FIRST, a confession: I follow too many accounts on Twitter—1,128 to be exact. This is the result of how I easily become curious about a wide range of topics, and most of them are related to current events, innovation, design, creativity, artistic talent, beautiful writing. The people, brands, and organizations I quietly follow keep inspiring me to act upon my dreams. In ways that I could not imagine, they how to confidently tread this crazy world and in turn make a difference. And what’s even more amazing, what they do seem so effortless because they enjoy what they are doing. One of them is a blogger, a changemaker, and one of the most creative leaders I’ve had the privilege to meet: Arriane.
One morning, I read one of her Tweets about a blogging workshop she is hosting, called Blogworthy (I find “Blogworthy” such a nice made-up word.) The poster was beautifully made by another talented graphic designer, and it made me even curious about what more this 3-day workshop can offer.
After a few days of thinking, I signed up for Blogworthy. I joined for a couple of main reasons: 1) This is a great chance to meet people who share the same interests as me, and 2) This workshop for me is an appropriate first step in gaining more confidence to write online, which entails writing for an audience that I still need getting used to. Now that my undergraduate life is over, I have all the time in the world to do the things I enjoy doing but have neglected in place of everything school-related. Joining a workshop like this is perfect timing.
Taking it seriously
The workshop ad was so enticing, and told me all I needed to know: Attendees will get to learn how create one’s own personal brand or identity online, produce quality content, and learn other fundamental basics of running a blog, and not just any other blog, but a blog that stands out.
In a nondescript street in Kapitolyo, Pasig lies a bright, colorful place named co.lab Xchange. It is a space where creative and innovative minds gather to work, collaborate, and create new projects and make ideas happen. The workshop setting reminded me of being in a preschool classroom, with all the low chairs and tables and bright neon decorations. Arriane and Rina did a fabulous job of decorating. The ambience was very apt for coming up with crazy ideas and learning new things.
The workshop started off on a quite reflective note on the first day, as we introduced ourselves and our blogs, did several worksheets that make us come up with concepts and ideas that hopefully could lead to a blog’s personal, unique identity. Since I rarely do mind-maps and organize my thoughts, I kept silently thinking, Gosh, I really need this. This is so helpful. We had about four to five worksheets in all. Every activity kept us on our toes with our minds brimming with ideas. I admit, though, that by the last activity, I wasn’t anymore sure if I was doing it right. Going through these tasks was quite fun and challenging, but it was also somehow a humbling experience that reminded me that there is always room in becoming better at your chosen craft.
Even though I often seem to be on the quiet side, I do enjoy being around people, and having majored in psychology, I’m so fascinated how the diverse personalities of each workshop attendee blended so well. It’s always such an exciting and amazing experience to get to know new people, especially those who are so deeply passionate and talented. I feel so lucky to get to learn the secrets of blogging with them, and I hope to get to know them more in the next few days. (Hi Audz, Vicky, Chely, Apa, Nina, Joanna, Niki, Abbey, Jayme and Bernice! I’m sorry if I missed anyone!)
The Little Things
Blogworthy was evidently prepared with love, from the colorful DIY decor, to the workshop presentation, to the blogging kit we each received. In each brown perforated box was a Pop Shop cake pop which is a marble frosted lollipop with red velvet cake inside, which was one of the most crazily made sweets I’ve had that tasted unbelievably good. Who would have thought that placing cake on a stick would be a good idea? The boxes also contained custom-made pencil cases (see above) from the insanely talented Abbey, and a couple of notebooks from FILED.
Red Velvet Cake Pop from Pop Shop
I learned so much from Day 1 of Blogworthy, but this is how I can best sum up one of the most important bits: When you start a blog, it’s best to have your own personal brand or theme, or adhere to a specific range of topics of interest that you want to share to the world. It’s also good to make the overall look and feel as well as the content of your blog as original as possible. Make it stand out, make it worth visiting. I still have a lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to the next two sessions!
I missed writing with a pencil! Bringing pens to this workshop reminds me that it’s a healthy exercise to lift my fingers from the keyboard once in a while and grab a pen instead.