Last week there was a bit of blog silence around here as I attended my first Altitude Design Summit. ALT is a huge conference for bloggers of all types packed with panels, parties, and loads of inspiring bloggers and creatives. I went hoping to learn about bit more about how this whole blogging thing works (it's a lot more complicated than it looks!) and meet some new friends in the blogging community.
I sat in a bunch of great panels by truly inspiring ladies (well, mostly ladies) on topics ranging from building community through blogging, planning effective DIYs in the Pinterest era, monetizing and advertising on blogs, and the future of design online. As well as some great classes on HTML for bloggers, Illustrator, and even textiles. All of the panels and classes were really helpful. I used my new Illustrator skills to make the graphic for this post. It may not be much to look at, but I wouldn't have been able to do it one week ago.
I also met a bunch of awesome bloggers. Some big and famous (at least in the blogging community), some who are growing their small blogs with pride and giving me something to aspire to, and others still struggling to find their way just like me.
The big message I took home from the ALT conference was to find my own voice. There are so many bloggers out there! Some are great at writing about their families, some have cooking skills I am a bit envious of, some can throw together a party like nobody's business, and others are super skilled at crafts. I've noticed that there seems to be a somewhat singular aesthetic among the big blogs, and I found myself losing my own style by trying to fit in or follow trends. And you know what, I'm not so good at fitting in or following trends.
On the plane home Saturday night I took out my notebook and made some lists (nothing like a good list to make you feel accomplished). Lists of who I am and who I'm not, lists of what I want this blog to be and not to be, lists of the skills and qualities I want to share, lists of the kind of community I hope to contribute to, lists of the readers I want to write for (other than my mom, hi mom!) and readers that might be better suited elsewhere. So many people have to told me to figure out who I am writing for, because it's true I can't please everybody all the time (no matter how hard I may try).
So thanks, ALT, for helping me figure that out. Now I can start making changes here to hopefully make this blog more fun for me to write, and also for you to read.