Why Britmums Live made me feel like a failure

It’s funny how everything can change in a day.

How you can wake up one morning feeling happy and inspired and yet go to bed that night feeling as though everything has changed. It’s funny how you can go from feeling that you know an industry inside out to fearing that you know very little at all; from feeling a sense of trust and belonging within a community only to realise that, ultimately, you are incredibly alone.

Last Friday I travelled to London to attend Britmums Live 2017, held the following day at the County Hall, and hailed as the UK’s largest blogging conference. Although I had my doubts about travelling to London alone, even more so in light of recent events, I pushed my anxieties aside and told myself that it would be a great experience, that the information I learnt would be invaluable, and that it would be lovely to spent time with other bloggers within a community I have come to know and love.

Within seconds of setting foot inside the County Hall last weekend, I felt completely out of my depth. Although the venue was undoubtedly beautiful, I couldn’t help but feel that it exuded hostility, that the echoing halls and sterile floors were a far cry from the loud, friendly chatter of BlogOn just one week prior.

I would love to tell you that the sessions at Britmums more than made up for my initial disappointment, that I came away feeling as though I had learned something important, that I felt inspired, motivated, empowered, but I didn’t.

I would love to tell you that that despite the fact the brands were completely irrelevant to my blog, or that the afternoon sessions left me struggling to stay awake, I still had a great time, but I can’t.

I would love to tell you that at no point in the day did I feel disheartened by the blogging community, nor did I feel alone or inadequate or completely irrelevant, but I’d be lying. 

Because as the day went on, and every hour felt as though time had stood still, I felt my love for blogging slowly draining away, and I battled with the overwhelming urge to grab my bag, jump back on the train and go home to my babies.

That evening I boarded a boat on the Thames on autopilot, feeling as though the life was slowly being sucked out of me. Part of my reason for attending Britmums this year was due to being a finalist in the category of most “inspirational blogger”, an award which, although I knew I didn’t stand a chance of winning, meant a lot to me for what it represented. And although it had never even been on my radar that I could possibly win, such is my defeatist attitude, when the winner was announced and it was not me, I couldn’t help but feel as though I had failed the one person I had worked so hard to make proud. Joseph. 

I felt really sad that night returning home to an empty hotel room, ringing Gaz, speaking to Lewis, wishing more than ever that I was back at home with the five of them, cuddled up on the couch watching The X Factor and Jonathan Ross. I wished that I could rewind back to that morning, when I had got out of bed so sure of where I was heading, blinkered to the bitching and back stabbing I had witnessed that day, oblivious to the suffocating realisation that I was still very much a little fish in a big pond, unaware of the unyielding truth that whilst I had thought I could change the world by raising awareness of babyloss, I can’t.

Because the big thing about Britmums was the under lying message that to be a successful blogger you need to eat, sleep and breathe blogging. You need to be putting in the hours, pushing yourself to the top of that ladder, bringing in the pay cheques and pulling no punches.

It was implied that to be a real blogger we must be striving for success, making sacrifices, working tirelessly, never taking our eyes off the ball. It was insinuated that those of us who weren’t prepared to work for it, to give up our evenings, our weekends, our Christmas days, our holidays, every moment of every day, would never find success.

But the saddest truth for me is that Britmums opened my eyes to the fact that, actually, the blogging community isn’t always a very nice place to be. I realised that there are far too many bloggers just waiting to tear each other down as opposed to building each other up, so quick to criticise each other for their choices, making judgement and assumptions, focusing on the path that others choose to take ahead of their own. I realised that everything you see isn’t always as it seems, that the friendliest of faces don’t always have your back, and that ultimately, when it comes to the crunch, its a blog eat blog world.

And that left me in a pretty strange place.

Over the last few days  I have done some serious thinking about the future of my blog, about the reasons why I started it, the direction I had hoped to take it, and my motivation for still writing it. And ultimately I realised that as wonderful as it would be to make a successful career through blogging, there are certain things that I am not willing to sacrifice to get there – my happiness, my integrity, and certainly not my time with the children

This week, having debated quitting blogging altogether, three events happened on the same day.

The first was a message from a lovely lady on Instagram who messaged me to tell me that sadly she had miscarried for the third time, and for some reason I was the very first person she thought to turn to.

The second was an email from Mumsnet to say that they would like to feature one of my posts on Babyloss on their website as part of a babyloss awareness campaign this month.

And the third was a parcel which arrived in the post, from two of my best blogging friends, to remind me that in this crazy world of blogging, they will always have my back.

And those things, those are the ones that really matter.

To know that I have given comfort to someone going through the hardest time of their life, to know that I have helped them through a loss or inspired those who are struggling to see a way forward. To know that I can raise awareness of the subjects close to my heart, that I can help to knock down barriers by sharing my story, that I can normalise the topics which are still so taboo. To know that without my blog I would not have met the most amazing group of ladies who have become some of my very best friends, and who I can trust whole heartedly.

In that way, I have been hugely successful.

Because whilst I may never make it big in the blogging word, whilst I may never win awards or top the charts, that’s not why I write. I do it for you, for those reading this right now, with empty arms seeking comfort; for those desperately wondering if their babies will make it here safely; for those who are looking for support after a bad day with the kids, those looking for confirmation that they are not the only one’s to ever feel this way.

I realise now that success is so much more than numbers, more than stats, more than winning. I realise that success is more than big houses and fancy holidays, more than having money in the bank. I realised that I shouldn’t have to feel that the things I want to write about aren’t important simply because they don’t pay my bills, or that the awareness I raise doesn’t matter simply because I didn’t take home a trophy.

My success isn’t defined by how small I was made to feel in a room filled with bloggers, or by how foolish I felt to discover that so much of blogging is smoke and mirrors. Success isn’t about working the hardest, shouting the loudest, playing the game the sneakiest; success doesn’t stem from making other people feel bad about themselves in order to make yourself feel better.

My success comes from being real, from being honest, from doing things at my own pace, in the right way, in a style that works for me. My success comes from my own acknowledgement, and my own sense of pride, at writing a blog that so many of you have taken into their hearts.

Britmums may not have inspired me in the ways I had hoped, but it did remind me that I am happier, and healthier, to continue on my own path. Britmums may not have reaffirmed my belief that the blogging community is a wonderful one to be part of, but it did remind me that the friends I can trust are worth holding on to with both hands. Britmums may not have made me want to be a better blogger, but it did reinforce my belief that I am the best I can be on any given day, and that’s okay with me.

It’s funny how everything can change in a day. 

 

 

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297 Comments

  1. October 8, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    I felt really sad reading this because you should never have to feel any of those things when it comes to your blog, ever because ultimately your blog is your baby and you do it for you. I’ve heard and read a number of bad things about the Brit Mums experience this time around which is such a shame as you’d think it would be more inspiring! Xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 8:21 am

      Thank you Alice, I was really nervous about sharing this but I spoke with other bloggers who actually said they felt the same. I think perhaps it showed me that I am happier doing my own thing and at my own pace. I have some amazing blogging friends who are wonderful and kind and trustworthy, I think we just had a bad experience and I’m ready to move on from it! xx

  2. October 9, 2017 / 6:36 am

    I’m so sorry you felt like this Laura. I did BML for the first time last year and came away feeling a bit rebellious to tell you the truth. So much of the ‘advice’ didn’t fit with my blog or where I wanted it to go. I decided from then on that I was just going to do things my way and I have been much happier since. It was lovely to meet you at BML and you will always be my winner in the inspire award. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 8:15 am

      Ahh thank you Claire, it was SO lovely to meet you. I think I was feeling sad from the get go, I was somehow left behind on the instawalk when everyone went to the pub after and ended up on my own which is never a great start. I have never followed the rules of blogging, I don’t understand a lot of it to be fair and nor do I have the time to throw myself in head first, but I hated the feeling that if I’m not searching for success, my blog will fail. Ill get over it, I’ll pick myself back up and dust myself off and carry on blogging, but not for money or fame, just because I love it and I’d genuinely be lost without it. And thank you, you are so lovely. xxx

      • October 9, 2017 / 11:43 pm

        Oh no, I didn’t realise you were left behind for the pub – there was me just nattering on to whoever would listen.. You should have called me. I presumed you’d gone back to the hotel.

        • Laura Dove
          October 10, 2017 / 9:17 am

          Not your fault at all Emma, just one of those things. I went back to the hotel and waited for a friend. At least I missed out on a hangover! xxx

  3. October 9, 2017 / 7:40 am

    Laura I’m so sorry that BML has left you feeling this way. I do understand and have to admit that it opened my eyes in many ways too. What should have been such a positive experience has also left me feeling quite bruised if for different reasons. But I do understand. I’m devastated that you felt isolated and I know we didn’t get much chance to talk but I would have hoped to have been there for you. Your writing moves me with every single post and I’m such a huge fan of your work. You should be so incredibly proud and hold your head up high as you are one of the bloggers that I truly respect and look up to. Much love. Dawn xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 8:12 am

      Ahh Dawn, please don’t apologise, this wasn’t a dig at anyone in particular, more just me being very honest with how I felt and how it left me feeling. You are lovely, you were lovely, and to was so nice to meet you and know that you are everything I thought you would be. Thank you though, that means a lot to me, it’s been a strange week with so many other contributing issues right now, but I’m ready to carry on blogging and carry on being me. That’s all that matters isn’t it? xxx

      • October 9, 2017 / 5:24 pm

        It really is all that matters lovely. So pleased that you’re ready to keep on blogging. xx

  4. October 9, 2017 / 7:44 am

    I am sorry I didn’t get to chat to you at Britmums and feel disappointed that it made you feel this way. I felt the day was aimed at established bloggers and I really enjoyed the sessions (especially facebook) as it gave me more ideas of how to make it work.
    I enjoyed the event as a way to catch up with friends old and new and completely missed the bitchiness and back-stabbing (I am always oblivious to these things).
    You have a beautiful blog and I admire everything that you have done to raise awareness for babyloss in Joseph’s name. Winning isn’t the be all and end all, I have been in your position on numerous occasions so know how it feels.
    You don’t have to be online every minute of everyday to have a successful blog – just enjoy it xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 8:10 am

      Ahh don’t apologise Kara, it wasn’t your fault I felt this way. I think it was my own insecurities that made me feel this way then, and now. I know a lot of people felt the same way afterwards, I think it was a huge eye opener in some ways and it left me feeling very confused as to where to take my blog. Winning was never on my radar but I think combined with my feelings about the event, it was just another reminder that I had failed. It’s been a funny week but I’m through it, feeling better and ready to continue with my blog in the way that I want to. Thank you for your lovely comment. xxx

  5. October 9, 2017 / 8:13 am

    I have heard now from several bloggers that BritMums was very discouraging for them. I’m so glad you realized your blog is successful in whatever way you choose to define it. I don’t make money from my blog, but I still consider it to be a success because of all the people I’ve reached. Thank you for sticking with blogging, your posts are so important, including to many people who may not voice their losses. #bigpinklink

  6. October 9, 2017 / 8:17 am

    This is a really interesting post lovely.
    Firstly, I think it’s sad you were made to feel like this.
    Secondly, I’m not surprised.
    More so than ever, I see backstabbing, over inflated egos and untold bitchiness within the blogging community; more so the parent blogging community and it makes me glad I’m not really part of it.
    There are some superb writers within the community (yourself included) and I feel their talent is being overlooked. It all seems very unfair.
    Don’t ever feel like a failure. You have a talent, you have a readership and you are authentic. These 3 things mean you’ll never be a failure so just keep doing you. #Bigpinklink

  7. October 9, 2017 / 8:45 am

    It’s such a shame you felt like this on what should have been a positive experience, but I completely agree with what you’ve said. I’m sure you have helped so many people by sharing your story, so please don’t think you have failed – because you haven’t! x

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 10:07 am

      Thank you so much Emma. It’s sad though, I think I was guilty of assuming that the blogging community was everything I thought it to be. This week has opened my eyes to so much of the backstabbing, I actually had to come away from Twitter and Facebook and try to remind myself that none of that is important. I won’t be going back to BML though, that’s for sure! xx

  8. October 9, 2017 / 9:25 am

    This sounds eerily similar to my first blogging event, I haven’t been back since .
    When we write about things so close to our hearts ,I think we do take it more personally when we get over looked for a less personally blog .
    I’m glad too you picked yourself up, blogging is hard and sometimes a cold place to be. But there are most certainly some awesome people in that world too, we just have to find them.
    Congratulations on all the good news – focus on that lady xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 10:04 am

      Thank you so much. I had heard people talk of similar experiences but assumed that it might be different for me. I guess we all have our motives for blogging, for some that is money or notoriety, for me it is a love of writing and a passion for raising awareness. I think it’s important to realise that we don’t all have to be the same and have the same goals. xx

  9. October 9, 2017 / 9:51 am

    Such a shame that you were made to feel like this. You walked into the conference with your eyes wide open and I’m so glad you also saw how successful your blog is in terms of reaching the right people who need help.

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 10:03 am

      Thank you so much. I feel perhaps I am overly sensitive but I have spoken with others who all agreed they felt the same way. I’m just going to keep focusing on my own blog, in my own way, I think that’s the best way to be! xx

  10. October 9, 2017 / 10:03 am

    I’m so sorry you went away feeling like this! I wish I could have given you a big hug at the end of the day. I know what you mean it wasn’t a very inspiring day really was it?! But Laura you are so very inspirational and your blog is a place of comfort and success and love for so many people. Most of all it is a beautiful dedication to Joseph xxx

  11. October 9, 2017 / 10:13 am

    I’m so sorry that you felt like this. I have to say that blogging has been a twisting and turning journey for me, I’ve witnessed some negatives and turn my back to them, but overwhelmingly I am proud and passionate about the wonderful online family we have. You are so very right, if your blog changes just one person’s life for the better, then your blog is a resounding success. Her Melness always says ‘sod the stats, find your voice and remember your original motive.’ I think you’ve arrived at that conclusion yourself. Big hug, Hayley x

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you Hayley, I love that motto and you are so right, I am right there at that conclusion and definitely feeling liberated in doing so! I have the loveliest bunch of friends I have met through blogging, I will be focusing on the positives for sure. xx

  12. October 9, 2017 / 10:29 am

    I felt the same way last year after Blogfest conference – just questioning what is the point of blogging when I know I don’t have the time to dedicated to it and in many cases I’d rather just be back home chilling with my family. It’s and real rat race out there.

    Just wanted to say sorry for not catching up with you on Saturday- would have been nice to talk to you again after the Insta-walk. And also that even though baby loss has never affected me personally, your posts have really touched my heart. I feel like reading your posts about it and about Joseph have helped me in understanding it better and hopefully help me in being a better friend to those who have experienced baby loss.

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. I too went to Blogfest and felt the same way, I should never have put myself through it a second time!! I hate that I was inadvertently caught up in the rat race, I much prefer to do my own thing with the people I love and trust. And oh don’t apologise, I was left behind somehow on the way to the pub after the walk, although it was lovely to speak to you for a little while. I really appreciate you saying that, thank you. xxx

  13. October 9, 2017 / 10:37 am

    What a shame. In some ways I understand what you mean. I laughed to myself during some sessions as there’s soo much more to my life than blogging. My goals for the next month are non-blog related, and I can bumble through my posts from week to week writing about what comes up excitedly and then re-hashing a bit when what comes up in my life is nothing I want to share right now. I took on becoming the SEND Britmums editor mostly to support the special educational needs community and it’s these and a few others than I enjoyed meeting up with at the conference. Meeting my mates is mostly what I go for. Ultimately I love it when one person says they don’t feel alone because of one of my posts or when someone re-evaluates their potential attitude to my kids. That’s what really counts to me. Go with what you feel, and be proud of who you are and what you do. I’ve learned from you and that’s more special than an award in my books. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Thank you Ann, I totally agree. The people who read my blog and have found comfort are definitely inspiration for writing. I’ve had so many messages today from people who were also at BML and felt the exact same way, and in that way I feel way less lonely than I did a week ago. xxx

  14. Tracey Abrahams
    October 9, 2017 / 10:38 am

    I have read quite a few posts about BritMums this week and they all follow a similar theme. The event was unfriendly and designed to belittle the average blogger.
    I was very pleased when I saw you were one of the nominees for the inspirational blogger category because you ARE very inspirational (and smart abd funny in your writing). The fact that you didnt win an award in what has become a very bitchy exclusive popularity contest says far more about them and the way the awards are organised than it does about your blog.
    Keep doing your thing honey and measure your success in the right ways, by the love you get from the people who really understand and love your blog. #MG

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:48 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Tracey, I really appreciate that. The winner of the inspirational category is amazing, I wanted her to win from the moment I saw the finalists, so it wasn’t about winning, I guess that was just the final straw for me. I felt like my love of blogging had been sucked from me by the time I got home the next day. I will definitely carry on blogging the way that I want to, I think I am ready to throw away the rule book and do things my way! Thanks again. xxx

  15. October 9, 2017 / 10:39 am

    That’s rubbish you felt that way. I felt really lonely at Britmums and I felt the set up wasn’t helpful to meeting people. At times I was bored, but otherwise I had a different experience. I didn’t notice any bitchiness and none of the sessions I went to pushed the message that you have to be all in or nothing with blogging.
    I make a small income through blogging, but that’s not why I do it. I will never be nominated for an award because I’m not interesting enough. At times I get disheartened, but I’ve had a blogging break before and I know how much having that outlet means to me.
    I’m glad you changed your mind about stopping x

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:46 pm

      I agree, the set up wasn’t like other conferences I have been to. I have been to BlogOn three times now and never once felt lonely or intimidated, it’s a very different vibe. I had heard a lot of negative comments about BML before I went but assumed it would be very different this year, sadly I didn’t find it to be. I wouldn’t go again but at least it made me realise what I want from my blog, and it’s definitely not that kind of success. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Thank you! xx

  16. October 9, 2017 / 11:33 am

    I didn’t attend Britmums this year. Having attended in the past and felt inadequate after returning home to my little blog I felt it best to stay away and not allow those feelings and thoughts take hold again. The blogging community has shifted since I started, it was once a place where everyone was happy to help, now it all about landing the best campaigns and the biggest pay cheque

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Oh gosh I am so sorry to hear that you also felt that way, it’s crazy how many people have said the same today, that they returned home feeling exactly the same way! Things have definitely shifted and I hate the competitiveness that seems to cause so much of the trouble, I’m happier staying out of it! xx

  17. October 9, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Ahh Laura. You are one of my favourite bloggers. I love your writing. Like you, I would not enjoy an event like Britmums at all. I have never, ever attended a blogging event and I’ve been blogging for nearly 3 years. My stats aren’t great but I just love writing and taking pictures and I’m happy poodling along. Sure it would be nice to make some money but I’m happy with what I have achieved and you should be too because you’re awesome. I shall continue to dip in and out of my blog, who knows where it will take me? Sarah #mg

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Sarah, I’m so touched that you said that as I’ve said before just how much I admire you as a blogger, and have serious photography envy!! I think there is such a big circle of supportive bloggers but I am less likely to find them at these big blogging events. I shall continue to poodle along in great company, thank you again. xxx

  18. October 9, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    This makes me so sad to read. Please keep writing and spreading awareness as your blog is one of my faves. Wish we had met up on the Friday for a chat as you always inspire me x

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle, I really do appreciate that. xxx

  19. October 9, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    I was moved the tears when I read it is because your blog is a big blog in my eyes. You certainly have inspired me with your really well written words and you always take time to write well thought out reflective comments too. Benig an Expat it is hard for me to attend the blogging conferences. But my blog isn’t about money making so I don’t think
    It would be relevant to me. I must admit I really don’t
    Like the cutthroat attitude a lot of bloggers seem to have now. There is a kind of desperation for success at any cost that really bothers me. Please don’t stop because your words do mean a lot to many people 🌸

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Ahh thank you so much lovely, I really do appreciate that. You are so right, and it is that desperation that actually saddens me because in some ways, it really is very cut throat and not the kind, helpful community I thought it to be. There ARE some lovely bloggers out there (yourself included) and I have had some really supportive comments from others who felt the same way but didn’t feel able to share those thoughts on their own blogs. I will never stop writing but I will definitely care a little less about the blogging side of things, I just want to go back to the beginning and stay back in my bubble!! xx

  20. June
    October 9, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    I’m sorry about your experience. I don’t agree with some of the messages they spread. Yes, blogging is hard work and you probably have to make some scarifies here and there but I don’t think that to be successful it needs to consume your entire life. I mean, I want to have a successful blog but my family still comes first and that will never change. I don’t think we have to choose between one or the other. Also, it seems that at these conferences certain niches are preferred and if you fall outside of it you are ‘invisible’. It is also upsetting that bloggers compete with each other rather than support one another. But I guess that happens everywhere, no matter what profession you choose. I think you are doing great work, so keep it up and don’t let this experience get you down too long!

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Thank you June, you are so right, this happens in every profession and I think I do need to grow a thicker skin and also realise that not everything is as it seems. I have been saddened this week by some of the posts I have seen circulating, or the tweets I have seen slating other bloggers. I think focusing on my own blog, and my own close circle of friends, is the way forward. There are some lovely bloggers out there, it was lovely to meet you. xx

  21. October 9, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Laura, I’m so sorry that you felt so discouraged after your day at Britmums Live. It’s sad that a conference like this which should be all about inspiring bloggers makes some feel like they are not good enough. I’d like to to think that the bitchy and back-stabbing bloggers are the minority and the vast majority of bloggers are lovely people. This year’s Britmums had quite a different feel to previous years for me and I felt that a lot of the fun got sucked out of it. I also had moments of feeling alone and like a very small fish in a very big pond. I suspect that BlogOn will be the better conference for me in the future too – I’m not prepared to eat, breathe and sleep blogging if that’s what it takes to be a success according to the Britmums conference model. Your post also reminds me of how I felt after my first Britmums – although I enjoyed it, I left feeling quite deflated. For me it was that pivotal moment of realising what I wasn’t (i.e. eat/sleep/blog/repeat) that led to me being comfortable in my blogging skin and no longer caring about stats and things that sucked the joy out of blogging. Your blog is an inspiration to many, many people and your voice makes a huge difference to those who have suffered loss, to know that they are not alone, that there is someone else out there who understands. You have done a huge amount for raising awareness of baby loss. It was so lovely to meet you briefly at Britmums and I wish I’d had more time to chat to you. Being yourself and staying true to yourself is the best thing that any blogger can be xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you Louise, I really appreciate your lovely comment. I think you are so right, the fun was sucked out of BML and although I haven’t been before, so many people have since said that they completely relate and that they too felt this way. As bloggers I guess we all reach that pivotal moment where we decide whether we want to take this as far as it can go, or whether we want to keep enjoying our blog AND our lives, and we take our foot off the accelerator a little. I know which I will be doing, in that way I’m glad BML taught me something. xxx

  22. October 9, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Oh darling!!! I think quite a few people came away from Brit Mums feeling disheartened for so many reasons – many listed above 0 but just know that you are wonderful and you don’t need to be striving for anything xoox

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      Thank you Talya, I have been so touched by all of the lovely messages about this blog post. It turns out so many people felt this way and in that way, I feel comforted that I wasn’t alone. It was lovey to see you at BML but sadly I wont be going back! xx

  23. October 9, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Laura what a very honest and heartfelt post to write. I’m really sorry that the event left you feeling that way, but I’m so glad you came out the other side and haven’t lost your reason for blogging. It’s such a massive industry that it can feel so overwhelming at times and especially when you go to massive events like that. I’ve never been to Britmums mainly because I’m not a mum, but you’re not the first person I’ve heard say they didn’t have the most positive experience. You clearly make a difference in the blogging world and to remember the most important reason you blog, for yourself and others, is all it’s really about X #mg

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 2:05 pm

      Thank you so much Lins. It has been hugely reassuring to me to hear that others felt the same way, either here or at other blogging conferences. I think sometimes trying to learn more about blogging can be detrimental to the blog you want to write, as it becomes easy to fall down a more commercial route. I know I have felt as though I was edging more into a side of blogging I wasn’t totally happy with, but I’m glad to be back on track and will be sharing more of what I love. xx

  24. The Mummy Bubble
    October 9, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    So sad the event made you feel this way. I was a first timer this year and I actually really enjoyed it, although my blog is only a few months old so I went with zero expectations and just eager to meet people face to face.

    I do hate it when people tear others down instead of building them up, it makes me really sad. And I also totally agree with you that we all have to find what works for us in the world of blogging, there is no set path for it and we shouldn’t judge those who are doing it differently. There’s enough internet for us all!

    Sorry we didn’t get a chance to speak, we definitely must if we ever cross paths at one of these events again. I’m thinking of going to blog on next yr. xxx #bigpinklink

  25. October 9, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    After attending Britmums the last 2 years I can safely say I will not be going again. Last year I left before the end as I felt extremely out of place and out of my depth. This year I hoped it would be better and in some ways it was. I knew more people and it was nice to see them but I didn’t really get anything out of the day. Apart from realising I am not playing the same game some other bloggers are.

    You shouldn’t feel like a failure just because you don’t eat, sleep, breath blogging. You were up for an award, your writing makes people reach out to you in times of need. People can relate to your posts, you are honest and personally that’s what I want when I read a blog post. x

  26. October 9, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I just want to give you a big hug after reading this, it makes me feel so sad that an event can leaving you feeling that way, yet you aren’t the first I have heard similar things from.

  27. October 9, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    Laura – you genuinely are one of the nicest bloggy people out there. You come across as such a nice person and has saving met you briefly a couple of times, in person you are even more so.
    I have only ever been to Britmums once and felt exactly the same. It was hideously bitchy and I felt so alone and out of place. I don’t know why but it has only ever happened there and no idea why. I am so sad to read how it made you feel because you write about all five of your children so beautifully. So so beautifully and That is worth so much more than a number in a chart xx

  28. October 9, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    This brought a tear to my eye. I have always admired your blog and considered you a major player in the blogosphere. But I know that blogging is all about stats and not about quality, style and honesty of writing. And that’s why your blog doesn’t feature in that world. I am so glad you have decided to keep going and I think you have offered and continue to offer so much support and solidarity to those who have experienced baby loss. #bigpinklink

  29. October 9, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Im sorry you didnt have the time you expected at Britt Mums but I think you possibly came away with the most important message of all! To write a blog because of what you believe in, to make a difference, and to help people – these are the best reasons I can think of to write a blog! For those reasons I think you have one of the most successful blogs going! Stuff the awards and money making fakeness, remember why you started and focus on that!

