I'm going to Blogtacular...

I can't quite put into words about how excited I am... At the moment I'm feeling nervous and giddy with excitement at the same time. Next Friday I'm heading to London to my first ever blogging conference, Blogtacular. Over the years I've taken part in e-courses about blogging but going along to a proper conference is so very exciting. Rather than hiding behind my screen at home, it's taking me out of my comfort zone and it's one of the important leaps I'm taking for me this year.

Blogtacular is described on the site as...

"a place for bloggers whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire. This is day for people who create vibrant original content to discuss their work, fill their minds with new ideas and to collaborate with fellow bloggers"

...Each time I read this I get goosebumps! Blogtacular is a conference that I wanted to attend last year but we were in the process of buying our house, so it was something that I couldn't really do at the time. I felt gutted to have missed it and seeing all the coverage online by the bloggers who attended made it seem such fantastic event. So this year I felt it was time to make a leap and sign up...

It was a hard decision for me to make in many ways. My blog is very small and is a hobby for me rather than part of a business (at the moment). Heading to a blogging conference makes me feel that deep down I want my blog to be more of a big deal and part of what I do. For me it's saying that this is one of the more important set of steps to take for the future of what I want to do. Since setting up my blog in 2011 I've always seen it as an outlet for my creativity, sharing how I'm becoming more creative, how I'm fitting it into my life, and trying to inspire others to bring creativity into their lives. I have plans (see my About me page) that I want to achieve in the next few years and many of these plans will move forwards from having a great blog, a community of followers and eventually building a small business.
Going to Blogtacular is one of the many small steps forward to making things feel a little more real. For me it's a step out of my comfort zone and feels out of my league as I stand in the blogging world. Sometimes you have to, to quote Tiffany Han, 'raise your hand and say yes' and just go for it.

In the past I have felt the benefits of stepping out of my comfort zone and have experienced immense change when I decided to make a leap. In 2011 I went travelling alone, took on extreme activities I never thought I'd do like a skydive and white water rafting. I realised I wasn't pushing myself as much as I wanted to in life, I wasn't connecting with my real passions and interests, and so I started a blog, made big decisions about how I spend my time and who I spend my time with. I feel sometimes getting out of your comfort zone is sometimes the most powerful way to get to know yourself and what you truly want.

I have a bit of a plan that I'm hoping will happen later this year that will also push me out of my comfort zone. I'm in the progress of putting things into motion to make it happen but having my blog is an important piece of my long term plan. I think that Blogtacular is the one thing I most need at the moment to help give me the blogging push that I really need.

So how am I preparing?

I've speedily made business cards, they're not a work of art but they have my key details on so I can swap with other attendees and discover a new community of passionate bloggers. I've started taking a look at speaker and attendee blogs, planned my outfit and have started thinking of questions to ask others.

My close friends know me as an outgoing, chatty, smiley and super friendly person, but from past experience of heading to conferences for work something comes over me and I seem to slightly clam up, get a little shy and can be a little lost for words. I have no idea why but my mind goes blank as I try to take in everything going on. So to conquer this I'm joining in on all the activities I can from the pre-conference meal to the after party. I want to immerse myself as much as I can, to learn from others and step out of my comfort zone to push myself.

I'm really looking forward to meeting other bloggers and talking blogging. I can't wait to hear the talks and hopefully I'll get to meet some great bloggers, walk away with some new insights and even more drive for my plans.

I'll let you know how I get on...