On a beautiful sunny day in June, Westminster was invaded by a gaggle of bloggers (or should that be a brace of bloggers??).
A room full of introverts shrugged off their fears and embraced the nature of the Bloggers Bash with fun, frolics, and cake-a-plenty!
As I stuffed my face with a full English breakfast in my hotel on Sunday morning, I noticed an influx of blog posts from attendees and the nominees/winners of awards arriving in my notifications. Fast work guys! I loved reading their thoughts on the event and the positive moments they took from the day. Bloggers from across the globe got involved with live streaming, and posts of gratitude. Suzanne from Global Housesitter scooped the runner-up prize for Best Newcomer Blog, and she posted her thoughts HERE.
The lovely Ellen Best won the prize for her ‘Connections’ story submitted for the short story competition which you can read HERE.
The beautiful and bubbly Ritu, from But I Smile Anyway grabbed the coveted prize of Best Overall Blog and summed up the entire event perfectly in her post which you can read HERE.
(Images: Ellen Best receiving her award from Hugh. Ritu from But I Smile Anyway).
Please pop over to Twitter and follow the hashtag #BloggersBash2017 where you can catch up on some of the wonderful posts and photographs as well as watch the videos from the day.
There was a common theme amongst the first time bashers, and this was a sensation I could relate to as I’d felt the same way the previous year. It was a feeling of nervousness, fear, and uncertainty. Giving in to these emotions can prevent even the more robust of us to pull out of coming to such an event, cancel at the last minute, or never pluck up the courage to book a ticket in the first place.
As bloggers, it can feel much safer interacting with the world from behind the laptop. So, I thought I’d dedicate my Bloggers Bash post to all the reasons why you should attend this event in the future, and why it’s so important to me on a personal and professional level.
I’ll start by sharing the text message my mum sent me on the morning of the Bash. It said ‘Morning, good luck for today and enjoy being with your friends.’ It made me smile because at no point did mum think about the fact that most of the ‘friends’ she referred to I’d never met in person! It might seem very odd to think of your fellow bloggers as friends, but when my dad had a bad accident in December, I was inundated with messages of support from the blogging community. When I’ve struggled with my depression, I get random tweets and private Facebook messages of concern and love. I’ve celebrated births, weddings, and birthdays and I’ve offered my thoughts and prayers to anyone who is grieving or in pain. It’s what friends do – they support one another.
Upon arrival at the Bash, I flung myself at several attendees as if we had known each other for years – we have, but this was the first time we’d met in the flesh. On a professional level, my fellow bloggers support my writing, they bought my books, voted for me in the awards, and offered advice if and when I needed it. We are colleagues and comrades even if our desks are miles and miles apart rather than in the same office block.
(Images: L-R Top to Bottom: Ruth (Image & Word) Willow (Willowdot21) & Ritu. Lucy (Blonde Write More) and Allie (Allie Potts Writes). Icy (Icy Sedgwick) & Melanie (Melanie Roussel). Eloise De Sousa, Graeme Cumming, Donna (Jot to Jot). Hugh (Hugh’s Views & News) with Suzie (Suzie Speaks). Noelle Granger (Sayling Away) and moi!
On a personal level, the Bloggers Bash gives me the opportunity to embrace in some me time. As a single mum to three teenagers, I rarely get any time to concentrate on my interests, so I save up and book the entire weekend in London as if it’s a mini holiday. I do the tourist bit on Friday, attend the Bash on Saturday, and then enjoy a leisurely trip home on Sunday. Perfect!
Travel and history are two of my favourite things and so heading to the capital and immersing myself in art, theatre, or historical sites is time well spent. Think of all the blog post ideas! I do all of this solo which might fill you with dread, but I can highly recommend taking control of your life and pushing the boundaries. No-one bats an eye when you eat alone in a restaurant or wander around a tourist site alone. In fact, everyone is more interested in their phones to notice you at all!
So, if you are thinking about attending the next Bloggers Bash on 9th June 2018 but worrying about being alone, or fitting in, please don’t. Everyone is feeling the same way, we are all a little bit nervous – yes, even Sacha! You will know about 90% of the people in the room because you interact with them daily. They are your friends! Book your ticket, book a mini holiday like I do if you feel inspired, but book. You won’t regret it.
To find out who the Bloggers Bash 2017 winners were read Sacha’s post HERE.
I’d like to finish with a HUGE thank you to everyone that voted for me in the Most Inspirational Blogger category, I was delighted to scoop second place as you can see in this hilarious photograph (stolen from the very beautiful, Eloise De Sousa!)
Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here: Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest