This weekend I attended the first ever Food Bloggers of Canada Conference at the Hockley Valley Resort in Orangeville, Ontario.
When it was announced I knew immediately that I was going to be there.
I am not sure what I was more excited about? Meeting Ethan, Mardi and Melissa, the amazing trio behind theFBC? Seeing the faces of those I Tweet with on a daily basis? Meeting the bloggers I didn’t know before my trip to Ontario? The amazing line up of speakers, we’re talking David Leite, Dianne Jacob, Dana McCauley, Mairlyn Smith, Alexa Clark, Adell Shneer, and many many more. Panels with some of the biggest bloggers in Canada, brands, a panel on publishing, a Chef, tons of tech information, even a book keeper! Or the food and wine that awaited us? Turns out, every second of it was pure epicness. re: Urban Dictionary example #2 ” Another word for epic to describe a monumental event. To the extreme”
The lessons I learnt were many. It was a weekend that far exceed my expectations and I am guessing it will take 4 posts if not more to sum up everything I took away from it.
It’s not that I have been doing it wrong. I feel like I have not been focusing on 100% of the content of my posts. I lean towards making pictures first, the words have become a second thought. The story at times, not being told at all.
David said something that I was so glad to hear.
There is nothing wrong with posts of at least 1000 words.
I think that has been part of what has been holding me back. You often read that it is recommended you keep your posts short and sweet. That long posts are boring and deter people from returning.
Of course, I disagree, a well told story with emotion will garner a readership. I have been cutting it short, editing how much I say, but you just can not tell a story in 300 words or less.
Not that I was needing permission but hearing that has really changed my focus.
Some of the things he said that really resonated with me were the about the written word.
You need to love language.
The voice determines the choice of words.
Have someone critique your work.
Punctuation creates rhythm.
Write about what you are passionate about.
Saying that, David Tweeted me Wednesday morning, I was very touched by his opening of the Q & A session on Saturday when he mentioned his gramdmother. It was one of the moments over the weekend that brought me to tears. I could so relate to his emotion in those moments. How powerful the love we both have for our grandmothers and how food can bring those thoughts back to us immediately, just from a smell, or a technique we learnt in their kitchen.
He had mentioned that my latest post was touching. Which I was glad to hear. But in reflection it did not evoke enough emotion for him leave a response on the blog. So I know where I need to do the work.
I want to find a voice where everyone can relate and respond.
He was a fantastic speaker and I am so glad he was asked to be at the conference. The lessons I took away from his words are very much appreciated. And exactly what I needed to hear.