Sunday, October 28, 2012


It's taken me an entire week to put my thoughts onto paper (or computer, as it were) about the past weekend, and the Blissdom Canada conference that I attended last week.

It's awe inspiring, being among that many accomplished writers, and photographers, and business women, and AWESOME, all in one place.  And, it's also a little intimidating.

It took me a while to write about this whole experience, to find the right words, because I wanted them to be PERFECT.  I wanted them to be awesome.  And then I read someone else's words, about finding the gems in the crap, and that's when I though "eff it, just write it already, who cares if it's crap.  Maybe, just maybe, it'll be awesome."

So here it is:

Conferences like that, that shit is NOT easy for me.  But then I listened to Susan Cain talk, about the value of introverts, with about 80% of the room identifying as introverts, and I realized "I'm not alone here!" These are MY PEOPLE!  And how I wish that was the first thing I heard - I wish it was the opening keynote of the weekend, instead of some crappity crap presentation by Dove, about how their body wash (that contains SLS) is "caring" for your skin *cough*bullshit*cough*. I digress...that's another post to come.

The thing is, I was among people with similar interests to me.  There were other introverts, and other "green" mamas, and other mothers who could see my kids in theirs. There were fellow country folk, and people I knew in university, and someone that my dearest Gretel went to highschool with and hadn't seen in 20-something years. And of course, my dearest Gretel, my partner in crime for the journey. There were writers that I admired, photographers that I admired, and just some of the coolest Canadian women that there are out there on the internet.

And that alone is enough to get inspired from.  I don't dig the social events, but I can eat up infomation, and find inspiration in a lot of other people's words, and photos and accomplishments; and just the fact that I'm in the same room as them.  Heck, likely peeing next to them!  (Too much?  Sorry...)

I mentioned to someone at the opening night soiree, that I didn't dig brands, and the idea of working and writing for brands, instead of just writing for me.  They said "then why are you here?"

And I didn't really have to think about it.   I was there to connect with other people.  And to gather the tools to become a better writer.

And, let's be honest,  I was there to get some business inspiration, because I really beleive that everyone in the world should be using my soap...because it's pretty good soap.

So no matter how much I felt like a dork standing next to Tanis, clamming up like I'd swallowed my tounge, I try not to dwell on that, and look at the people I did connect with, and my goals for the conference.  I DID connect really well with some people, got to know some faces behind some names, and some new ones too.  I DID get some writing tools (even some from the super lovely Ali Martell.) And I even managed to talk to a few people about my soap. I made it to the opening party, not looking like I got hit by a tornado, and I had fun dressing up with some lovely ladies (although I would have happily skipped the costume party.)  I also managed to see some old friends along the way, at a late night impromptu stop at "the shop" - totally unrelated to Blissdom, but "cup filling" none the less.

And at the end of the day, I know that I stayed true to myself - I didn't try to be someone that I'm not.  I am shy, quiet, an introvert extrordinaire, who is much funnier on Facebook than I am in real life.  (True story.)  But I'm a good writer, and a good person, and the great thing is that I know that I'm not alone in ANY of this.

For me, knowing that is at least 51% of the battle.

Will I go back to Blissdom again next year?  You betcha.

After 7 years of blogging, I'm finally starting to find "my people."  Things have changed so much for us in the past year, and we finally feel like we're "home" in this new house and this new community, and it's so nice to start to feel that about this "Worlds Biggest Small Town" as well.

At the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto - a stunning and raw place to see. 


  1. I totally wish I'd run into you earlier - I would have loved to talk to you about soap making. :)

    I completely agree about Susan Cain being the opening speaker; it would have been nice to realise just how fish-out-of-water everyone else was also feeling at the BEGINNING of the weekend. Everybody else is a little neurotic too? I can work with that.

  2. You certainly are a good person, and a good writer, and I think everyone in the world should use your soap, too! :)

    The more I read about you, the more I find we have in common. Say hello to another intovert, who likes to write for herself, who went to Blissdom to connect with and be inspired by other people and is so glad she did (though I actually did skip the costume party!). I'm happy you had such a good Blissdom experience, too. I hope next year we'll get to spend more time together. (And thanks for mentioning me in your post!)

  3. The people are what I was sad to have missed by not being there this year! It's interesting all the different impressions and perceptions people have of these conferences. I'm glad you met some great people and learned stuff too ;)

  4. I totally got a shout-out on Jenn's blog! :-)

    And I'm with you on the brands: I'm like you in that I'm not a blogger, so much as I use my blog to promote my own products (books, in my case, not soap). I understand that it's a necessary evil to have them there (and it's not like I didn't enjoy the Road Rally and you know, free stuff...) but it certainly wasn't my focus. The "then why are you here" is EXACTLY why this was my first Blissdom. I always assumed it wasn't for me. And yet, I did enjoy it. But as a fellow introvert, I did find a lot of it very overwhelming, so I'm hoping that next year I might feel even more "at home."