Wow. Blog Out Loud. (AKA #BOLO)

What a great time I had last night. First of all, hats off to Lynn of TurtleHead who did such a fantastic job organizing this great event here in Ottawa, where 24 local bloggers read their work out loud. Irene’s pub was packed with people there to read and listen, and the crowd was warm and kind and so enthusiastic for all of the readers. I just loved it. I arrived early with The Mindful Merchant and JoeGirl, who were great company for the evening.

Last night was just the night that I needed. I have been feeling like I have been in a bit of a writing slump lately, and I have been wondering from where I can draw the motivation to write, and whether I really have anything to say that is worth saying (cue bloggy love). I was excited to come to this event, hoping it would bring back some blogging mojo for me. So far it’s working – I couldn’t wait to get started on this post.

I’ll note now that listening to this talented group of people was highly inspiring, and yet so very humbling. I encourage you to read every single one of these blog posts if you did not have the pleasure of hearing them read aloud. Bloggers are not only exceptionally nice and friendly people, but they are unbelievably talented too. Listening to their work made me want to work harder at this. I want to better my writing skills that have been stagnant through years of going to school and working in a scientific environment. This blog is the first non-scientific writing that I have done since high school, and starting this blog was the first step in exercising my writing muscles once again. Now I think I would like to take a next step, which I think should be taking a course of some kind. I’m looking for ideas or recommendations, and would also love to hear about any negative experiences with courses you might have taken. I would hate to end up in a writing class similar to Brightest Blue’s art class. Goodness that was a good post.

I do have to give myself a stern talking to however, because I didn’t sign up to read last night. When this year’s BOLO was first announced, I gave it a lot of thought, but decided that no, I am a new blogger and I tend to be an observer in life. I will just listen this year, and I will leave reading to next year. Too late, I decided that I really would like to be a part of this night. When I contacted Lynn, sadly for me, all of the spots were full. I was truly disappointed, and not at all relieved that I wouldn’t have to get up there in front of all of those people. If I had read, I think I would have read this.

Next year, I will sign up to read early, as long as I can get out of this slump and write something worthwhile this year.

Thanks to all. It was a great night.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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11 Responses to Wow. Blog Out Loud. (AKA #BOLO)

  1. The Maven says:

    I've been in a slump lately, too. When I started writing my blog a few years ago, things were going pretty well. The last 18 months or so, we've hit bump after bump after bump… And, like you, I've been wanting to crawl out of this hole.

    And then I went to BOLO, and it totally rocked my world. I'm glad we were both rejuvenated last night!

    I'm also VERY glad to have met you in person. At the risk of sounding very hippy crystal love chid, you give off great energy. I really enjoyed talking to you! I know I already told you this, so I'm going to stop now and not say it again or I might get a restraining order 😛

    Keep writing! I look forward to reading more AND hearing you at BOLO next year!

  2. Liisa says:

    Sounds like it was a great event!

    I was telling my husband about it at dinner tonight and mentioned that I had thought about going to listen, but decided my schedule this week was too packed for another night away from the kids.

    I then wondered aloud what I would have gotten out of it. Derek asked what my motivation for blogging was, and if this event would add to it. I answered that I wasn't sure since I'm really not in it to make new offline connections… but you, and others who have written about the event, have hit the nail on the head: It's inspiring to hear words in the author's own voice (at the pace they intended).

    And, it is after all, nice to actually meet individuals you have exchanges with regularly.

    I'll be there next time around. So I'll look forward to hearing you read!

  3. Ninja Mom says:

    Finola,
    Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I, too, wish we would have met! And, yes, please read next year. The post you would have read this year was a great post – touching, and describes so much of what we all feel as parents (wanting to protect our children from everything, knowing that we really control so little in life).

    I was also so inspired last night. I just started my blog in early 2010, but already I've been questioning whether to continue doing it. I've hit a bit of writing slump – every day I'm thinking, “I have nothing to write about”. Maybe it's just the transition from spring to summer and everything getting so busy with kids out of school. But, last night, I got re-energized and really want to keep going. I gotta “just do it!”

    I'll be following your blog for sure, so keep at it!

  4. Vicky says:

    It was great to finally meet you. I also hesitated about reading, and came in at the very last minute. But I'm glad I did. It was such an amazing experience being there, and listening to everyone read.

  5. JoeGirl says:

    Hey Fin! Great post, thanks for the link 🙂 Was such a great evening to get out, wipe the cobwebs off, and start the blogger brain buzzing again.

    Kudos to you for starting write/right away! I've been way too hot to think/write/type this week, but it's coming!

    Love you lots, Girl. Thank you for your endless encouragement, support and friendship.

  6. Capital Mom says:

    I think you should read next year. I look forward to hearing you.

  7. Lynn says:

    I hope you do decide to read next year – you'd be great! I'm also wondering these days what my blog is about and where I want to go with my writing. If you find a good class I'd love to hear about it – I'm interested. Algonquin offers some courses but I'm never sure if I would actually like it, or just feel intimidated. You can take some from the city, too, which I've heard good things about but they are during the morning on weekdays – and I doubt they will appreciate me bringing along my toddler :).

  8. XUP says:

    You could totally have my spot! I kept telling Lynn to let the new people read. I would have given you my spot on the very night if only you'd said. As for the writing courses – in my experience there is nothing better you can do for your writing than to just write. Writing is a solitary activity. Classes and courses are usually just ego and procrastination exercises, in my experience. Just write something every day and read something every day. That's a million dollars worth of writing instruction right there.

  9. Rebecca says:

    it was wonderful meeting you! I hope you are able to go next year. This was my first year and it was a great experience 😉

  10. Finding you by traveling the blog world…

    I must tell you something about being an observer: my daughter is one of these people and it serves her so well.

    I am not and, because I tend to jump in right away, it took me years to understand this child. But she truly has a rhythm. She is super successful and seems to be so very kind to herself.

    I hope you will read next year if you want to. If you want to keep observering, however, that is fine too. Where would they have been without a cheering audience?

    AND, I find observers to be KEEN writers. I know this is true about my daughter who has much more aptitude than I have.

  11. Pauline says:

    Hey,
    Late comment, my bad. BOLO was awesome! It was wonderful to see and meet so many bloggers, yourself included. (And yes, that was a terrible art class! LOL)

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