  30. October 9, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    I have never been to brit mums before but it doesn’t sound like an amazing experience. I think its important to blog about what we want thats what makes our blogs unique

  31. October 9, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    After reading this I really wish I had made more of an effort to talk to you. I’m glad we met very briefly (although I’m not sure if you remember!) But I find it so hard to talk to people I haven’t met before even if they are someone I really really want to talk to! BMP was my first conference and I did find it quite daunting. I wish I had made the effort to make you feel like there were some friendly faces and people who really do look up to you as a blogger – I know I certainly do. Whenever I read anything about baby loss, I always think of you and Joseph, so you can be sure that you have touched and inspired many and you don’t need an award to tell you how respected you are. I hope our paths can cross again and I can muster the courage to say hello properly xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 5:57 pm

      Ahh thank you Abi, that is so kind of you to say and really does mean a lot. I am just the same, I get quite shy and nervous in these situations and felt really over whelmed at times, the whole day is a blur. I really appreciate that though, and I hope that you had a better day at BML than I did? xxx

  32. October 9, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    Ah lovely Laura to me you are one of the big bloggers! In fact your blog is one of the few blogs that I actually still read!! I have never been to a conference, I honestly don’t have the confidence and reading this post (and others like it) I don’t think I will ever. I have lost my passion for my blog and I am not sure if it will ever come back, I have lost my love for reading other blogs – I know question what is real. For me – I am just a Mum who is writing about my lovely little family and our adventures. Any money or experiences that I may get along the way is a perk.I don’t want to be made inadequate, or belittled – life is tough enough!! #mg

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      Ahh Natalie, you are so kind. Thank you. I completely agree! I don’t call myself a blogger, I am just a Mum who loves to write, I hate that anybody made me feel that that doesn’t make me a real blogger, and if that’s the case so be it. The blogging community is a strange place to be at the moment, I am concentrating on surrounding myself by lovely, genuine people, like yourself, and doing what the hell I like. It’s the best way! xxx

  33. October 9, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    That was so true of you, I have recently felt that this community is not good for light hearted people as bloggers are ready to tear you apart as soon as they get a chance. It is going way too competitive. Loved your perspective, it was really honest, and yes, we need such bloggers who are true to their feelings.

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Jhilmil, you are so right. Life is way too short to get caught up in it all, we need to carry on doing us, and let others do them. xx

  34. October 9, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    I am going to admit I cried reading this. I am so sorry you had such a bad experience but it’s true there are too many judgy bloggers out there that look down their noses at others. I have been to a few press events a over the years and was shocked at how some the bloggers really don’t make you feel at all welcome as I am the total opposite. I don’t get nominated for anything like this and to be honest having read this if I was I don’t think I would go even if I did. I think you do a great job with your work and you are a proper blogger and your blog helps others which is the main thing in my eyes.

    • Laura Dove
      October 9, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      Ahh Melanie, thank you so much, you are so kind. I have been hugely comforted today by the lovely comments I have received and the kind messages from other bloggers who said that they felt exactly the same way. I think there are good and bad parts to every industry, just sometimes one that is predominantly women can become a little uncomfortable at times. I really appreciate your comment. xx

  35. October 9, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    Oh Laura…wow! You really WERE honest; I was a sheep with mine lol. Seriously, I’m just blindsided reading this. The bit about Joseph…you’ve broken my heart. YOUR BLOG IS HUGELY SUCCESSFUL! I always think ‘wow look at her DA…look at the number of comments’!
    For a second I wondered (my God aren’t we all so insecure) if I was one of the bitchy ones you refer to but then I remembered all your lovely comments you’ve made to me after the event! Tbh I became aware of the bitchy side of it a while ago (around the time the shortlist was announced) and I must admit I didn’t see this at BML but I tend to have my head in the clouds anyway. I mentioned to you and Bridie at the event I’ve had some dark days on the blog this year. I think we all get that way. You are SUCH a talent, such a force, I’d be gutted to see you bow out. In the end you know what’s right for you though my love.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:10 pm

      Ahh Prabs, I would never in a million years think anything but wonderful thoughts about you. Genuinely, meeting you was one of my absolute highlights, FINALLY!! And you are just as lovely as I knew you would be. You’re right though, I think we all go through stages where we doubt our blogs or the direction we are heading. As much as I dreaded sharing this, I am so glad I did because ultimately it reminded me that I have the most wonderful, supportive and followers, and friends, and reinforced all of the reasons why I blog. Thank you for your support my lovely friend. xxx

  36. October 9, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    I am so pleased that you have seen the light of your success. You have a huge influence on so many people even if you don’t realise it. A huge influence on a really meaningful and heartfelt topic too. Your experiences and writing literally change lives. You help people feel less alone in the pool of their own grief and less isolated and lost in their heart shattered state. This is a far bigger accomplishment than most in that room will ever achieve. Blogging success is not what a group of power hungry, selfish and spiteful bloggers want to define it as despite their desperate need to try to control. Instead it is measured in your writing and the way you impact people and the therapy it gives you. Please don’t stop. You are inspirational every day to me.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      Ahh Laura, thank you SO much, what a lovely comment and I really do appreciate that. I was so scared about sharing this and yet when I did, I felt such a huge relief as though I had finally shared the burden I had carried all week. The blogging community will always have good and bad parts, I think I will just to focus on the positives and the wonderful friends I have made, and just carry on doing my own thing. Thank you. xxx

  37. October 9, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    It was a mixed bag this year wasn’t it.
    I didn’t find the sessions were aimed for me. I did do the SEO one but the others weren’t my cup of tea, I don’t like being told what to do on social media.. It’s not a one size fits all and I can’t and won’t change my style to suit those with huge numbers.

    The brands and brand sessions weren’t for me either so I just sat chatting and missed any bitchyness..i also seem to as it don’t interest me.

    Sorry to hear you feel deflated with it all. I love your blog so much so please keep doing what you do for you and sod everyone else x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      Thank you Clare, I totally agree with that. I don’t like all of these “Fast track to success” type talks that go on at these events, or these courses you can sign up for or rules you can follow, they are so generic and not everyone fits into those brackets. I definitely prefer to do my own thing and I take away anything from BML it will be that. xx

  38. October 9, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    I haven’t attended a blogging conference since 2011 so I’m out of my depth now. I love reading your blog, seeing your posts and I love the honesty you put into your posts.

    I’m sorry BML made you feel the way you do. It’s not nice knowing that we’re in a completely awful world sometimes. It’s one of the reasons I am still quite guarded.

    You haven’t failed Joseph, you have succeeded in raising awareness of baby loss and if you want to, you will raise more!

    Love and hugs xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you so much Beth, all I have ever wanted is to make Joseph and the children proud, I’ve been so touched by everyone’s lovely comments over this. I think the best thing about seeing the worst in a community is that it also brings out the best. xxx

  39. October 9, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    I felt like crying reading this. Your blog was one of the first I came across and as a fellow mum to an angel I fell in love with your posts and how you raise awareness.
    It makes me sad to think of you feeling like your blog is inadequate as I think of you as one of those bigger bloggers which to me is an amazing achievement when it’s to do with baby loss as we know how much of a taboo subject it can be.
    I’m glad you aren’t going to stop blogging as it would really be a great loss to the blogging community.
    Keep doing what you do so well hun and don’t worry about all the other bollocks that people say you need to be a successful blogger. All that matters is you already do raise awareness, you do it brilliantly and you make Joseph very proud.
    Sod everything and everyone else!

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:00 pm

      Ahh Emma, thank you so much, you are so kind! I have been an absolute wreck reading all of these lovely messages over the last two days, I am so touched that everyone has been so supportive and so sad that so many bloggers have said they feel the same way too. You are right though, sod everyone else and focus on your own path, that’s the way I’m going to do it from here on! Thank you. xxx

  40. October 9, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    This is exactly why I won’t ever be going to one of these blogging events! I’ll never be in the same league as the big bloggers because I don’t put every waking hour into my blog. I noticed pretty much straight away that the successful bloggers won’t even give the time of day to the newbies, it’s a real shame.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:55 am

      I think a lot of people feel this way Sarah which is why I have always tried hard to be supportive to everyone and make sure I take the time to comment interact. Blogging events can be wonderful with the right people, I’ve been to some fab ones, I will go to others but not this one that’s for sure. xx

  41. October 9, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Oh lovely, I am so sorry that a conference made you feel that way. I personally think you and your blog are amazing, you take the most beautiful photos which I am totally envious of and you write in a way that the reader can not help but connect with you. I am so glad blogging has made us friends and I look forward to seeing you again soon with the ‘gang’ with or without a conference. Sending hugs xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Ahh thank you so much lovely, I am so glad that we met too and can’t wait to see you and our gorgeous gang soon, love you lots. xxx

  42. October 9, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Oh I am so so sorry that you came away feeling this way. I have had feelings like this before too, not from events as I have studiously avoided them all due to my autism, but if I spend too much time on the blogging side of twitter and witness too much meanness and pettiness I can find myself really disheartened and questioning whether there’s any point in writing. Usually some time disconnected from it all helps. I’m glad you got some lovely messages, it shows there is more than one great reason for writing. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:53 am

      Thank you Isabel, I totally agree that social media can be just as damaging at times too. I had to switch off this week as I read so many awful posts “outing” other bloggers or slating them for their choices, it’s so sad that people need to belittle other bloggers to gain their own success. xxx

  43. October 9, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    I’m so sorry that you felt like this, but as I am sure you already know, you are most definitely not alone!I didn’t attend this year for exactly this reason, I have been on three occasions and each time I have come away feeling really disheartened, it all seems to be about making mega money and having a specific niche, which doesn’t fit me at all, I make some money, enough to stay at home with my children, but in the six years I have been blogging it has definitely become more cut throat and to be honest, with the seven children I don’t have time for all the added extras required! I am so glad you have decided to continue as yours is the first blog I have sent two friends to read, after they have suffered baby loss, so please keep going xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:52 am

      YES!! I totally agree with this, blogging is suddenly all about getting rich and famous and less about the writing or building a relationship with your readers. I wont be going again that’s for sure, but I’m glad I went and was able to find some positives afterwards. Thank you so much for sending your friends over to my blog, that’s so lovely to know although I am sorry for their losses. xxx

  44. October 9, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    We’ll done for sharing this so honestly, I imagine your finger hovered over the publish button for at least a second. It sounds like you weren’t alone in your feelings about the event and perhaps their set up just isn’t for everyone. The thought of attending a blogging event intimidates me and I think I’d just feel a big fraud. What you should take from this are all the amazing comments, you are very well respected and people love reading your work. And I’ve just signed up to receive future posts so you have another fan! Xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:50 am

      YES! God I was super nervous about sharing this as I didn’t want to appear ungrateful for what blogging has given me or seem that I was slating other bloggers. I love and admire so many bloggers, I respect their dedication and their success, but I also think that it is important to remember that not everyone is blogging for the same reasons. I totally felt like a fraud at BML and came away feeling completely inadequate. It’s been a long week soul searching but I’m happiest doing my own thing, and I’ll keep doing it! Thank you so much. xxx

  45. October 9, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I felt like this when I went to Britmums a few years ago. I came away feeling totally inadequate and have never been to another blogging conference since. I’m so sorry to hear that you had a similar experience, but I am so pleased that you were able to see through it and see that you are successful and are great at what you do! xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:49 am

      Ahh Sam I’m so sorry to hear that you felt the same, it’s crazy how many people have commented that they felt the same way! I think focusing on our own blogs and doing our own thing is always going to be the best way to stay sane in this crazy world of blogging. xxx

  46. October 9, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Hi, It was shame that BML made you feel this way. I’ve not been to a a bloggingconference but it sounds off putting and not very supportive of fellow bloggers. Despite this is was nice to read the opposite about the support you have received from bloggers and that that Mums Net want to feature one of your posts #BloggerClubUK

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:48 am

      Thank you Chloe. I have honestly met some of the best friends from blogging, it’s so true what they say about finding your tribe. xx

  47. October 9, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I didn’t go to BritMums as I couldn’t justify it. The competitiveness at blogging is pretty ugly. I used to get caught up in numbers but it just made me unhappy. Since I have accepted that I won’t be a “big” blogger I am happier. I have my boys to worry about and quite frankly as much as I love blogging, I don’t want to spend all day and night on the computer. I think you have come to the right conclusion. Do what you do and be happy x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:47 am

      YES!! Exactly that Louise! I waited for such a long time for the children and I want to enjoy them as much as possible. Blogging has a way of creeping in and taking over, I really want to take a step back from that and focus more on blogging because I love to, not because I have to. xx

  48. October 9, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    My gorgeous friend, as you know we share the same thoughts on this and as always you write it so perfectly. I will always be thankfully that blogging gave me you! You are a wonderful person, a brilliant writer and I am honoured to call you my friend. The best bit of BML was getting to spend the day with you xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Ahh Laura, and my best bit too. Thank god we had each other, we will laugh about this one day. Love you lots. xxx

  49. October 9, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    My mummy had a similar feeling at her first blog conference which was Blogfest a couple of years back. She hated all the cliques but unfortunately that’s the name of the game with some bloggers. She was at BML17 and ending up hanging around with some equally nervous (but lovely) attendees and drawing at the Jennie Maizel stand. She couldn’t hack the boat trip so left 😉 She finds the experience challenging but likes pushing herself out of her comfort zone by trying to network but it’s hard! The sessions weren’t bad and she came away with some extra knowledge x I think your blog is brilliant so it would be a shame to give up something you love xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Ahh I have heard so many people at the same, it’s sad that so many of us have had these experiences. Thank you though, that’s very kind of you, I should definitely have hung around at the Jennie Maizel stand more! xx

