How has Blogging Changed Your Life?

 I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and/or are having a Happy Hanukkah! I had a really mellow day with my family, listening to the new Amy Winehouse album, eating delicious treats and laying around in my new leopard print pajamas. It was really nice to take some time to chillout but, there is still so much I want to write about before the end of the year so it’s now back to regular scheduled programming…

Near the end of October my blog buddy Cheryl asked me if I would be interested in filling in for her & speaking at the Toronto Millennium Network Conference about “How Blogging Has Changed My Life.” October was such a weird month: I was in the middle of major life changes, I was moving, I was filming an episode of a reality TV show. Somehow amidst all of this chaos, I told her “Yes” and agreed to speak about my journey as a blogger & I am so, so glad I did.

Here is the promo flier for the M-Network Conference. I’m the 4th one down (wheeee!).  I literally had 5 minutes to choose the title of my session and I wrote my talk in one very coffee fueled morning.

{Katerine is actually my middle name, not my last name}

I was pretty nervous about doing the presentation. I had an hour allotted for my session. What would I talk about? More importantly, would anyone care?!

However, once I got up there and started to talk about my experiences and noticed that people were actually listening and laughing at the right funny parts, I relaxed a bit and had fun. In the end, I am really proud of how my talk turned out.

Here is the only photo I have from that day:

Don't you hate it when the only photo from an event features you with your eyes closed?! FYI. It probably looks like I'm speaking at some strange cult clubhouse but the backdrop is actually a room at U of T (my alma mater)

The best part of the afternoon was the “question and answer period” where I actually got to interact with the people who attended my session. Everyone was super cool and had all kinds of awesome questions.

If you were there that afternoon – thanks so much for attending my session and making it a lot of fun. It was a great meeting you all!

The theme of this year’s conference was “Catlysts”. The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize how much my blog has been a catalyst for changing my life until I started to write my presentation. Blogging has definitely changed my life on the surface (I’ve been able to start a freelance writing career, meet all kinds of wonderful people, review interesting products and I sometimes get to go to cool parties where I meet leathery movie stars.) but it’s also affected me on a much deeper level: it’s given me a voice and it’s allowed me to get in better touch with who I am and what I want out of life. It’s also given me confidence. Three years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d be speaking at a conference about writing, blogging & social media. I had this funny moment during the session where I was like “OMG OMG I ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!” and then an even better moment when I realized that people were connecting to what I was saying.

Unfortunately, I didn’t record my presentation however, here is a quote from the end my talk that I think sums everything up (taken from this post about my experience at Bloggers in Sin City):

“Before I started this blog I’d often ask myself “When is my real life going to begin?”. I stayed in situations not because they made me happy but because they were comfortable. I chose dissatisfaction because it was less scary than actually moving forward. All the while I knew I wanted to live BIGGER. So, I started a blog. Two years later, I no longer feel like my life is waiting to begin. I’m living. I’m having fun. Blogging has forced me outside of myself. It’s pushed me towards all kinds of new experiences and people I’d never have met otherwise. It’s shown me that people who barely know you can be some of the most welcoming people you’ll ever meet. I’m not the girl who is scared of her own life anymore. I’m the girl who walks shamelessly down the Vegas strip carrying a plastic guitar. She was always in there, it was just a matter of peeling back the layers.”

(I wrote that blog post in May but I feel like it’s more true now than ever)

If you blog, how has blogging changed your life?

  • Wendy

    What a great post Simone! I’m disappointed I didn’t get to see you speak.

    Blogging has changed my life simply by being a creative outlet. It’s also given me new perspectives on situations. I am in such a better place that what I’m writing about and reading over things I’ve written about reminds me how far I’ve come. It’s a great feeling.

    • Anonymous

      That IS a great feeling!

      I wish more people could have come & heard the talk too. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet in 2012!

  • http://teachergirlblogs.com/ Teacher Girl

    I hope I can meet you one day because I think we would have some amazing conversations. I am sure your presentation was awesome! I think that blogging has forced me to be more reflective and to also be more varied in the types of relationships I have. I have bloggy friends that live all over the world and I never would have imagined the support that blogging can give. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree! I think we would have so much to talk about. 

      I totally know what you mean about the diverse relationships. Through blogging I’ve “met” so many interesting people & now have a network of bloggy friends all over the world. 

  • http://superduperfantastic.com/ suki

    Will you be in Vegas this year?! 

    • Anonymous

      I hope so!!! You?

      • http://superduperfantastic.com/ suki

        I hope so too! :)

  • http://eagerexistence.com Ian [EagerExistence]

    I’m still waiting for that “life changing” ‘gasmic point, only 57 posts in, audience of 3.5… lots of stories left to tell. I’ll let you know how it goes when fame, fortune, and contracts come knocking on my door.

    • Anonymous

      My advice would be: just keep writing & telling your stories. It took me at least 6 months for anyone to really start reading my blog (other than a few friends), a year for stuff to really pick up where I started to get invited to events etc & almost two years before I was able to monetize my blog. 

  • ShoeTease Cristina

    How amazing! Congrats on getting the opportunity to speak at such a great event. Wish I could have been there to hear you speak! 

    As for blogging changing my life, it hasn’t drastically altered it, but I must say it’s made me learn so much technically: how to use WordPress, social media channels, develop SEO skills (and somewhat improve my grammar?!). And it certainly helps that I no longer need to fund my little “shoe problem” 😉

    xo Cristina

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Cristina! I was thinking of inviting a few friends to hear me speak but then realized it might make me even more nervous, haha. 

      That’s so true about the transferable technical skills that you learn through blogging – I’ve become way more web savvy over the past two years. I love, love, LOVE that your blog funds your “shoe problem” :)

  • http://twitter.com/citygirlblogs City Girl

    Oooh – I’m so psyched that you spoke at this conference and that your brand and life are expanding in all these great directions! Wow – my life has taken some incredible turns since I started blogging. I’m most thankful for all the people I’ve met (virtually and in real life) and my teaching gig. xoxo

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I’m super excited about all the cool stuff that has started to come my way lately. I’m so glad that I decided to speak at the conference. I’m also excited about all the cool things that are happening for you! I wish I lived in your area because I would love to take your class 😉