The Glastonbury of Blogging

It's pretty much exactly one week since I returned from a weekend in London attending The Blogcademy. That week has been a roller coaster. After the highs of the weekend Monday hit very hard, then through out the week I've experienced doubts, epiphanies, insecurities, inspiration and a few regrets.

Output from the "Still Life 101" session, which won me a prize for the best goody-bag brag!

Output from the "Still Life 101" session, which won me a prize for the best goody-bag brag!

Even now those feelings are all still pretty fresh. Fresh is a nice way to put it; raw might be more accurate.

The Blogcademy is pretty well known in particular circles of the internets. No surprise, given that its creators are three of the biggest international names in blogging: Gala Darling, Shauna Haider (aka Nubby Twiglet) and Kat Williams (the Rock and Roll Bride). I'd been following (*stalking*) them individually and collectively for a while, but nothing could have prepared me for what the experience was like off-screen.

Left to Right: Shauna, Kat, Me(!), Gala. A Little off focus (ahem, boobs) unfortunately but even so I love this shot.

Left to Right: Shauna, Kat, Me(!), Gala. A Little off focus (ahem, boobs) unfortunately but even so I love this shot.

I've been trying to think of a good way to explain what it was like, and the best analogy I can come up with is it's like going to Glastonbury. That's not a very good analogy unless you've been to Glastonbury (but if you have it's the perfect analogy).

The seats are limited, invariably completely booked out, exclusively attended by die hard fans.

Everything you experience there is great, but some of it transcends your expectations and is wonderful, moving and life changing. And it's almost impossible to explain why it was so to anybody who wasn't there.

Over the course of the weekend you find yourself in multiple in-depth, resonating conversations, with near strangers and new friends. Often involving cocktails.

Break-time at Curtain Road Studios. I love how everybody's on a coral-pink theme here, even the uplighting.

Break-time at Curtain Road Studios. I love how everybody's on a coral-pink theme here, even the uplighting.

The whole experience gives you such a high that on leaving the "real world" seems so flat. I was on a massive come-down on Monday, not dissimilar to the post-Glastonbury blues or the emotional hangover that accompanies the physical hangover of a really good night.

Granted it’s not cheap, it’s expensive enough to make people think you're a little crazy to be spending your money that way. (The Blogcademy weekend cost me around £500 with travel and food in, very comparable to what I've spent when I've been to Glastonbury). Let me tell you, it’s not for everybody, but for me it was worth every penny.

Beauty still life practice featuring bespoke bath salts from The Bathory

Beauty still life practice featuring bespoke bath salts from The Bathory

You get a kick ass goody bag for a start (literally, it’s sitting waiting for you when you arrive). You get 10 hours of in depth teaching from three of the most successful female bloggers on the planet, with plenty of opportunity for one-on-one conversations with them too. You get handed an instant network of savvy, like-minded women both on the course and in the exclusive access forum. Some of the best ideas I’ve come back with are the direct result of me tentatively pitching half thoughts to some of my fellow Blogcadettes and getting awesome feedback and input.

Artwork by "Live Scribe" artist Charlotte Thomson

Artwork by "Live Scribe" artist Charlotte Thomson

More than that though I got clarity, vision and confidence. Strategic clarity for what I need to do to take this blog forward. Professional vision for how far it could go (stratospheric FYI). And most of all personal confidence, on the life I want to live, and the terms I want to do it on. Those three things together are pretty priceless.

The woman who left home that Friday is not the woman who returned on Sunday. But I like this new girl; I think she’s going to be really fun to hang out with. Hold tight guys, this ride’s about to interesting.