  50. October 9, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    Reading your post made me feel really sad that you had such a negative experience of the whole day.I have been to many blogging conferences and never have I come back once feeling like this, in fact I have come back feeling great and buzzing with new ideas, although I must say I have never been to Brirmums and maybe it’s on a different level. All I can say is that don’t let one bad experience put you off blogging. You should blog to make you happy, not worry about stats and numbers and the rest will happen.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Thank you Nayna. How you describe is how anyone should feel after a conference, it’s certainly how I had hoped I would feel! I wont ever stop blogging but I think I will stop caring so much about what others think and just focus on myself. xx

  51. October 9, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Aw you’re so brave! honestly going up to London. London itself is a lot! well done for trying something new honestly! every time I go up , on the way back I always feel a little sad and alone but I try and remember that I at least did it.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:43 am

      Ahh thank you Miranda, it was a huge deal for me but I did it! That in itself was a positive! xx

  52. October 9, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    I am sorry you felt this way. It was my third Britmums Live and I enjoyed it very much. I got loads from the sessions, blogging is my job so it is important to know the deeper stuff (for me). I loved the You Tube panel – which was a hilarious session, and Pinterest was inspiring. I haven’t been aware of any bitching or back stabbing, but I am in my own bubble a bit! Kaz x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:43 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, I have heard others say they took a lot out of it which is great. Blogging is my job I suppose, it’s the only one I have, but I don’t really see it as a business and I think that’s where I struggle. I am happier doing my own thing and following my own path, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel like that, haha! xx

  53. October 9, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I didn’t go to Britmums this year but I certainly recognise some of the feelings that of inadequacy and disappointment that you’ve written about here. Yours is one of the most beautifully written blogs out there and you are definitely a success in my book. Keep doing things your own way.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:41 am

      Thank you so much. I think the blogging world can be amazing at times but equally, really drag you down. Its so important to do your own thing, I am definitely going to try harder to stay in my bubble! xx

  54. October 9, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    Oh Laura, it’s rubbish you were left feeling that way. As you know I wanted to go but cancelled in the end cos I’m 6 months pregnant now. I bet I’d have felt the biggest failure ever there though and totally intimidated! Please don’t ever feel a failure – you’re a “big” blogger in my eyes, and with that I mean a brilliant writer (my favourite really) with a following who sends you messages like that, something I could only ever dream of. You don’t need money or trophies. And as for any back stabbing/bitchiness, just know that whilst that sadly may be the case, there are loads of us silently here cheering you on and coming back to read your blogs time and time again xxx ps if I do see you at blogon next time I’m getting over the fear and saying hi! X

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Ah thank you Susie, you really didn’t miss anything!! You are so kind to say that though, I have been so touched by such lovely supportive messages. There are some amazing bloggers out there who are kind and genuine and REAL, I will look forward to seeing you at BlogOn next year. xxx

  55. October 9, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    Laura, keep doing you. As you mentioned, your blog has helped your readers and they appreciate you.

    I do however, know how you feel. I rarely go to events now. In some cases, I have felt incredibly isolated in the sense, if you are not part of that ‘clique’, they are not interested in talking to you regardless of whether you have made an effort to strike up a conversation. For that, I now purely concentrate on creating for my blog.

    Lima
    x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Thank you Lima, that’s such good advice. I am so touched by all of the lovely messages from people who feel exactly the same way, I’m sad that we have been made to feel that way. Keep doing you is the absolute truth. xx

  56. John
    October 9, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    As a new blogger hitting middle age its getting more and more challenging to have confidence in a world I don’t feel properly prepared for. Thanks for the honesty, you seem like a pretty awesome blogger to me, and a lot of other people judging by the great comments on here.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:36 am

      Thank you John. The blogging world isn’t one I was prepared for either, I think we are far better off doing our own thing. xx

  57. October 9, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I’m so sorry you felt this way. I’ve never been and that’s mainly because I imagine I’d feel exactly the same way. You write a fantastic blog and you are making a difference and I’m so glad you had the positive experiences afterwards to prove that.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Thank you Amy, I think conferences have their place but it all depends on what you are looking for out of your blog. If you want to follow a ready made path and want to know how to make money, they are great. But if you want to follow your own path and money is simply a bonus, they aren’t as inspiring as you would hope! xx

  58. October 9, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Hi Lora. I am so sorry you had such a bad experience. I have never been to anything like a blogger conference, but I can empathize over the strong emotions that arose for you. Know that you are awesome, just thhe way you are, conference or no conference. I hope you stay doing what you do, helping people all over and letting us all know your Joseph. xoxo #mg

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:25 am

      Thank you so much, that’s so kind of you to comment. Sharing Joseph with you all is a real honour, I will never stop writing that’s for sure. xxx

  59. October 9, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Going through my own blogging crisis right now I can totally relate. I didn’t go to britmums this year as I felt what you did last year and it wasn’t pleasant. I guess we just need to do what we got to do.
    Big hugs xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Thank you, it’s sad isn’t it that we come away feeling this way? I wont be going again but I will be going back to BlogOn where I felt very much part of a community and came away feeling happy and excited and inspired. Lots of love. xx

  60. October 9, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    I’m so with you,Laura. Ever wonder why I always love your blog when I let you I commented in a thread? Its because you write from a place no one else. Not even other mums who have miscarried…because just like myself,our journeys are ours alone. I like that you write a personal blog and aren’t just a hack blogger writing for a paycheck or free swag. That isn’t blogging,that a PR writer. Blogging to me means writing from the heart and you are are a rare writer that understands that. Write for you…..

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Ahh thank you so much Patrick, you are so kind and I’m sat here with a huge lump in my throat. I have really taken you and the cheetah into my heart and to hear you feel this way about my blog is a real compliment, thank you. xxx

  61. October 9, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Oh Laura! I really felt for you reading this and I love the honesty of your words. I’ve ended up in the parenting blogging world somehow and whilst there’s so much I love about it there’s not actually many blogs I truly follow and read regularly. But yours is one of the ones I do follow. I originally spent so long going back over your old posts and reading about you that I knew I’d always love what you do. I had empathy for your words, I felt truly engrossed but most of all I felt a tiny bit ‘at home’ when reading. I never talk about my miscarriage, but when I read about what you went through it helped me a huge deal. Xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:22 am

      Ahh thank you so much Natalie, that is so lovely of you to say! I think there will always be a downside to blogging, especially in a predominantly female community such as parent bloggers, but staying true to yourself is a good starting point to come back to. I am totally going to carry on writing but out of love and not chasing success. xx

  62. October 9, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    These are probably the reasons I fear going to anything like this ever!
    Please don’t give up blogging Laura. You have such a talent for writing. Your posts help so many people. The way you open up about your losses and Joseph, you make him proud every day! You’ve helped me talk about my miscarriages more, even if I’ve not been able to write about them and I know I’m not alone. Xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:20 am

      Thank you so much Jo, that’s so lovely to hear that I have helped you in some way. I think I needed to write all of this down, and I’m glad I did as so many say they felt the same. xxx

  63. October 9, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    Laura my love, you are not a failure, in fact what you are is an inspiration to many people including me. Even though you are ‘classed as parent blogger’ to me you are so much more. You don’t need an award to tell you how great you are because deep down you know that despite how Britmums made you feel you are freaking awesome. You or Angela might not have won but for me you were both the best bloggers to win the inspirational award. But trust me you did not let anyone down. And if Joseph was here today- which he is in your heart – he would be very proud of you. You are brave, you are strong and you need to remember that. x Sending love your way x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Thank you so much Ana, I really appreciate your lovely comment and your messages too. All I ever wanted was to make Joseph proud, and I really hope that I have. I think I needed to write all of this down, draw a line under it and move on. Thank you so much. xxx

  64. Bridget - Bridie By The Sea
    October 9, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    Laura, sending you so much love – my heart was breaking slightly reading this as I completely understand what you mean. I’m not sure if it was conference overkill but there was something so daunting about Britmums. Last year I thought I felt like a tiny fish because I hadn’t been blogging long but then this year I felt much the same. The difference is this time I got to spend the day with you and Laura, which was truly amazing. Way before we were friends I adored your blog, your writing is so beautiful and as you know, I was regularly in tears reading your words – you have such a talent and I just want you to know how amazing you are xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:18 am

      Ahh Bridget, you and Laura were the only reason I didn’t get on that train and go home, and I am so glad I didn’t or I would never have got to see you stand up there and take your prize, I wouldn’t have missed that for the world. In future let’s just stick to BlogOn??! Love you lots my gorgeous friend. xxx

  65. October 9, 2017 / 11:54 pm

    Oh Laura, I know you’d struggled with your thoughts after BML, but sorry to hear it was really that bad. I wish I’d realised you’d got missed after the walk, I’d have dragged you along, but as usual I was gas-bagging away to anyone who’d listen and presumed those who weren’t with us had gone back to hotels.

    I came away disappoitned. I didn’t find it too unfriendly, but then I did know enough people there to chat to, as well as talking to a couple of random others. I didn’t go to any of the panels and only did the external non-‘blogger’ sessions so don’t feel the one up manship. I know there’s a couple who were down to speak who are so big they forget that actually most bloggers don’t have 10k views a month and that their level isn’t realistic for the majority. I work a lot of hours on my blog, but I have 1 child, a husband who falls asleep in front of the tv and so time to write. But I’m still nowhere near being a huge blogger in terms of stats. But I still am proud of my blog – it’s so much more than I thought it would be and tha’s what’s important.

    Thankfully I also miss all the gossip and nastiness because I’m at work during the day. I think as bloggers and on social media, sometimes we just need to switch off from the bad stuff and worry about what we want to do while supporting others.

    Glad to hear you’re still going to be writing.

    Emma x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:16 am

      Ahh thank you Emma, you’re so kind. It was lovely to see you and also lovely to see some of the bloggers I love and admire who were just as I knew they would be. The rest of it I struggled with, and it did leave me in a really bad place this week, but I think that’s because I felt pushed into a corner where I felt as though unless I did x, y and z, I’d never be successful. Success isn’t about following in someone else’s path though, you can be a successful blogger in your own right and that’s what I plan on doing, and AM doing. Success is so much more than stats isn’t it? Success to me is having been brave enough to write this post and had so many amazing comments from others who felt the same way and were too nervous to say it out loud. xxx

  66. Blair villanueva
    October 10, 2017 / 1:54 am

    A little sad that you sometimes find blogging stressful. Mine is, I do content depending in my mood and experiences everyday. Just go with the flow and if you find no inspiration recently, you can always have a vacation. 🙂 you deserve to relax.

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:13 am

      I totally agree, writing because I love to write is definitely the way I want to be. xx

  67. October 10, 2017 / 3:53 am

    I am sorry to hear that you felt that way at Britmums. I haven’t been in a few years. I totally love the first time I went, but didn’t feel the same way the second time. You are doing an amazing job, so keep it up!

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Thank you, I wasn’t alone in my thoughts this year, or last, but I think taking away something from it is important, even if that’s just reminding myself why I started blogging in the first place. xx

  68. October 10, 2017 / 5:35 am

    Ah sorry to hear you felt that way. I’ve never been but all I can say in onwards and upwards!

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Thank you Hannah, absolutely! xx

  69. October 10, 2017 / 7:13 am

    Im a newbie blogger, I too have felt my love for blogging slowly draining away, and I have battled with the overwhelming urge to grab my bag and catch a flight! Knowing someone else thinks that way too… Well comforting!

