When I was a teenager, the internet was pretty rubbish. I basically only used it to print out pictures and make collages for my bedroom wall, to read up about my favourite vampire movies, or to listen to rare Jewel bootlegs. There weren’t many inspiring women available to me beyond the usual TV and music stars, and the career advisor at my high school just laughed in my face at my aspirations of being a writer. “You’re being unrealistic,” she said. “You should go to art school.” Um?
This could be why, at eighteen years old I didn’t feel particularly motivated or inspired to go out into the big bad world and make something of myself. I wasn’t even bothered about going to university back then, as I was so tired and bored of the teaching system at school. Instead, I took meaningless, soul-destroying jobs, and survived somehow by retreating into a fantasy that one day I’d become a writer and be happy.
Fast forward to the present day. Girls and women have access to so many kickass role models right now. Yes, they may still be inspired by an actress or a singer (there is nothing wrong with that!) but there are also fabulous feminists out there, writers, teachers, mentors and real ladies opening their souls in blogs and books and helping you to dig deeper inside yourself and look for the best version of you – you know – the one who is in charge of her life and always improving herself.
It doesn’t matter what weight you are, how you dress, your race, background or gender, what matters is who you are on the inside, and what you can offer to others. Blogging allows us to be who we are, without apologies, and to find others out there who are kindred spirits.
Blogging can be a big scary place. How can you make your site stand out amongst the thousands of others? How can you give yourself a voice? Enter Blogcademy, the dreamchild of bloggers Kat Williams; founder of Rock n Roll Bride, Shauna Haider; graphic designer and blogger of Nubby Twiglet, and Gala Darling, whose eponymous blog encourages Radical Self Love. I won’t describe what Blogcademy is all about too much here, as their website does it much better than I ever could. Let’s just say that their classes give you loads of advice, information and expertise on blogging. They also get you mingling with like-minded creative and amazing women who are finding their feet in the blogging world too.
I was gutted when I missed the London Blogcademy class last year, so this year I made sure I booked a place, and I’m so happy that I did. I didn’t realise how much I didn’t know about running a successful blog.
The class was held in a beautiful, airy white studio in trendy Hoxton. As soon as I arrived (early, standing outside in the rain) I was greeted by the smiles and hellos of a gorgeous bevy of colourfully dressed girls, eager to learn as much as I was. Once we’d looked through the contents of our goodie bags and donned our sparkly cat or bunny ears, it was time to get down to business. I got cramp in my hand from writing so many notes; from how to take the perfect selfie, to design pointers and advertising. No stone was left unturned. The whole weekend was hugely enjoyable and really good fun. Everyone was so friendly and we all got a chance to show off our creativity. I highly recommend it! And if there isn’t a class near you (I think they are only going to run a few more), they also run online classes. I love online classes. I’m addicted to them!
I didn’t want to take those crazy cute cat ears off. I’ll find some excuse to wear them again, even if it’s just cleaning the house or writing at my desk.
Here’s a little video courtesy of Long Haul Films to show what the Blogcademy weekend was all about:
*Photos by Sarah Kuszelewicz