I spent the past weekend at an all-day boot camp for bloggers. Yes, that’s right: a boot camp specifically geared toward people who want to step up their blogging game. The two day camp was hosted by Leah Bergman, who runs a really fun lifestyle blog called Freutcake. (Go there for DIY, recipes, and some truly amazing food porn photos.)
The camp was held in Pasadena at a large park called Descanso Gardens. I’d never been out that way and, if I’m being honest, I make it out to Pasadena about once a year. But it was like being in another world very removed from Los Angeles. There were rows and rows of oak trees, strip malls, and dare I say it… fresher air. We ate breakfast and lunch on picnic benches in the woods, then retreated to a small room inside the gardens to get down to business. (Did I mention that the lunches were amazing? Like the one pictured above, which had sushi, fresh veggies, and teriyaki chicken.)
The first day there, we were given really beautiful tote bags filled with goodies. Things like notebooks, pins, Post-It’s, pens, Blue Diamond almonds, a mousepad, and even a funky little apron. I’ve never had an apron, always wanted one, and it felt like Christmas!
Leah led the discussions each day, and topics included Photoshop, how to use social media to improve your audience, and finding your voice. I think some of the most important things I learned included the importance of being true to yourself so people can get to know you. I think the web has a tendency to make us present the best versions of ourselves, (i.e. filters, selfies, and everything in between), when it’s really important to include the honest parts too. Like, for example, my pants are unbuttoned right now, because I’m wearing my skinny jeans and I really am not at a weight where I should be. THERE: HONESTY.
I’m not really a camp person. I didn’t do sleep away camps, I was never in the Girl Scouts, and group projects are kind of my nightmare. But going to Freutcamp was really a nice break from my routine, and it helped me to get out of my comfort zone. When you’re a writer, you spend a lot of time in your own head, and that can get very isolating. So being surrounded by smart women who want to improve their online presence was really inspiring and refreshing. I think it just goes to show that when you have the opportunity to be around people who will motivate you to be better, DO IT.
The experience also inspired me to get an Instagram account, and you can follow me here. The above Instagrams came from fellow attendees: @inmyredkitchen, @raina_rain, @fromraintoshine, @joannepio, @jacolynmurphydesigns, and @chelseaandthecity.