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Thank you Sreekar, I’m glad it wasn’t just me. xxx

  70. October 10, 2017 / 7:44 am

    Oh lovely lovely Laura. I actually had tears in my eyes reading this. Partly because it is so sad to hear that a blogger I love and have huge respect for doesn’t realise how amazingly talented they are. But also because I probably could have written exactly the same after attending Britmums 2015. I couldn’t write for a long time afterwards. I felt that Britmums had made me hate my blog. I just felt lost. I was definitely a very tiny fish in the blogging world. And it was painful to realise that. And although I still struggle with my incredibly poor stats and the fact I feel I work bloody hard for little reward. When I have a woman seek my support because they’ve just miscarried or are struggling with their mental health then I know it is all worth while. And the stats and recognition don’t really matter. Yes, there sadly are bloggers who are overly ambitious and back stabbing but there are also bloggers who are hugely supportive and are my closest friends. I guess with any career it takes you a while to find your support network. Don’t give up lovely. In my eyes, you’re a huge success. And i’m always in awe of you. Sending so much love Lucy xxxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Thank you Lucy, for this and your lovely message too. I have had so many messages from bloggers who felt the same way, then or now, and that makes me feel really sad that we are all coming away feeling pretty awful about ourselves and our blogs. I think throwing away the rule back is the first step to falling back in love with my blog, and reminding myself why I do it, because like you, when I receive messages from those who have lost a baby, that there is my motivation for writing. xxx

  71. October 10, 2017 / 7:53 am

    Oh Laura… I’m so sorry Brit Mums wasn’t the experience you wanted it to be. I fear a conference like that is a long way off for my little blog and you’ve made me think twice. Maybe it’s not for me either.
    this is the first of your posts I have read and I’ll be reading more! Keep going for me, you and all your other lovely readers. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:10 am

      Ahh thank you so much Sarah, I really appreciate you reading and commenting. I think there are some conferences which are wonderful, BlogOn for example is a million miles away from BML and I go there twice a year feeling amazing! Blogging was supposed to be fun, I want to get that fun back, and remind myself why I started it. xx

  72. October 10, 2017 / 8:12 am

    I felt sad reading the first part of your blog post as blogging is hard work and we all strive to be successful at it some time. However it takes little steps and sometimes bloggers out there can be mean. But then I read the last section of your blog and there was some optimism. Whatever you do, just never give up – take it in your own stride, do what is meaningful to you and bugger the rest.#TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:08 am

      Thank you Noleen, I definitely pulled myself out of the black hole I was in last weekend! I will never stop blogging, but I will stop caring what others think or feeling that the things I want to write about aren’t important. Thank you. xx

  73. October 10, 2017 / 8:19 am

    This is a brilliantly written post. I am so sorry you were made to feel this way at a blogging conference, surely this is the complete opposite to how they were meant to make you feel. I really hope you don’t give up blogging because of this and keep working hard to get your message out there and not feel like your life has to revolve around blogging.
    I am happy with where I am at and most definitely do not and do not want to spend every waking minute pushing and plugging away in the hopes of ‘making it’ because that’s not what blogging means to me at all. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:07 am

      Thank you Tracey, that’s a great attitude to have. It’s shocking how many bloggers felt the same way as I did, it’s really quite sad that we have come away feeling defeated rather than inspired. I’m not sure conferences have a place in the average bloggers life, unless you see your blog as a business it’s really not relevant! xx

  74. October 10, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Oh Laura such a sad experience, I’m so sorry and when you are such a blogging success with such a huge following. You should have been coming away inspired. I wish I’d known, I wish I’d spotted you there and come over to chat, I mean really chat. My experience was so different, I always walk in worrying no one will know who the hell I am and I’ll be all alone, yet somehow (probably the silly dress I wear) it doesn’t happen. I’ve never found hostility and cliques in blogging – probably because I’m not part of any, I’ve never made money from it either but I do love it and the events. I feel so sad that your experience was so different. You are a great blogger, a brilliant writer and have masses of support behind you so please don’t quit, hang on to the good things. Sending lots of love and admiration, it takes guts to write a post like this. #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:06 am

      Ahh thank you so much Fiona, I really appreciate that and all of these lovely comments have been a huge, much needed, boost to my confidence. I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet, I was so over whelmed the whole day and left feeling super emotional and really quite defeated. Onwards and upwards though, I will never stop writing, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane! xxx

      • October 10, 2017 / 9:53 am

        Good for you, if I find you are on a blogging thing I’m at again I’ll make a point of finding you, no one should ever feel as you did. xx

  75. October 10, 2017 / 8:40 am

    Gosh I am sad to read this. It makes me wish I was there so I could have given you a hug! I know what you mean about those conferences, they can be fun and invigorating or crushingly lonely and demotivating. I’m so glad to hear that you took the time to really think about things, all the people whose lives you have touched for the better, and the bloggers who have become friends, who are supportive and have your back, and have decided to keep blogging. I love your blog and your message is so important. Thank you, as always, for your honesty and courage in sharing your inner most thoughts. Much love, Sally (MeetOtherMums) x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:04 am

      Thank you Sally, I would have loved a big hug!! I have been to three BlogOn conferences now and left feeling on top of the world, but BML was very different and not an experience I want to repeat any time soon. I think conferences are great if you are business minded and want to follow a ready made path, but I much prefer to pave my own way. xx

  76. October 10, 2017 / 8:42 am

    I read this yesterday and it has kept coming back to me ever since. Thank you for writing such a brave and honest account of your experience. I’m a complete newbie here. I only started a blog because I wanted the discipline of writing something each week, and a learning platform for my web/social media studies. Reading your post has made me realise I need to always remember why I started. I am enjoying learning about how the blog could become more, but can see I could end up feeling a failure by not ‘doing it the right way’. Thank you for reminding me to always keep my reasons for starting at the front of my mind. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:03 am

      Ahh thank you so much Susan, I really appreciate your lovely comment. I think it’s very easy to get sucked in to these blogging guides when actually, nobody can teach you to write from the heart, or to follow your dreams, because they are yours and yours alone. Blogging should be fun, when it’s not….that’s when you need to take a step back. xx

  77. October 10, 2017 / 8:46 am

    I am so sorry you felt like this, I didn’t go to Britmums but I did a few years ago (when it was over 2 days) and loved it. I am so glad that you will be continuing to blog, I see you as a blogging success and so do many others.On the guest post you did for me so many people commented saying what an inspirational woman you are and how much they love your blog. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:01 am

      Thank you so much lovely, that’s really kind of you. I’m so glad you had a different experience, I have heard from others that the two day events were amazing but last year and this year had the fun sucked right out of them. xx

  78. October 10, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Even more shocking how many bloggers feel exactly the same way about these big conferences. Perhaps they’ve had their day! I’d like to see more independent regional blogging and vlogging conferences – I was thinking of setting one up myself in Leeds but it’s such a huge risk financially. Chin up, you are not alone xxx Sally xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 9:00 am

      Thank you Sally, it really is shocking, I have had so many messages from other bloggers saying they felt this exact same way, that’s really sad isn’t it? BlogOn was a completely different type of conference, it was fun and friendly and hugely motivating. I wont be going to any of these big London conferences again, I need to remember the reasons why I started blogging and they certainly weren’t for fame or fortune. xx

  79. October 10, 2017 / 9:50 am

    I am so sorry that you don’t feel that the event was the best thing for you. I do think people forget about the part-time bloggers, those who run a blog around their everyday lives and although they want to be successful they aren’t prepared to sacrifice their lives for it. You are successful and as long as you can help just a few people you’ve done so much x

  80. October 10, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Hi Laura, we have said hi before at things but I don’t think we have properly chatted before, I know you are friends with blogging people I really like the other lovely Laura (Dear Bear and Beany) though. I stumbled across your post through the black hole of social media and I just couldn’t read and not comment. I am sorry that you had such a negative Britmums experience. I actually always come away from these things feeling a mixture of deflation and inspiration, I’ve been doing them 5 years and I don’t think I will do anymore because I always come away feeling really unsure of myself.
    I don’t know if you were at the panel I was on (it was Trailblazers) but I think I mentioned something along the lines of how I don’t ever switch off, even on Christmas Day and I noticed you said similar in your post. I would hate to think that I somehow contributed into making you feel this way, I was so nervous on that panel (I don’t do public speaking AT ALL so it was a huge step for me) and I came away wishing I had spoken up more/said different things. (You probably weren’t even on it and are thinking ‘what is she going on about’ but I know it’s something that I said) The beauty of doing blogging ‘full time’ is that I get to do a job around the children and I am so grateful for that, I meant more that I never switch off in that I am always thinking of my blog, because I love it so much. I hope it wasn’t me that insinuated you couldn’t get to the top without making sacrifices or constantly chasing numbers or never taking your eyes off the ball, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. I am so grateful for the fact that blogging has bought me a career (for now) that enables me to be around my family. Yes I work hard but it’s not hard work but I like lots of people love it a lot.
    The community has changed so much since I started 7 years ago, it wasn’t about chasing numbers or anything then. I still don’t chase numbers, although of course I get excited when I hit certain milestones as it’s nice to see what you are doing is reaching people and paying off. I feel so out of it nowadays, I don’t really have a blogging group of friends anymore and while I have made some great real life friends as a result of blogging, whenever I dip my toe into Facebook groups I come away feeling a bit like a small fish in a HUGE pond too, so I think that happens however long you’ve been doing it. I often wish I had some closer blogging friends to chat to.
    I guess I wanted to say that I actually resonated with your post a lot. I have been really lucky to make blogging my career, when I started no one was making money from their blog and I was in the right place at the right time, but I get that’s doing it for money isn’t for everyone. I often wonder what the hell I am doing really as that isn’t why I started, but for now I am just enjoying making money from something that is my biggest passion and I would be doing regardless. Reading all these comments it sounds like you are a hugely inspiring member of the blogging community, a fantastic writer and it’s also made me think I am going to make time to read blogs more. I have got more into You Tube recently and it’s a reminder that actually reading a fantastic piece of writing is something which I still love more than anything. This is an essay of a comment but I wanted to say you aren’t alone in feeling like this, I tend to just stay on the sidelines and not get involved in any of the other stuff. But thank you for such an honest post. I am looking forward to reading your blog more after this. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Ahh Katie, first of all, thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate you taking the time to do that and it’s lovely of you to say such kind words. Honestly, I think the reason I came away feeling as bad as I did was more about me and less about Britmums. Obviously it didn’t help that I felt as though I was being sold a winning formula for a blog which was totally not my own, and I wish I hadn’t been made aware of all of the bitching and backstabbing, but still, I have way too many insecurities, my emotions were heightened because I was in London (and convinced I was going to die any second!) and I think two blogging conferences in two consecutive weeks had just sucked the life right out of me.
      It has been SO lovely to read that so many other bloggers can relate to this, even those I considered to be the “big fish”, and comforting to know that there is a supportive community out there. xxx

  81. October 10, 2017 / 10:05 am

    It breaks my heart that you even considered that you let Joseph down, you are the most amazing mum to him! Through your words I love Joseph and think about you and him so often, you have touched my life and my heart more than you know. Being in Australia I think I am more separate from all the blogging things as it is smaller here. Just on the weekend I was talking to a friend about some offers I received for my blog and that I turned them down because I am becoming more and more put off by bloggers that seem overly obsessed with reviews and so forth. It is like some people loose their voice, the reason why they started and for me I am happy to have less money or products in order to write from my heart. You always write from your heart and you know the balance of keeping your voice real and doing some reviews. You are one of the bloggers I admire most and don’t ever let anyone make you feel small. True friends will always shine through my lovely xx SO glad you could link up this week, sending so much love xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Ahh Mac, what would I do without you hey? Thank you, for always knowing what to say and always reminding me of what is important. I envy you being over there without the downsides of blogging, it can be unsettling, and exhausting, to be surrounded by so much negativity as there seems to be at present. I really hope that I have made Joseph proud, and all of my children, and thank you, for everything. xxx

  82. October 10, 2017 / 11:48 am

    I found your post very moving. You have and are making a big difference to people who have lost babies with your writing and blogging. There are so many paths in blogging but you have chosen one full of integrity and purpose and the blogging world needs that. You are so right to reach out to your particular blogging friends as I think we all find our lovely tribe ultimately. All the very best with your blog going forward.x #dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you so much, that’s so lovely of you to say. Finding our tribe is the only way to stay sane in this crazy world of blogging isn’t it? Thank god for the good guys. xxx

  83. October 10, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    I’m so glad I read this today. Since BritMums, I’ve been feeling much the same. My blog is tiny and pretty insignificent, but I was hoping to be inspired, to learn and to meet like minded people. This was my first Blogging Event and if I hadn’t have seen just a couple of familiar faces to say ‘Hi’ to or met the lovely Kim from If the baby allows (in the queue for the toilets of all places!), I probably wouldn’t have stayed the day. I felt so out of my depth and very lonely most of the time. I learnt a lot in the flatlay tutorial and enjoyed drawing with the Sketchbook Club, which turned the day around for me. But, overall, I left feeling that both myself and my blog were a failure. Not at all what I expected from the event. I’m currently rethinking my blog and deciding if it is worth the time I currently have for it. If I can’t apply all the the time, effort and technical knowhow required to reach an audience, maybe I should just be writing a personal diary and not staying up late writing posts? I have so much to say and so much to document, but my confidence has taken a knocking. Your blog and your writing is wonderful, never doubt yourself. Thank you for sharing such an honest post x x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Ahh Patricia, first of all I am so sorry that you too left feeling this way, but secondly, I am so comforted by the fact that you do. I have spent the last two days reading so many comments and messages from other bloggers who feel exactly the same way as we do, and that really does speak volumes. I think we just need to remember the reasons why we started blogging, prioritise our time and efforts, and realise that although these “bigger bloggers” are telling us you must do x, y and z to be a success, we can be a success in our own rights. I hope that you find your confidence again, your blog is lovely and you are a fantastic writer. Lots of love. xxx

  84. October 10, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    Its funny Laura. I see the number of comments here, the amount of loyal readers you have, and the way that you actually help and connect with people, and it makes me feel like a small fish, that I have nothing important to offer. I think that its easy for all of us to get discouraged, especially by comparing ourselves to others, and to forget that they term “success” can sometimes be defined very differently to different people. I was happy that by the end of this post you had realized that and I hope you continue to. Best wishes

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Ahh Jeremy, and yet that’s funny because I look at your posts and your blog and see you as someone to aspire to. I guess we are all feeling a little bit like a small fish at times, we all doubt ourselves or wonder if anyone is even reading at all, but you are so right. Success is such a personal thing, I know that writing this post really helped me to see that. Thank you. xx

      • October 12, 2017 / 11:54 pm

        thats sweet of you to say. My “winning formula” so far has been to write about whatever happens to pop into my head a few times a week. It may not lead to fame and fortune, but it keeps me going. Back from #thatfridaylinky

        • Laura Dove
          October 13, 2017 / 9:32 am

          That sounds like a great formula to me Jeremy! Keep doing just that! xx

  85. October 10, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    Please don’t stop! Your blog is one of the first I found that I liked. It’s one that I enjoy reading as your posts are a really good read. I get fed up with reviews. Your blog is important to so many people; just look at all these comments! Stuff the stuffy bloggers I say! Write your blog because you have something to say and readers are listening. THAT is what is important lovely. I’m so sorry to hear the event made u feel like this. #twinklytuesday

