Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Ready to get my Bliss on

surprise package
Originally uploaded by Julep67
For the third year in a row, I'm getting ready to head off to Blissdom Canada this week. The organizers put in an incredible amount of work for us, securing terrific speakers and wonderful sponsors.

The first time I attended this amazing social media conference, I was very nervous about attending. I had never been to a “blogging” conference before. While I have had this blog for a long time (since around 2000, in various formats), I don’t have much of an audience. Most of the time I know that I’m writing for myself and I’ve always been fine with that. I soon realized that while some of the folks attending were very popular bloggers, most of the folks there would be a lot like me. The time we spend in front of our computers is time spent alone (for the most part). This was an opportunity for me to step out from behind the computer and meet the real people from my online community.

I threw myself into my first Blissdom Canada experience with two feet. I went to breakfast that first morning and introduced myself to anyone who I could make eye contact with and met some wonderful people. When I had a chance to meet Gail Vaz-Oxlade, I got very emotional and tears welled up in my eyes. She took one look at me and said, “What’s going on? There is to be no fucking crying in this room!” and followed that up by giving me a big hug. Toward the end of the weekend, I remember tweeting something along the lines of, “I came to Blissdom Canada wanting to become a better writer and am leaving wanting to be a better person.” To say that I was inspired by the weekend was a huge understatement.

Getting ready for Blissdom Canada in 2012, I was nervous again but really excited. This time I had a better idea of what to expect and had made connections with some people I was looking forward to seeing again. The nerves were still there though. I knew that a lot of the attendees knew each other pretty well and were attending in small groups. I was attending on my own, traveling solo, not part of a posse.

The first night of the conference, I saw a tweet go out from someone who was looking for a dinner buddy. I tweeted back and before I knew it, I was in the hotel lobby getting ready to go for dinner with @AureliaCotta, @5minutesformom and @dorisdays88. After we finished our meal, our small group merged with another group and before I knew it, I was part of a mass of people walking to a party a few blocks away. Definitely not something that I would I have thought I would ever do on my own but Blissdom Canada brings together amazing people and I got swept up in it.

In less than 48 hours, I’ll be traveling to Mississauga to attend my third Blissdom Canada and I can say that the nerves are totally gone and I’m just really excited about going. Instead of traveling by train as I have the past two years, I’m hitching a ride with Sarah of http://www.journeysofthezoo.com/ who kindly offered a seat in her car. As I have in other years, I know that I’ll come away from this weekend feeling emotionally exhausted but inspired and happy.

I would say that’s worth getting excited about!


Alexandria said...

I'll see you there! :)

Peggy Shanks said...

Yay! Can't wait!!

Christella Morris said...

Great Post and Great Blog! Looking forward to meeting you! :)

Peggy Shanks said...

Thanks Christella! I'm looking forward to meeting you too!!

Hollie said...

Great Post Peggy and see you there!

JvO said...

Thanks for sharing this! I'm heading to BlissDom this year solo, as well, and I've NEVER been to a conference by myself! I've had a personal blog since 2004, but am pretty new to the bogging for others thing, and am really new to the social media community! I'm glad that you had a great time last year - good for other newbies like myself to hear! :)

Peggy Shanks said...

Thank you so much Hollie & Jenn, I'm looking forward to seeing you both in Mississauga!

Suzanne said...

Wonderful post Peggy and you even made me a little vaklemp! I can't wait for my first Blissdom and I can't wait to meet you!!!


Peggy Shanks said...

Can't wait to meet you too! Just 2 sleeps 'til Blissdom!!