Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blogging Out Loud, Out There

The more blogs I read—other people's blogs, not my own—the more I think I need to be better at my writing. I mean, there are some really good writers out there.

Last week, I attended Blog Out Loud Ottawa for the first time. It was the third year for the event, and I had the honour of hosting. Of being the Emcee. And I had a blast.

This was my view for much of the night.

What I liked most about the event, at first, was that I had the opportunity to meet some of the peeps that I follow on Twitter and some of those whose blogs I occasionally read. It was nice to be social in person, and not just on the social net.

But what I loved about the event was that not only did I hear some amazing blog posts—posts where people really put themselves out there (stories about abuse, about loss, about love)—but these blog posts were delivered in a way that put my Toastmasters club to shame. These were not simply readings; they were performances.

I listened to women talk about abuse, about the pressures of body image, about the inability to conceive a child. There were times when I returned to the lectern with a lump in my throat, unsure that I would be able to keep my emotions in check.

I also laughed my ass off. There were funny family stories told. Stories about relationships that had me laughing, again near to tears. Stories that made me glad I had no boys; that I was terrified at the prospect of impending teenage girls.

I was a little disappointed that of the 21 presenters, only one of them was male. Where are the men bloggers, and why aren't they getting a chance to speak? I submitted a story—admittedly, not one of my better stories, but damn it! It was an upbeat story. It was one that shed praise where I usually vent my frustrations. It was my tale of giving kudos to an OC Transpo bus driver. Something of a rarity with me.

I thought it was humourous. I thought it was positive. I thought it was safe. But after I listened to the other readers who made the cut, I learned that safe is not the way to go.

It was, after all, Blog Out Loud. Not Blog Safely, Nicely. Those that read really put themselves out there. Were reading out loud.

The event left me feeling that I need to write better, to not hold anything back. To stop writing crap.

After this post.

I'm going to start going for quality and not quantity. I may not post a blog every day. I may not even post every week, though I'll try my best. I want you to continue to follow me, after all.

Though I enjoyed hosting Blog Out Loud and would do it again in a heartbeat, I'd like to present.

I've got a year: be ready!

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