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, that’s so lovely of you to say. It’s true though, writing because you have something to say is the most important thing to me, whether it pays the bills or not. xxx

  86. October 10, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    Wow this is so sad. I’m glad I didn’t go as I’d probably have taken down my blog straight away. I like your writing and you have helped me too. Keep doing what you are doing if it’s right for you. Much love. ❤️ #dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:29 pm

      Thank you so much. Gosh these messages have meant the world to me this week, I really do appreciate it. xxx

  87. October 10, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    This is a sad read, but sadly both honest and true and yes sometime bloggers do want to put each other down which is sad x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      It’s the worst side of blogging isn’t it? I’m definitely clinging on to the good guys a little tighter right now! xx

  88. October 10, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    I know you agonised over whether to go or not so it’s SO sad to read about how it all made you feel. Like SO many others have said – you’re a real star and a gem of the blogging community. You bring so much to the table. SO VERY MUCH. Sending so much love, Hx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Thank you Holly, you are so kind. I knew it was a bad idea though! Haha!! At least I went and if nothing else, I beat my anxiety and I walked around London with my inside out coat, and I was braver than I thought I would be. It was so good to be home though, and safe to say I wont ever go back! xxx

  89. October 10, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Oh Laura. It’s so sad to think we all stood in that room feeling similar and all painted on a smile and got through the day. I actually mentioned to a couple of people that I flelt like I wanted to go home during that never ending lunch / brands / break as I just couldn’t do any more small talk. It’s utterly draining to keep smiling and saying hi to people when you feel no one seems to bothered to talk to you – I wondered if it was because no one knew my face, but perhaps it was something to do with the ambiance that day. Like you, my saving grace was the three or four bloggers I’ve come to think of as friends, who got me through the day by feeling i was there with someone, and not quite so alone. BUt you hit the nail on the head with this post. It seems more and more of blogging seems event driven, but I ain’t never going to be that blogger. Sorry again for the snippets of time we had together, and for railroading your conversation at the end of the night! (Cringe). The cheap booze went straight to my head after an emotional evening! xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      Ahh lovely, I felt so sad reading through all of the comments and thinking that so many of us stood there feeling the same. I also felt worried that I came across as rude or disconnected as I was so completely overwhelmed by it all and that feeling of wanting to run for the hills (literally) that I could barely keep smiling and chatting any longer. And bless you, I couldn’t hear a thing on the boat because of my bloody tinnitus and the boat had sent my vertigo off like crazy, I was just nodding along to conversations but couldn’t really hear much of anything! It was lovely to see you for a short while, next time we should all meet up away from a conference and just have one big party. xxx

  90. October 10, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    On the day that Britmums was taking place I was going to a wedding so I couldn’t attend. Prior to the wedding invite, I had every intention of going. I am wondering now whether it’s because I wasn’t meant to go. Your story isn’t the first I’ve read that was a negative experience. I’m saddened to hear that it made you question your blog. I am so pleased that you have decided to continue. Whilst I thankfully haven’t experienced some of the awful things other Mums, such as yourself have, I have always looked up to you and your blog as one of the best out there. Your writing always moves me – I even had goosebumps reading this. I am seriously considering whether I want to go to blogging events in the future, at the very least, Britmums. Nobody needs that kind of negativity in their lives. I’m happy in the little blogging bubble I’m in. I haven’t got the time, energy or patience for backstabbing people who have no real interest. This isn’t the back seat of the school bus anymore. I think, for the time being, I’ll stick to what I know and in time, hopefully, I will get to meet those of you who have inspired me to keep writing when I have had doubts in the past. Thank you for your honesty in this post. And Laura, you haven’t failed Joseph for a second. Quite the opposite in fact. Keep smiling. xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Ahh Jaki, I had a huge lump in my throat reading this, thank you so much. I think anyone considering a blogging event should start with BlogOn where the whole event leaves me buzzing with excitement and super inspired every time. I think BML made a mistake this year (I cant speak for previous years) in making the event WAY too serious, focusing way too much on peddling their blogging formulas and in doing so isolated a huge chunk of bloggers who end up feeling just the same way that I did. There are some lovely bloggers out there, and some amazing opportunities to be had, but blogging isn’t one size fits all and I think that’s the main thing to remember here. xxx

      • October 14, 2017 / 7:10 pm

        Looking forward to BlogOn in that case! Hope to see you there!! 🙂
        Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again on Tuesday! X

        • Laura Dove
          October 15, 2017 / 1:53 pm

          Definitely Jaki! See you Tuesday! xx

  91. October 10, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    As an absolute newcomer to this world I know how hard you work and can see that your work is heralded amongst the best for jolly good reason. In my short time on social media I recognise it’s a peculiar enviroment to say the least and ups and downs seem unfortunately far too common. That is to say, there aren’t many other professions where you would end your day feeling crap because of “colleagues” and if you did, in the real world, you could do something about it. I’m gutted you’re feeling like you do. I get it though, but I sure hope you can stay the positive that you ended this post on. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      Thank you so much, this crazy world of blogging is a tough one at times isn’t it? Last week when I left BML I was so close to quitting, but over this last week it feels as though there has been lots of signs to remind me why I love blogging so much, and the support from this post has reversed my mindset completely. There are negatives in every career, but there are some amazing sides to blogging and some wonderful people too, I will be focusing more on that! xx

  92. October 10, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    jusr to echo the sentiments above Laura. Your blog IS big in my mind and incredibly inspiring – well actually YOU are incredibly inspiring. It’s obvious that you are authentic in your posts (clearly with this one – not afraid to pull any punches!) and your blog has an amazing purpose and reason for being….. Keep going onYOUR journey – you make more difference to many women hay lots of the other so called ‘big’ blogs. Much love xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 10, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      Ahh thank you Hayley. I was terrified about sharing this, I felt as though I should just suck it up and hide away in my corner, but I am so glad that I did share it and realise that so many others feel the same way. There is no one size fits all when it comes to blogging, I think that’s the thing we all need to be more aware of. Thank you for your lovely comment. xxx

  93. Helen George
    October 10, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Your blog helped me enormously over the past two years, Laura – I sought any kind of written experience after our daughter, Alice, was stillborn and the way you wrote, and write, about Joseph and your subsequent pregnancies after loss was an enormous comfort to me, especially when I fell pregnant again last year. Your authenticity and love for your family is beautifully documented and I am so grateful that there are people like you out there willing to give hope to others at a time when it can seem like life can never go on. Thank you and please don’t stop x

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      Ahh Helen, thank you so, so much. I am so sorry about your loss but feel so honoured that you sought comfort in my words, that’s the reason I write, 100%. BML made me feel as though those posts aren’t important because they don’t catapult me to the big pay cheques, but money isn’t my motivation. Helping others and also healing my own heart, that’s why I write and I am so grateful you took the time to remind me of that. xxx

  94. October 10, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    It’s such a shame you came away from the event feeling disheartened. I hate the fact we compare ourselves to others and that we have to feel pressurised to be better. I lobe your honesty in this post and remember you’re dong a massive incredibly job raising your family.

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you so much Kirsty. I think that is what I realised mostly, raising my family will always be my priority and there is nothing at all wrong with that. xx

  95. October 10, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    I’m so sorry it left you feeling this way. I’ve only ever been to BlogOn and always feel a little on the sidelines but that’s due to my own shyness in approaching people and every time I have plucked up the courage everyone has been amazingly friendly. By the sounds of it BritMums would break me. I remember reading a lot of similar experiences from last years BritMums, it’s such a shame things haven’t changed. You are definitely a huge success in my eyes. I have been a huge fan ever since I discovered it just over a year ago. Your posts have really helped me come to terms with the losses I suffered, more than you will ever know or words can express and you will always be an inspiration to me and so many others. Keep doing what you are doing, because it matters.
    Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time x

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:32 pm

      Thank you so much Alana, that is lovely to hear. I find BlogOn really friendly (although daunting at times!) but Britmums just had the most hostile environment, I genuinely just wanted to go home as soon as I stepped foot in there. Part of me wishes I had never gone but then part of me thinks that it’s a good thing I went as ultimately I have realised what is important to me and the reasons why I blog? xx

  96. October 10, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    I don’t know why but I had a vibe about Britmums that it was a bit too high end for me, more geared towards ‘professional’ bloggers, dare I say elite? I have been to BlogOnXmas (I stood next to you at one point but was too scared to say hi 🙁 ) and BlogCampOnBoard and they were great for meeting friendly bloggers and having some fun #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      Yes!! It was exactly that!!! And oh no! You should have said hi, it would have been lovely to meet you at last. BlogOn is definitely more on my level! I had a ticket for Blog camp but was so poorly I couldn’t make it! xx

  97. October 11, 2017 / 4:07 am

    Indeed blogging is a crazy world. I love this line in your post: “It was implied that to be a real blogger we must be striving for success, making sacrifices, working tirelessly, never taking our eyes off the ball.” Also, it is always good to know that are friends are there to always support us.

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you Anosa. xxx

  98. October 11, 2017 / 5:19 am

    I always feel like the blogging community is a bit like the cool kids in high school, at some point on your blogging journey you want to be a part of it but when you get in you realise that it’s not everything you thought it would be. That’s what happened to me, I tried to be a part of the blogging community in Dubai – the foodie group – but after about 3 months I found myself not wanting to go to events because I just could not bring myself to listen to their bitching and hating and complaining. I was fed up. Not I just blog for me, I don’t treat it as work, blogging is my outlet, I love my blog and even though sometimes I want to give up I think no, this is good for me, forget everyone else. It’s a shame that what should have been a fun event and a chance to connect with others left a sour taste in your mouth, but just remember you don’t need them, you have readers who love what you right and to people like me you are one of the most inspirational bloggers I read on a regular basis.

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      YES!! You literally read my mind there! I can remember the first time I went to a conference seeing all of these big bloggers and thinking one day I want to be just like them, then you reach a point where they notice you and actually, they aren’t all they cracked up to be! Don’t get me wrong, there are some lovely bloggers out there and some of my very best friends, but it’s all about finding a group that works for you and who you trust implicitly. I don’t treat my blog as work either, although I do work hard at it, I think blogging out of a need to write is very different. Thank you so much. xxx

  99. October 11, 2017 / 8:19 am

    Its such a shame and so horrible that you had such a negative experience. It sounds like you totally have your priorities right. Your blog is brilliant and you should keep doing what you do, the way you do it. #HumpDayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      Thank you Kate, that’s so kind of you to say. xx

  100. October 11, 2017 / 8:29 am

    I think that says it all Laura. That it’s about being the best you can be on any given day. I started really taking this blogging thing proper seriously around 2 years ago. And I push myself. I love it but we all get jaded don’t we? I couldn’t justify going to Britmums this year, and I tell myself that next year I’ll go if the finances are there. It’s really interesting to hear that you just wanted to go home. As an outgoing introvert, I think I’d probably feel the same way. Good on you for blogging for you, for being true to you and not following the herd. #mg

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you Carol. I’m the same, I do push myself and I work damned hard actually, but I also have a limit and there are sacrifices I’m not willing to make. I feel hugely comforted by all of these messages, it’s good to know I’m not alone, thank you. xx

  101. October 11, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Thank you for such an honest and raw post. I completely understand exactly where you are coming from. I am not a parenting blogger and have never been to Brit Mums but I witness the hostility and backstabbing in the blogging world that you have spoken about too. It seems that everyone is so hesitant to help each other and to celebrate another one’s success. And you’re right, it is drilled into us that in order to be a successful blogger we have to live, eat and breathe blogging – well we don’t! A successful blogger is subjective to each and every one of us – my idea of success might be just writing twice a week. Another person’s idea of success might be getting paid three times a week. I just blog when I feel like it to be completely honest. Thanks again for such an honest post and sorry it was such a negative experience for you. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:15 pm

      Thank you Amy, I am so touched that so many people have taken the time to comment and share their own views on this too. I think you are totally right. Success is so personal and what is successful for one may not be successful for another. BML seemed to focus only on one kind of success, the making money side of things, which is lovely don’t get me wrong, but it’s not my motivation to blog at all! xxx

  102. October 11, 2017 / 9:42 am

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I too was a finalist years ago at BritMums but I heaved a sigh of relief when they announced the winner and it wasn’t me, lol! I didn’t want to go stand up in front of everyone! I too felt excluded and out of my depth. As a food blogger in a sea of mummy/beauty bloggers who I didn’t know I felt invisible. I’ll never go back. You just keep being your awesome self – these conferences/awards mean nothing, really.

    • Laura Dove
      October 11, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Elizabeth. I felt totally the same way too, although I had never for one minute thought I could win it (the lady I wanted to win did – yay!) I was terrified that if I did I would have to stand up there feeling even more of a fraud than I already did! It was a real learning curve, and whilst I wouldn’t go back I’m glad I did it because if nothing else I beat my anxiety just by making it there. xxx

    • October 11, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      😮 how did I miss you!?!

  103. October 11, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Hi Laura

    First of all I had to scroll a long way after all the comments so you have obviously sparked a good conversation!

    I’ve read some posts through linkys and I have always enjoyed reading. I didn’t go to Britmums but it sounds like it wouldn’t have been my thing.

