Blogging conferences have always been a really fun part of blogging for me and a great way to meet other writers and brands from all across the country. I’m sad to say it’s the last BlogOn conference that will be held in The Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell but I can not wait to go. It’s been far, far too long since I’ve squished my blogging buddies and had a weekend away where I’m not anything to anyone else except myself. No one has to rely on me, it’s purely a chance to do what I love, meet people that have a passion for writing. I’m hoping the weekend away will help inspire me to write more again and fall completely in love with everything that blogging encompasses.
I remember my first blogging conference was BlogFest held by Mumsnet many years ago now. The fact that this web space is going to be ten years old next March amazes me. The amount of people I’ve met, opportunities I’ve had and travelling I’ve done thanks to this blog has been astounding. Reflecting on all of this recently has really made me nostalgic for so many wonderful times and friendships I’ve build over the years not to mention so many fun brands I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Over these nine and a half years this blog has gone through many rebrands although I’ve never changed the name which is something I’m starting to consider as part of the reason why I’ve struggled to write on this space is because the name doesn’t really fit where I am in my life. I am, however, atrocious at coming up with names so whether a change is in the future or not I don’t know.
With that in mind and the fact that I will meet new bloggers alongside my old friends I wanted to just share a little bit about me, who I am and what I’ve done over the years on this blog. It’s a space that has grown and matured with me. Where I have had to adapt so too has the content. What started as a place to share my thoughts on single parenthood through to family life and then more emotional and political topics that I’ve grown passionate about has become a place of solace, income and personal strength to me. It’s a place where I’ve always tried to be completely myself which has meant embracing some of the harder parts of life, my demons, so to speak, but also allowed me to keep my personality as big as it is. I’ve never felt I’ve had to shrink down to fit in here. Whilst I may have been judged by others for some of the things I’ve chosen to share no one has ever made me feel bad about it. I feel like for a long time whilst I’ve been trying to rediscover myself and find others that I fit in with more, I long to return to blogging and the people I’ve met because of blogging.
So for those that don’t know me, I’m Kayleigh, some friends call me Kat, some friends now call me Avalon thanks to an absolute love I’ve found playing Final Fantasy XIV during lockdown but that is by the by. I’m a mother of two, a preteen and a preschooler, who are all over this blog from our family adventurers. I currently self identify as neurodivergent, queer and pretty nerdy. I love to read and I’ve always found great escapism within literature be that YA fantasy romance or graphic adult horror. I am still stuck in my late teens emo phase and will often quote pretty depressing lyrics that I somewhat identify with if I’m not quoting bookish references. I have a thing for northern accents, 50’s style dresses and a tiny obsession with woodwick candles. I’ve been proper into witchcraft for around twenty years now which again also accounts for the large amount of candles and crystals in my home but I’m pretty lazy with it all. As much as I wish tarot would predict the future I feel it more so helps guide my intuition a little better when I need to make a decision as my mind can be a little busy at times. I say witch but if you want the full term I like to define myself, because apparently I like a lot of labels, then I am a agnostic solitary eclectic witch. I don’t follow a specific witch based religion and I pull on lots of different paths in my practise.
I can’t wait to get back into a room with so many funny, interesting and unique individuals learning skills together and meeting fantastic brands. BlogOn really does bring all of that together and has done for the many times I’ve been, whether that’s been travelling up and down the country to Manchester or the more comfortable location to me in the South of being in Bracknell. Not being able to make it last year was really sad for me so going this year and it being the last one was just an absolute must. I can not wait to see so many familiar faces. BlogOn is a place where you can walk up to anyone and be welcomed. I’ve been truly flattered when people have approached me with ‘Oh I know your blog, I love it!’ and given me a hug. I’ve loved connecting with people over creative flatlay sessions, hanging out and meeting brands, meeting my friends babies for the first time which has happened a fair few times and of course having a drink or two to finish off the day.
I remember one such blogging occasion in London for BritMumsLive which ended in a river cruise then a few drinks in a bar and 2am pizza delivery in the hotel bar after. I’ve travelled solo around the country to attend events like this – something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do but I have. Where I’ve had to meet people behind the words for the first time. If it wasn’t for blogging I would not have had as many opportunities as I have done and my family have benefitted from it too as I’ve been able to make money at home this way.
So whether this be your first blogging event or you’re kind of a veteran at attending things like this I hope you can come and say hello, because I can’t wait to meet you.