The best part about attending an event like the ProBlogger Training Event is the people. The people and the fact you can enjoy them guilt free because you can go home and go through the entire backlog of content from your couch. There’s so much to learn from the speakers. They are always very successful in their field, have such spirit and joy about them. I love that. But sometimes it’s what you take away from the people you meet that makes the difference. For me it’s about the people. I can always catch up later.

Baaaaad blog conference attendee. Let’s check out what I learnt…

I learnt that the ridiculousness of life always makes for the best stories. I heard from a friend of a friend the tale of a dentist who was performing dental surgery, requiring much concentration you can assume, when the power went out with a bang. Rushing to the window to see what had occurred she was greeted by a bird being electrocuted while trying to fly through power lines with the lid of a tuna in its beak. It had thrown out the transformer.

Poor bird. Poor dental patient! But can you imagine that. What a sight. What a remarkable, memorable, ridiculous sight. This story reminded me that always, the truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make this up if you tried. We all have a story to tell. According to Trudie some {like me} more than others because we often find ourselves in some form of catastrophe or trouble. Write what you know, I think that’s what it comes down to.

I learnt that there are many ways to skin a cat. An old saying, a pretty gross one, but true. There are many different ways that blogger’s are deriving an income from their blogs. Some consult, write eBooks, sell ad space or sponsored editorial content. There are some who sell physical products, some have paid communities and content and there are those who are successful affiliates. This opened my eyes to the possibilities out there so I can continue to blog, enjoy it and work towards having a full-time blogging career and still being able to pay my mortgage.

I learnt that new friends are everywhere you just have to say hello. People are surprised to hear that I have a large amount of anxiety around being in groups of people. Large groups in particular. I get nervous, sick and it takes me awhile to settle in. I remind myself that people are kind, most of us feel some level of the same way and that if I talk to someone it gets better. Mostly. Some people are jerks and that’s their problem.

This weekend I met some amazing people. Lots of them. Rooms full of them and people were always open and willing to talk about where they were at with their blog, their aspirations {even just the small ones they felt comfortable sharing} and themselves. You never know what new friends you will make when you say hello. For me I feel like I really cemented some friendships this year. Short version? New friends are everywhere.

I learnt that sleep is for the weak & breakfast is for the wicked {wicked awesome}. Ha! No explanation necessary I don’t think. Or maybe something is required. You tell me.

I learnt that blogging is a valid career choice and is mostly about following your dreams. It’s so exciting to hear of people making their way in the world doing the thing they love. And at a conference like this there are HEAPS of them. People who marked out careers in writing, photography, web nerdiness and everything in between. People who sang, people who hug and especially people who follow their heart, their gut and their head to the life they never dreamed they wanted.

Those bloggers taught me that life can be whatever you want it to be. Your dream is your own and to go for for it. Worst case scenario you’ve got some great blog content if you’re willing to write about your own colossal failures. Which sounds just about perfect for me. I know now where I’m heading and what this blog midlife crisis was all about. I’m clear now.

And finally I learnt that blogs are communities and it takes a village to raise a blogger up. You can’t do this on your own. You could try but you wouldn’t get very far. You need readers, friends, a community of people who can help you grow and listen to your concerns. 3D people without blogs don’t really get it so you need your people. Draw them close and ask advice, give as much time and guidance as you can and celebrate your community of just as real world friends who want you to succeed.

And that my friends is what I learnt from the non-pro Probloggers during my weekend. Image then how much I took away from the Pros! Eeek. Be afraid. Be very afraid. It’s coming to a blog near you {this one!} soon.

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