    Blogging for me was a release. It wasn’t to make money although it would be nice!! I haven’t earned anything from what I have written. I work full-time in a busy NHS job juggling lots of things and this was done initially for me and then I started to realise I had helped people. Not thousands but I’ve been contacted by a handful and that feels pretty amazing.

    I have no idea about Moz, SEO and analytics. I think it’s brilliant when lots of people have liked or commented but I don’t get hung up if they don’t. I will never begin to understand facebook’s funny tricks so I won’t try! I don’t buy followers or comment on people’s posts just to get likes. If that’s what floats people’s boats then fine, it’s not for me.

    And you know what, I think that comes across in what we write. A big blog isn’t defined by number of hits, it’s about the handful of people’s lives you may have touched.

    Keep at it x

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Ahh thank you so much, you are so right. I know nothing about SEO either, I don’t want to if I’m honest because I think once you start writing to hit targets like that, you lose your writing style and your authenticity. I’m going to carry on as I am, you have a great attitude! xx

  104. October 11, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    I have not gone through what you have, but I love your blog. It tugs at my heart all the time. I know you are helping others that have gone through loss. I am an extremely small fish and I am pretty sure if I went to something like BritMumsLive I would be laughed out of the door, but I love what I am doing and that is all that matters. Please keep going with your blog, there are so many that need to hear your story.
    #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:59 am

      Thank you so much Ali, that’s lovely of you to say. You would NOT be laughed out of the door though, if I learned anything at BML it is that we are all successful in our own right and we just need to own that. xx

  105. October 11, 2017 / 3:14 pm

    I’m so sorry – everyone seems to have had quite different experiences. I have been at events where I felt a little alienated for doing it for a living (because “real bloggers do it for the passion”) and I guess the flip side of that is, as you say, feeling alienated for not working a million hours a week on the blog and bringing in millions of pounds. The fact is there isn’t a right or wrong approach to blogging and I hope you just carry on and do it for your own reasons. I would certainly miss you! xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Thank you Emily, you are so right. It’s funny how many “big bloggers” have emailed me to say that they felt the same way too so I guess it’s something we all feel across the board. I need to grow a thicker skin and be more focused on following my own path, BlogOn all the way now though! xx

  106. October 11, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Oh my goodness, I certainly didn’t expect this, and I am so glad I read it. I was looking at possibly attending next year as I wanted to learn a bit more about improving my blogging and reach, but now I don’t think I will.
    I could never eat, sleep and breathe blogging as I work full time, have twins, a puppy and write for a magazine too. Blogging for me is something I love, because I love the process of writing.
    I think I will stick to just blogging for fun. THANK YOU for your honesty and sharing

    Txxxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Thank you Tanya. blogging for fun is a great idea. I love writing and don’t ever want to lose my love for it. xx

  107. October 11, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that you struggled at the conference this year. I can only imagine how difficult it might have been. I have heard stories from former bloggers about the type of world it is out there, and what you need to do to be able to compete. And I do get their long hours and craziness to be successful. But I also understand that you need to have your why and be true to that or nothing else matters. I cannot sacrifice my time with my child for that. Of that I am sure. But it’s great that it seems like some people reminded you of why you started in the first place. So don’t give up. We still need voices like yours out there.

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:42 am

      Thank you David, I appreciate that. I feel exactly the same, I can’t sacrifice time with my children for my blog and that doesn’t mean I’m not a success, it just means my priorities are different to others. xx

  108. October 11, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    Oh darling I am so sad you feel like this and hope all the supportive messages have made you feel as respected and loved as you are. You are one of the bigger bloggers in my mind so I am really glad I didn’t go as a really small fish! And I think you are ding yourself and your family proud raising awareness of baby loss. You make a difference, since I read your latest post about Joseph I have resolved to be firmer with my midwifes; to not just take everything they say or to be gospel, to trust my gut; I pushed for an app and have been referred to Cardio as my heart rate is to high and they realised the placenta is low so are now closely monitoring that, without reading your post I would have never been brave enough to demand help. P.s I love the pick of the three of you x

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:41 am

      Ahh thank you so much Jade, I really do appreciate that and I love that my post made a difference and helped you to be firmer regarding your maternity care, that’s the reason I blog right there. I have had a really strange week but since posting this I have been completely over-whelmed by how lovely everyone has been, it was a huge reminder that the blogging community can also be supportive and kind and caring. Thank you, those two ladies are the best. xxx

  109. October 11, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    Sorry you were not happy with your time and blogging… BUT the wonderful thing about anything in life, esp blogging is that you are in control of your own happiness. Do blogging the way YOU intended it to be, not how others want you to… If blogging isn’t fun anymore, give it a facelift so-to-speak. Remember your WHY, why did you start blogging, write it down and let that be your reminder day in and day out. There’s no one way to blogging or to many things in life, so find your special way that makes you scream with JOY.
    Also know it’s normal to have days were it feels like life is kicking you in the behind and you want to curl up and and hide from the world. When you feel that way go out and treat yourself to a nice walk, grab a coffee and something sweet and know that you can change things around and good times are just around the corner… You got this lady! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:39 am

      Thank you Eloise, what lovely advice. You are so right, I only ever write when I have something to say, and some days I simply have nothing at all to share! I definitely need to throw away the rule book and focus on writing the way I want to, thank you. xx

  110. October 11, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    I’m so sorry you were left feeling like that. I’m relatively new to blogging and certainly don’t intend to spend every living moment thinking about my blog. That goes against the whole reason I started to blog in the first place! You just keep on doing what you’re doing!

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:38 am

      Thank you Jenny, that’s exactly what I intend to do, there’s room for everyone! xx

  111. October 11, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    I am sorry that you felt so down after attending BML. My blog is anonymous and a hobby – I have a full time job. I do this for me and have no illusions that it will ever be a full time job (or indeed provide any income at all to be honest).

    I was really pleased to read your three paragraphs about the success of your blog. Someone contacting you as a comfort after having miscarried again is a massive compliment and you should feel really proud of yourself for the comfort that you have and continue to give people. This is what blogging success should be about.

    Screw BML. Write the blog that you want to write, because those are the ones that leave a lasting impression. Pen x #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:36 am

      Thank you Pen, you’re so right. My blog did start as a hobby and spiralled into something more, I think it’s very easy to get swept away with the momentum and before you know it you’re inadvertently in the rat race! I’m taking myself out of it for a while to focus on my writing, that’s where my heart lies. xx

  112. October 11, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Oh lovely, this made me so sad. I can completely understand it though, I’ve heard an awful lot of negative accounts of this years and it’s a huge contribution of why I’m far too nervous to attend blogging conferences just yet. #humpdaylinky

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:34 am

      Thank you. It’s funny because I didn’t feel this way at BlogOn at all, although others have said they did, but at BML and Blogfest I just felt completely out of the loop. I think conferences are great for catching up with friends and if the sessions are right you can learn a lot, but they can also be over whelming and cliquey, I guess that’s the way of the world! xx

  113. October 11, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    I’m sorry Britmums had you feeling like this. I love your blog and really don’t think you should give up blogging. Blog on sounds like a much friendlier conference and I’m thinking about going next year.

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:33 am

      Thank you Claire. BlogOn is amazing, I had so much fun there and came away feeling super motivated, and with lots of new friends! xx

  114. October 11, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Oh this post made me feel so sad because you are an amazing blogger and you are a success. We shouldn’t let anyone tell us how to write our blog or how to feel about our blog. These are our blogs and that means that they are our rules. We also decide what success looks like. For one person it be me instafame, for another it might be that they used their blog to raise awareness and for another it might be that they make a living from their blog. Success comes in all different shapes and sizes, just like our blogs. There is no magic formula for what makes a good blogger or blog, we just have to be happy with the blog we are creating because at the end of the day as this is our space. Please don’t stop blogging xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:32 am

      YES! I think that’s the thing I have taken away from conferences, there are no rules that suit everyone, and it’s easy to forget that when you are being peddled a winning formula that actually doesn’t sit right for your blog. I admire the bloggers who do work hard and who do blog 24-7, but I also admire those who say actually, this is how I’m going to do it and I’ll be a success in my own right. Everyone is different. Thanks Emma. xxx

  115. October 11, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    I always look to you as being one of the more successful bloggers, so I am sad it made you feel this way. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:31 am

      Ahh thank you Katy. It was actually a really tough week afterwards, I just felt so disheartened by it all, but I am feeling so much more positive and have seen such kindness from the blogging community this week. Onwards and upwards! xx

  116. October 11, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Wow! This post is so honest and I think it will talk to many people out there. To be honest with you, I felt exactly the same when I went to my first conference. I was naive enough to turn up, looking forward to talking to some people I have been chatting on Twitter and they were not on the same page as me LOL. I got blanked or it was clear enough that I was just a little fish so not interesting. And I saw some bitchiness too. It made me sad but it was a lesson. Hard to take but now I expect less from this kind of events. So I turn up and talk to many people. I bet some of them think I am bonkers (I must admit I can be a bit overwhelming sometimes), but I don’t care. Blogging brought me so much and I love it. Now, I am not a talented writer as you or I am not as glam as some big bloggers out there, but I am having fun and I don’t give a S**** about what people think and you should do the same. Remember why you started blogging for and don’t worry about all those tips and stuff people tell you to do to be successful. We are all a success our own way! And don’t worry about the award. Looking at the comments you have on this post, I think it is obvious you are a top blogger in many people’s heart! Next time we attend the same conference, let’s go for some wine and cheese together! I hope I gave you a smile with my silly comment x

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:23 am

      Ahhh Cecile thank you so much, you did make me smile and the promise of wine and cheese is enough to spur me on to try another in the future. You have such a great attitude and I definitely need to grow a thicker skin, thank you for commenting, you are so lovely! xx

  117. October 11, 2017 / 10:15 pm

    I am so sorry you were made to feel like that… These huge events can be really overwhelming and quite lonely at times, and it’s easy to feel a bit crap about everything. I don’t think you have any reason to though, your blog is really lovely, and obviously really valuable to a lot of people. I haven’t been to any for a couple of years now, but if I go again, I will make more of an effort to look out for those that might be struggling….

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Thank you Emma, that’s really lovely of you to say. I think there are a lot of people who felt this way, if only we had all told each other that on the day! xx

  118. Laura H
    October 12, 2017 / 6:44 am

    I’m so sorry you were made to feel like this by this blog event. I know it is one of the biggest and one a lot of people look forward to so it’s disappointing to hear this side of the story. I think what you’re doing with your blog is amazing and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Thank God for good blogging friends who are there when you need a pick me up 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 8:16 am

      Thank you Laura. You are so right, without the lovely friends I have made I think I would have quit! xx

  119. October 12, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Ah Laura, your post will have helped so many people this week. I’m sad that you felt so down after the day – So many people have obviously felt similar to you. I remember my first blog conference 6 years ago – I was completely shocked how rude some people could be. I still think back to that day. If I hadn’t already booked and paid to attend another conference the following week, I would have packed in there and then. I’m so glad I didn’t though – the next week was much better although it my previous experience did steel me in preparation. Years later, I still blog and love the freedom – I don’t do the big conferences though. Just too old & grumpy to put up with the small talk that I was never very good at. I’m so glad to read since that you will continue your blog. It really is one of my favourites, your photos are stunning and I love your writing.

    • Laura Dove
      October 12, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Thank you so much Helen. I am SO comforted by the fact that so many people can relate to this, it’s always worse when you think you are the only one that feels this way. I think I will be avoiding the main conferences, although I do love BlogOn, and focusing more on enjoying blogging again. I think I’m getting too old and grumpy too, hehe! xx

  120. October 12, 2017 / 11:23 am

    I’m sorry you felt this way. I have blogged for years and it has changed so much over that time. I do still love it, but I do feel I get a bit lost amongst the chatter. Living up in Scotland too doesn’t help as I am so far away from events, etc. I have been to Britmums in the past and have enjoyed, but this doesn’t sound like you did. I am sorry I wasn’t there to come see you, talk to you and give you a hug, if I was I would. You are an amazing blogger, don’t give up doing what you are doing as long as you still love it. Hugs xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:53 am

      Ahh thank you Susan, I would have loved that. I think blogging has changed massively just in the last 12 months, I have noticed a huge increase in the competitive nature recently and that always brings out the worst in people. That said, I have met some wonderful bloggers who always keep me going, I think it’s just finding the positives and focusing on your own path. xx

  121. October 12, 2017 / 11:27 am

    I think you’ve struck a nerve with this post. I think BlogOn is going to very popular next year 😉 Keep up the fab work Laura and never feel like you’re inadequate x
    #Kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:52 am

      Thank you Helen. I was so scared of sharing it but it turns out a LOT of people felt the same way! xx

  122. Sarah Ann
    October 12, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Reading your post, it made me think about aspects of the blogging community I dislike: the bitchiness, the backstabbing, the desire to tear other’s down at times. Of course, it is not a reflection on the entire community, but is certainly there. I guess all we can do is focus on our blogs and enjoying how wonderful the blogging community is on the whole.

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Yes I agree, I think I had perhaps been blinkered to it somewhat? I have met some wonderful bloggers though and I think that’s the main thing, just finding a group that you can really trust and looking for the positives. xx

  123. October 12, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    Wow. What a fab post. Thank you for your honesty. I am so sorry you didn’t enjoy your Britmums experience. BlogOnXmas a few weeks ago was my first and only blogging conference so I couldn’t comment on Britmums. It is always ‘bigged up’ though so its sad to hear of all the bitching that goes on.

