Yesterday I attended a blogging conference called Bloggy Boot Camp, put on by the SITS Girls. It was a lot of fun and very well run (thanks to super organized, very pretty Tiffany). I learned a lot, met many great women, and I spent an entire day out of the house. The speakers were knowledgeable and engaging, covering topics from privacy concerns (Angry Julie Monday) to how to monetize your blog (Ciaran Blumenfeld and Ted Rubin from OpenSky). Linsey Krolik, leader of the wonderful From Left To Write book club, spoke about bringing our blogs to the next level of professionalism as well as some legal issues we need to keep in mind. I have a notebook full of tips and tricks that I picked up from the speakers as well as the other bloggers I met. Our lunchtime discussion about making Twitter more manageable was especially useful.
I came away with ideas about how to take my blog to the next level. I want to continue to forge bonds within the autism/special needs blogging community. I have a goal to provide more practical information to other parents of kids going through early intervention, and I’m thinking about ways to better incorporate my experiences with regional centers, IFSPs, IEPs, and special education.
I was inspired most, however, by the two content-related speakers. Jessica Bern gave a very funny introduction to vlogging (video blogging). I sat next to her during one of the other sessions, and I instantly wished she was my best friend. Kristy Campbell, who is wonderful (and local!), spoke about the fundamentals of writing: finding your message, your voice and your tone. Jessica spoke first and Kristy spoke last, and for me this was like putting perfect bookends on the day. These women reminded me what I love most about my blog: that I get to write it.
I am generally not one to say that there is any bright side to autism. But if I had to find some proverbial lemonade, it would be that I have become a writer. Writing is my therapy, and my creative and emotional outlet. It is something I always wanted to do but never before found the time or inspiration. Now I make time to write. And I find inspiration all around me, especially in the form of a little curly-haired boy.