This summer I had the chance to participate in a meeting of creative entrepreneurs and bloggers all around the UK. This was a very spontaneous and last minute decision which turned out to be a very inspirational and fun networking event. By that time ‘OK, But First Coffee’ was 1 month old and written in Russian only. I had wanted to meet UK bloggers for quite a long time so this was a perfect moment for me to do this.
Blogtacular is the place where bloggers come together for one day to share their experiences, get inspired and have fun. This is the second conference organized by Kat Molesworth and Kat Goldin and I can’t wait to go there next year. Thanks Mollie Makers for the nice photographs and all the sponsors: Pinterest, Mail Chimp, Thomson, West Elm and others.
It all started with the keynote speech from Grace Bonney (Design Sponge), who shared her experience and ideas on overcoming fears we all sometimes have. I can’t express more how helpful it was for me personally at that time, when I started my new adventure – this blog. I spent a lot of time thinking about the idea ‘Ok, But First Coffee’, how I am going to go to coffee shops and ask for a permission to take photographs (scary!). Also what my family and friends would say and most importantly, how I’m going to do it all in English which is not my native language. As a result I was only writing in Russian, in my so-called ‘comfort zone’, but deep inside I was always thinking about starting to write in English. As Grace recommended, I have acknowledged that fear and talked to others at the conference about it. At the break I made a plan and here we are. It’s still very challenging, but I am learning a lot and that makes me happy.
Next, I was very excited to be at the Marte Marie Forsberg workshop about creativity and inspiration. I am absolutely in love with her photographs and was very delighed to meet her personally. Her story about self-identification was somewhat very similar to mine and I guess to most of the people in the room. Not everyone knows what to do with their lives, so you just take a sheet of paper and write down everything you like or you think you would like to do and try it out.
“All the ideas are already out there, it’s just for us to download them” – M.M. Forsberg
I couldn’t agree more. I find myself from time to time trying to re-invent the wheel, but what I should do is to look around, pick up ideas and try to improve them. It applies to blogging or website design for instance – you think you will create something extraordinary and spend lots of time on it while in reality it’s better to focus on content, networking and marketing.
One of the most important parts of the day was of course meeting new people during the breaks and at the after party at West Elm. I have never been in one room with so many creative people from all around the country and abroad. For some of them it was their second Blogtacular and it was interesting to learn about their experiences the year before. I also liked how we were exchanging opinions and ideas about each other’s projects and sharing personal experiences. And of course the fun part – exchanging business cards, which by the way I made last minute.
As it always happens, a week after Blogtacular I was full of motivation and ideas for ‘OK, But First Coffee’. Immediately after I got back home, I made a list of all the things to do for the blog and one of them was to attend more networking events just like this. Or perhaps to meet the bloggers I met for breakfast or lunch one day ∗
More photos by Piers MacDonald ( Mollie Makes)