BlissDom Canada 2014 tickets recently went on sale, and believe me — you don't want to miss this mother-of-all-conferences! Last year I attended for my first time and fell madly in love — with BlissDom.
What did BlissDom DO for me, you ask?
BlissDom Canada 2013 made me believe that dreams can come true, even the dreams that I was not yet aware I had. As corny as it may sound — BlissDom made me believe in serendipity.
The people I met, the workshops I attended, the speakers I heard — they all gave me the motivation to explore a creative side of myself that I had only partially been using.
I wrote in my previous careers, but not full-time. Prior to BlissDom, I was wondering what to do with my life, considering my full-time work as a stay-at-home mom had ended with my daughter starting school. I had only been "blogging" for little over a year — quotation marks because I was simply writing the stories of my life and publishing them with no real focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my writing. I was a newbie in every possible way, and BlissDom taught me that my writing could be channelled into a few different careers that suited my needs. I could work in a comfortable environment (my couch), wear pajamas to work, and still be with my daughter when she was at home.
BlissDom, along with my non-creepy stalking, gave me the chance to meet some phenomenal women who have facilitated the incredible writing opportunities I've been given over the past six months. One of these women is obviously Erica Ehm. When I adopted my daughter, I stumbled across YummyMummyClub.ca and rapidly became addicted to the online magazine's fun and informative reading material during my daughter's naps. It took me a year to gather the courage to submit one of my own blog posts to this website. Meeting Erica in person was a highlight of the conference for me, considering she's been a smart and creative role model since her days on MuchMusic. It was her compliment during our first face-to-face meeting: "You are such an amazing writer and story-teller" that elevated my confidence enough to consider my writing as a career instead of just a fantasy, and often kicks my ass even now, on days when my confidence level is a sloppy mess. Erica's speech during BlissDom's Power Hour about "Just ask for what you want — the worst anyone can say is no, and you'll get over it" inspired me to take her excellent advice, so I pitched her my idea of writing this blog to represent yummy mummies who have never given birth, and I am still so grateful that she offered me a position to write here.
BlissDom also presented me a chance meeting with Ali Martell, the Editor-in-Chief of YummyMummyClub.ca. I had long been a fan of her beautifully-written personal blog Cheaper Than Therapy and was happy just to say hello to her in person and thank her for publishing the few posts I had submitted. Little did I know at that time what a kind, enthusiastic, supportive, and patient editor she is!
In my lonely beginnings on social media — prior to BlissDom — I had frequent Twitter interactions with Sharon DeVellis, Yummy Mummy Club's Senior Writer. Her upbeat attitude behind @YMCBuzz on Twitter saved me from some pretty quiet days when I had very few followers! I spotted her at BlissDom's newbie meet-up and nervously approached her to introduce myself in person. Imagine my surprise when she hugged me like an old friend and immediately introduced me to people around her in a most flattering manner.
Now I know what you're thinking...I've written this post so far to simultaneously kiss the tushes of my superiors while building up their reputation and the reputation of this site. Youbetcha! Because they all deserve it and I mean every word of it. Just ask my husband — I don't give compliments easily, and I'm truly grateful to be writing here. I went to BlissDom hoping to meet these creative social media powerhouses and some of the other talented people that work here, simply to tell them in person how much I enjoyed and admired their work, but I never imagined that I might also be writing here just a few months later...oh, the serendipity of BlissDom.
One of the fantastic and popular workshops offered at BlissDom "From Blogs to Magazines" was facilitated by Tracy Chappell, a Senior Editor at Today's Parent magazine. I was once again inspired! Pre-BlissDom, I had certainly fantasized about writing for magazines, but my pre-Blissdom lack of confidence filed those thoughts under "Impossible Dreams" using the excuse that I lacked the experience and knowledge to make this happen. Tracy's session provided part of that knowledge, but again, the BlissDom serendipitous magic took over when a member of the BlissDom Facebook group (thank you Cynthia!) suggested setting up some mentorships and asked if anyone was interested. Imagine my excitement when Tracy Chappell responded that she would be happy to mentor somebody! I don't think my hands have ever flown over my iPhone's keypad so quickly and I was fortunate to be the first one to respond to Tracy. She agreed to mentor me, and my first magazine article was published in Today's Parent — April 2014 issue, my second article was published in the May 2014 issue, with a third one in the works! Tracy has been a wonderful mentor. I appreciate her incredible patience while answering my six million questions, her praise and sharing of my work on social media, her gentle criticism when needed, and of course her excellent editorial skills!
Would I have ever met any of these knowledgeable women without BlissDom? Nope. Would I have ever had a chance to write here or for Today's Parent if I hadn't been at BlissDom? Never. BlissDom is the connection point of my life's serendipity over the past six months.
There are other reasons why I'm so thankful to BlissDom Canada and its organizers — from meeting one of my blogging idols Glennon Doyle Melton and chatting with her, to the numerous talented and kind individuals I met and continue to build a network of support with, and ending with the acceptance of my daughter participating in the amazing energy that was celebrated at the final pajama party — all of these were equally fantastic experiences for me.
My BlissDom serendipity is proof that the only thing limiting you is YOU!
Dream as big as you can, follow your passions, be open to discovering dreams and passions you never knew you had and BlissDom Canada may just provide a path to convert those dreams to reality!