    To me, you are an inspiration and one of the bloggers I look up to. Your blog is amazing and the awareness you raise of baby loss is incredible. Keep being you and doing it your way x

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Thank you so much, that’s so lovely of you to say. I LOVE BlogOn, I find it fun and friendly and I always come away feeling motivated, but BML was very different to me and it seems I am not alone in that thought. This week has really shown me that there are some lovely, supportive bloggers out there, I think I needed to learn that lesson. xx

  124. October 12, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    Oh Laura, I’m so sad to hear of your bad time at Britmums. I have heard so many bad things this year that I’m not even considering you g to the next one. I feel like Britmums has the views of the blogging world that the fashion world has of the perfect size. Does that make sense? Like we are all supposed to be this perfect dedicated person but that in reality that is not the case. It’s Britmums. It focusses on mums. It’s focus should be how we do all this stuff and still be mum. But instead it’s how we can reach the top with no consideration for anyone else. Your blog is wonderful and I for one would be truly sad yo see you give it up because of a conference. I am glad all those things happened on that day to give you encouragement. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:48 am

      Lisa, that makes PERFECT sense! That’s exactly what it is, there is no bending on the one size fits all mentality? I felt so low last week but having shared this post and heard that so many felt the same way, I actually feel more motivated than ever to carry on as I am, doing what makes me happy. Life is way too short isn’t it? xx

  125. October 12, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    Wow, reading this really moved me. I’ve been beating myself up for not going to Britmums this year because I didn’t think my blog was worth it, but now I see it from an entirely different angle. We are all doing what we do, whether it’s for a career, to make money, to make a difference, as a hobby, whatever. And no ‘event’ should be defining us. I feel so sad for you that you felt that way all day, and I can only empathise with how that must have felt. On a selfish note, glad you’re sticking around! #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Thank you Aleena. I think a lot of people felt as you did and then actually felt relieved when they heard how many of us had come away feeling so inadequate and just so beaten down with it all. I wont be going back but I will continue to blog, I think if anything it has spurred me on to be more “me” than ever. xx

  126. October 12, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Oh now what a shame! I definitely don’t have the time, energy or mental capacity to be on the blogging game 24/7. I’d much rather be parenting or st the gym! I love your blog and the brilliant awareness you spread, not for money or glory but just to help people – that’s winning to me! #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Thank you Amie, that’s so kind of you to say. xx

  127. October 12, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I’m so sorry you experienced this. I went to BritMums last year and it was awful, I left early and went home. I didn’t feel overly inspired and felt it was a conference that only catered to people who wanted to ‘one of the leaders’ in the blogging industry. I hope you continue to blog and don’t let this experience get you down too much.

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Oh wow I’m so sorry you felt that way too. Had I lived local I would totally have left and gone home, infact many did leave early!! I think you are so right, perhaps I am not competitive enough for blogging, or maybe just for BML, but I will continue to blog at my own pace in my own way. Thank you. xxx

  128. October 12, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    I was always excited to attend such events because I believe they are very good medium to connect with other fellow bloggers. I completely agree with you with your thought, we have so many demotivators out there who make us feel bad. Those people are completely responsible to spoil our day.

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:43 am

      It’s sad isn’t it that so many of us come away feeling like this, I think next time I will really try harder to seek out those who are struggling just as I am. xx

  129. October 12, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    The main reason I won’t go to Britmums Live is the way people say it makes them feel inadequate. Sure, I love blogging. But some days I just don’t have the energy to put 110% into it. And although it’s my full-time job, I just don’t care. I would rather spend time with my friends and family, doing something fun. Writing content only ever happens when I’m happy.

    I’m so sorry to hear that Britmums made you doubt yourself. You are an amazing blogger, and inspire so many people with your blog. Please don’t give it up just because of one group of people and how they *think* a successful blog should be run. After all, we’re all different.

    Sending big hugs.

    Louise x

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:42 am

      Yes! I think it’s a really common reaction to conferences like this, I had no idea!! I think you have a great attitude towards blogging, just because something is your full time job doesn’t mean that it should consume your every waking moment. There is room for everyone in this crazy world of blogging, I think I just needed to realise that. xxx

  130. October 12, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    I feel like this ina lot of online communities. I just want to write. Is that so bad? Your blog is amazing. Keep going. Keep blogging. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:36 am

      YES! Me too! I just want to write, anything more is a bonus. I think that’s the best way to be! xx

  131. October 12, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I totally relate to a lot of this Laura, like I said to you before. Sending you big hugs, just keep doing you! Hope you enjoyed Disney! H x

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:36 am

      Thank you Harriet, I think a LOT of people feel the same way, not just about Britmums but about blogging in general. This week has shown me that there are some really lovely bloggers out there and as long as we all stick together, we will be just fine! It was fab, and lovely to see you as always. xxx

  132. October 12, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    I’ve never been to any blogging event, but I can definitely see myself feeling the same as you. But you, lady, are SO far from being a failure. You might not be exactly what others say you should be – what they tell you to be at blogging events and conferences, but thats what makes us unique isn’t it. You are strong, you are an amazing blogger and mother, you are an inspiration – and most definitely not a failure xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:33 am

      Thank you so much Sarah, that really is so kind of you to say. I think being unique is only ever a good thing, I’m very much trying to move forward from Britmums with a positive attitude and more determined than ever to continue on my own path. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Thanks Heather! xx

  133. October 13, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    I was relieved to read this post Laura, such sane words in what can be an insane environment! I am feeling disillusioned about that side of blogging too but I’m slowly realising like you have that just need to remain focussed on being true to my own blog. It’s like any community in life, there is bad mixed up with the good so it’s wise to learn how to tell the two apart! #blogcrush linky

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 6:40 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Liberty. I spent the best part of last week feeling like jacking in my blog and giving up altogether, and then I wrote this and realised that I’m not alone. There are so many bloggers who felt the same way at BML, or other conferences, or sat at home staring at their laptop…and that’s been a huge comfort! There will always be highs and lows to everything, I’m definitely focusing more on the highs from here. xx

  134. October 13, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    I think we all felt similar – blogging is an ever growing world and we are all small fish in giant ponds. Sorry you felt this way. Su

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      Thank you lovely, I’m still gutted that I didn’t see you there! xx

  135. What an incredibly powerful post! Absolutely Prabulous shared it on FB the other day and I saved it for later… It is every bit as good, if not better, as she made it out to be. I’ve never been to any blogging event but, as an introvert, I know I would find it extremely hard. Like you I am much happier doing my thing in my own unique ways than playing politics with a so-called community.
    Please don’t ever stop writing.
    Lots of love
    xx
    #TriumphantTales

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Ahh I love Prabs, and let me tell you, if you haven’t met her yet, she is WONDERFUL! Beautiful, kind, supportive, funny…all of those things and more. I think you’re right, doing my own thing is guaranteed to be the best way to make me happy. I wont ever stop writing, but I think I will grow a thicker skin that’s for sure! xx

  136. October 13, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience and were made to feel so bad but I’m glad that once you left and looked at blogging from another side you have seen all the success and good you have found from it. I’m the same as you, I don’t eat, sleep and breathe it but I have made some amazing friends through it, worked with some fantastic brands and you girl are helping people and raising awareness on an important subject on top of that.

    • Laura Dove
      October 13, 2017 / 5:51 pm

      Thank you so much Tanya, I instantly felt better for writing this and realising that it doesn’t matter about being at the top of your game, it’s about doing what is right for YOU! I love writing, always have, and I love the amazing friends I have made through blogging, I’m just going to stay on my own path and do what makes me happy. xx

  137. October 13, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    It’s awful that you were led to feel this way via the event and think your view of success is so much better. #mg

    • Laura Dove
      October 14, 2017 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you Helena, I think so too! xx

      • October 14, 2017 / 5:20 pm

        Returning via #bigpinklink

  138. October 14, 2017 / 10:15 am

    I ALMOST went to Britmums – like right up until the last minute but I had such a busy week of work I just had to have a day off…it sounds toxic! I would have hated to come away feeling like that…I hope you’ve got your mojo back now x #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 14, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      Ahh you really didn’t miss anything!! It seems so many of us came away feeling that way but in a way it gave me back my mojo, I’m determined to carry on writing the way I want to. xx

  139. October 15, 2017 / 7:42 am

    So sorry you had a bad experience at bml mate stick to blog on Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

    • Laura Dove
      October 15, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Definitely sticking to BlogOn, will see you in May! xx

  140. October 15, 2017 / 9:51 am

    I’m so sorry you felt like this. I didn’t go this year as I wasn’t particularly inspired last year either but I do agree not all of can and are willing to live, sleep and breathe blogging. Family is more important and knowing others have found comfort in your writing is most definitely what counts Laura. #KCAOCLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 15, 2017 / 1:11 pm

      Thank you Maria, I definitely learned that lesson and feel happier for it! xx

  141. October 15, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    I love that you’ve been brave enough to actually write about how awful your experience was. It sounds like you felt exactly the same way I felt about it last year, except I just retreated further into myself, and away from the community, and only bitched about it in my head…! It affirmed to me what I already knew-that people are generally not what they seem. For some reason, I had up until that point, thought that didn’t apply to the blogging community, which I had so far been so in love with! I won’t be attending anymore conferences, because ultimately, I don’t actually want to be a ‘blogger.’ I started blogging because I want to be a writer, so if I get the opportunity to write articles from my bedroom, for other people, then I probably won’t blog anymore! You are an excellent writer, and have not only raised awareness, but made many people, feel many things-something that all the blog tips and conferences in the world won’t do!! That already makes you one of the best. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 16, 2017 / 9:33 am

      Thank you so much lovely, I really appreciate that. I feel exactly the same, writing is my big love, not blogging. I think BML affirmed that for me too, although it was a hard lesson to learn on the day! I too believed that everyone would be as lovely as they appeared on their blog, I was saddened by the amount of bitching and back stabbing I saw and came away feeling very differently about the blogging community. Thank god for the good guys who have become some of my very best friends, without blogging I wouldn’t have them so I’m taking away the positives for sure! xx

  142. October 15, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    I read this last week, not realising it was your #bigpinklink post so I’m back to leave a proper comment now! I have heard similar things about blogging conferences and meet ups to be honest. I think you’re fab and you write brilliantly. I think it’s hard to try and maintain balance between blogging and spending time with my kids and mine is not at all ‘successful’ in term of making me money etc. But I write for me and I love it so that’s what I’m going to keep doing and I’m not going to try and keep up with the Joneses but just enjoy my time with my family 🙂 Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      October 16, 2017 / 9:29 am

      Thank you Becky, it sounds like you have a great way of looking at things. It’s hard isn’t it, to get that balance. I think it’s very easy to be swept away with the rat race but BML reminded me that I don’t want to be sacrificing my time with the children, or my sanity, to make it to the top. I’m happy being a mediocre blogger, sharing my ramblings and raising awareness. xx

  143. October 15, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Oh no Laura. I feel so sad reading that this is how you felt after attending the conference. I would have thought that everyone would have come away whooping, with their egos boosted and raring to go. I was booked in to come to BML, but didn’t make it in the end. To me you are certainly up there with the big bloggers. And I am totally in awe of you and your blog. Your posts are so heartfelt and I’m pretty sure everyone would agree that you have a knack writing in a way which connects so brilliantly with your readers. #DreamTeam xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 16, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Thank you lovely, I was sad you didn’t make it but hopefully we will meet at another event. It has taken me two weeks to really get myself back to where I was, and actually I’m glad of BML for reminding me what is important. Thank god for the lovely bloggers!! xx

  144. October 16, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Oh Laura the first part of your blog made me feel sad and a bit depressed, you’re such a key blogger with huge influence so if this conference made you feel like this what hope for the rest of us?! To be honest, this is exactly why I don’t go in for this type of thing, because I imagine it would just confirm the negative points of blogging to me too. But I’m amazed at what you say about the bitching and back stabbing, I just can’t believe this would be the case! For me, blogging is about writing and that’s what I want to focus on, rather than being made to feel inferior because I’m not posting every day or jumping through hoops that other people set. The second part of your blog was uplifting and I’m pleased to see that you feel different because of the positive aspects – that you and your blog can make a real difference to those who have experienced baby loss. Thanks for sharing such a brave and honest post. #BigPinkLink xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 16, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Ahh Cheryl thank you so much. I am very much like you, I blog because I love to write, that has always been my focus. I guess with all professions there is the good and the bad, I was sad to see that not everyone was as genuine as I had been led to believe, but at the same time happy that so many bloggers were just as wonderful as I knew they would be. The blogging community is a funny place to be at times, I’m just focusing on the positives and sticking to my own path. xxx

  145. October 17, 2017 / 5:02 am

    I’ve been to some really unpleasant blogging events in London before. A few times I even lost faith in the blogging community too.
    But for every event like this, there are others that make you inspired to keep you going.

    • Laura Dove
      October 17, 2017 / 9:41 am

      That’s so true Lubka, I think without those positives I would have given up a long time ago! xx

  146. October 17, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    I have read quite a few posts saying the BritMums made a lot of people question if they wanted to carry on blogging. I feel the same way as you – I want to be successful, but not at the expense of my family life and mental health. I want to blog because it’s a flexible career that can work AROUND my family, not the other way around. As you know, I am a big fan of your blog and the work you have done raising awareness of baby loss and supporting mothers facing it themselves is invaluable – we need you to keep blogging because you are you, and you write so beautifully.

    And actually, this post resonated with someone so much, they added it to the BlogCrush Linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

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