm so you don't oversleep and miss your train. Then you get ready in the dark because everyone else in the house is still asleep.
At the station you do a quick station shoe selfie (obligatory) and after the train journey during which you check the event hashtag 167 times, you find your bearings, and arrive.
8. The Event (Part One)
Everyone waits politely in the queue until one person eventually breaks the ice and starts a conversation. It dawns on you that you know everyone standing around you, not by their names, only their Twitter handle and their pictures on Instagram.
You go in, still chatting and drink coffee, lots of coffee. You start to feel human again.
After spotting a few bloggers that you actually know and who remember you, you find yourselves a table and wait for the start.
Welcome, then keynote (an amazing blogger - you'll never be as good as her in a million years). Lots of good tips. Brilliant tips. People tweeting and listening at the same time.
Twitter sub-conversations break out between friends. People still hungover from the pre-event drinks do the night before, which sounds like it was awesome. Why didn't you go to the drinks do? There was gin!
A session on Vlogging. Talented speakers. One has amazing hair. You will never be as good as her or have amazing hair like her either. Am I learning or am I tweeting? You have no idea but it is great.
A break then a session on photography. Gorgeous photographs are shown but you will never be very good at that either.
Delicious but you scarcely notice it touching your lips. A simple case of refuelling.
9. The Event (Part Two)
You choose the beginners blogging session. 18 months in and you are still not advanced, you never will be. You are hopeless. But. You do know what a follow link is.
After that it's cake and wine time. They really know how to throw a blogging conference Up North.
Prosecco flows (a lot) and everyone chats. You forget the time (and the hashtag). You miss the final session (lifestyle blogging - nope, crap at that too). You don't care because you realise that none of this is why you blog at all.
Before you can say it someone else says it better:
|Making new friends...|
|Fun! (probably also using our voices a bit loudly here too)|
It doesn't matter whether you are good at all the technical stuff. Just as long as you are good at being YOU.
10. Post conference comedown
The following day you are still on a high. You Instagram the contents of the goody bags (plural) and distribute them among your children while tweeting everyone you met the day before.
Then your phone goes quiet:
You realise how much you have enjoyed yourself and also how much you have learnt. You can't wait for next year.
When do the tickets go on sale?