Tag Archives: Cybermummy 2011

I just write. That is all.

28 Jun

Image: "Crazy writer" courtesy of hartlandhighschool.us

So last Saturday myself and all my fellow cyber-speed-daters finally got to reveal ourselves at the Cybermummy blogging event at The Brewery in London. It was hugely anticipated, deliberated over and discussed, and in the end a bit, well, disappointing.

That’s a pretty miserly thing to say considering all the work and effort that went into it. And I did meet some really lovely people, people I’d been waiting ages to meet, and (with a few exceptions) we threw around the same innane sarcasms and guffawed plentifully just as we do online. But unlike most other bloggers that found it all really overwhelming, for me it fell, well, just a wee bit flat.

I’m not sure what I’d expected. I hadn’t gone to learn anything; I’d gone to have a good time, to let my hair down after a shitty few months. To connect with like minded people and rip it up a bit. And of course my disappointment wasn’t helped by the fact that the bar didn’t open until the evening, presumably lest a bunch of overly-excited, fun-starved mums got voraciously drunk and proceeded to run about playing naked knock down ginger with “I love Cybermummy” branding pinned to their droopy bosoms. But it was more than a need for toxic sustenance that dulled the edges for me. I just couldn’t help but feel that I’d fallen asleep on the train and woken up at a work event circa 1995.

You see, the thing is, I’m not a struggling novelist or an ex-journalist, I’m not looking for a new career, and I don’t have a passion for cooking/baking/photography that is worth sharing. I just love writing. I love the craft of it, I love the emotion and the expression and the language. I love the discussions and the debate and the formulating an opinion on something. I just love it for its own sake, not as a commercial venture or a chance to bag a free packet of babywipes. So with the exception of a few workshops (blogging for charity, keynote speeches) I just didn’t really find ME there.

One of the best posts I’ve read so far about Cybermummy is by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak. She absolutely hits the nail on the head about the ability of writing to transform, not only the writer and their outlook on life, but the kind of contribution they can make.  And in this respect, noone could give a crap whether your RSS feed or your linking strategy are best optimised for Google.

“I found myself wishing for a conference focused more on developing a confident voice and learning how to use it, more of the wonderful stories that INSPIRE blogging, rather than brands to write about. I would liked to have seen a greater focus on individuality in blogs, I would have liked more speakers that inspired bravery and creativity in blogging. I would have liked more about real life and how blogging enhances and empowers rather than how to make your life and writing ‘fit’ blogging.”

I think the ladies behind the scenes did a remarkably good job all things considered,  I just think they might have short changed some of us by a few bob. Not difficult when we don’t even really understand ourselves why we do it.  One thing’s for sure, there’s naff all money in it for the most of us, so it’s got to be about some kind of innate passion, compulsion or downright lunacy.

Blogging in the Dark

21 Jun

Blogging is a bit like Dating in the Dark. You do quite a bit of anonymous flirting on twitter, make a few risque comments to make yourself stand out , act a lot more confident and easy-going than you really are.  You choose which other bloggers you like the best based on banter and their 20 character bio, make snap decisions about those don’t light your fire because they don’t *phnar phnar* at your lewd jokes, or join in with the “is it too early to have wine?” banter (or use too many exlamation marks in their tweets of course.)

Which makes next weekend’s Cybermummy a bit  like the big reveal. The moment the lights come on and you get to see who you’ve been cyber-snogging for the past 6 months.  It’s really intriguing and scary all at the same time.  Will I like the same people I think I like? Will people find me as sensitive, sharp, sassy as my Milk persona? (my careful emarketing strategy has worked hasn’t it?)  Or will I be a big fat disappointment? A squat, courdroy- wearing, egg- sandwich-munching brunette, to their imagined willowy, classic-champagne-cocktail-sipping, poached-salmon-with-dill munching, tousled blonde.  Will anyone even like me?

I’m sure I’ll get myself packaged up okay. Wipe the snot trails off my shoulders in time. (If I even make it out of the house alive that is.) I’m just not sure what might happen after those first few wines. Then again,  that doesn’t sound too much different from your average tipsy night on twitter now, does it?