Me (far left) with Liyana (second from left), Tarie (far right), and two sweet blogger-writers from Malaysia WHOSE NAMES AND BLOGS I WILL PUT HERE IF SOMEONE TELLS ME. Please. Help. Photo taken by: Paolo Chikiamco.
For my speech "Getting the Most Out of Blogging", I talked about how blogging should be more personal rather than professional, and, as such, should be able to grow as you grow, change as you and your interests or passions change. Blogging is a reflection of yourself rather than a blatant self-marketing tool. Thus, blogging should be low-pressure and fun; the minute that it stops being fun is the minute you should take a blogging break, step back and remember why you started blogging in the first place: because you felt passionate for something, and wanted to share that passion of yours with others.
Yes yes, that's me speaking. Photo credit: Liyana.
I've got to be honest with you: I was in a bad place, blogging-wise, in the weeks and months leading up to this conference. I felt overwhelmed by and fed up with blogging and other related forms of social media. Others were racing ahead on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr... and the more I fell behind, the less I wanted to be part of that race.
Finally putting words to those feelings I had long bottled up inside me, and then hearing from people who still love blogging yet also understand its pressures, reinvigorated me in ways I could not have imagined. In particular, Candy Gourlay and Vivian Kirkfield's panel "Blogging and Tweeting for Authors", of which I was moderator, snapped me out of my social media funk and made me realize that I cannot and will not let social media dictate me and my happiness. Fueled by the energy of the like-minded souls I met at AFCC, I am now ready to come back to my blogging and other social media branches with a better understanding of how to best use them to maximize my voice and, most importantly, my happiness.
I need to edit this photo, but this is Candy Gourlay and me right before our panel on "Blogging Today and Tomorrow." I think it is very revealing of Candy's personality...
AFCC is not perfect, but I believe it is on the right track to being the best thing to come to children's literature, media, publishing, and blogging in Southeast Asia. I am so grateful to AFCC for giving me the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak about my blogging experience, and I also would not hesitate to attend again if I am in the vicinity in the following years. With hard work and only a bit of luck, hopefully AFCC can continue to grow and attract more and more people to this worthy event. They've got a supporter in me.
More about Singapore and the bloggers I met coming up soon!