It's been three days now since I left London and I'm still trying to process all the stuff in my head. Trying to unlock all the inspiring, positive and valuable information I know is in there. I have notes for goodness sake, so I know I was paying attention but my head is still in a whirl.
But then I remember feeling this way last year when I'd left London after attended one of the best gigs of my life. Well maybe apart from the Summer of '91 when I snuck out of a day of work with my mates and watched INXS rock at Wembley and then there was that time in '96 when we all sang along to 'Hey Jude' with Oasis at Knebworth. The Prince gig and the time Michael Jackson was lowered onto the stage by a trapeze. Where the hell am I going with this? I told you my head was in a muddle. I backtrack, I know. But apart from that Blogtacular has filled me with a real surge of inspiration, more then I have felt in a really long time.
It was so refreshing to spend quality time with like minded folks that just get it! And when I mean 'get it' I mean creative people that do not find blogging an alien (almost laughable) concept or that carrying a camera around 'every where' you go makes you a weirdo. Do you Photoshop or Lightroom and what's the difference between Blogspot and Wordpress. Or that coding can be the very one thing that makes us want to pull our hair out in clumps. Those are just some of the conversations I had, in-between workshops.
Blogging can be a lonely old process and even though I love putting the jumble of creative stuff I have crammed inside my head (we all need to make space sometimes). I am more so these days, struggling with blogging and the way it seems to be heading when social media is such an instant. Constructing a blog post, from idea to visual and then pulling it all together before you hit that publish button can take me (on average) two to three hours. I have so much life to live in that time. I do often wonder 'why am I doing this?'.
But then I do know why really.
Without blogging I would never have made the connections or friends or met any of you lot. Or shook off the nerves and trekked to London (twice) to put myself out there when hiding behind a camera is far more safe. Struck up conversations with complete strangers and have complete strangers knock me off my feet with a simple 'hello Nina' or 'you're Nina Nixon - I love the pictures you take'. And then even 'even' talk a little about myself! Because that's the last thing an introvert wants to do.
That's why I went last year - not that I knew it. And that is why when tickets went on sale for this years I snapped mine up as quickly as I could. If you are ever in any doubt why you keep slogging away at blogging, struggling with the constant way things change, just feeling that you are out there alone or want to connect with some of the lovely people you meet along the way then you really need to get yourself to one of these gigs. Though you may have to wait a year.
Because with hand on heart it will be one of the best things you can do.
And if you're wondering 'so is it all about bloggers with balloons? Because that does look pretty strange for a conference!'.
Well no. But it is one of the fun parts you could be involved with. A photo walk first thing on the streets of London with helium balloons, making everyone wonder and stopping tourists in their tracks.