First Annual #BloggersBash – This Introvert Gets a ‘Reality’ Check

underground-534617_1280What do you get when you put two dozen introverts round a table in Pizza Express in the heart of London?  A surprisingly good time, that’s what.

I’m a rebellious introvert. You know the sort; we like to believe we’re more… um… extrovert… than we are. We’re proud of being self-contained and comfortable in our own company, but we don’t like people thinking that this makes us antisocial. So it was that when the First Annual #BloggersBash was announced a few weeks ago, I signed up enthusiastically. I wanted to be part of it, and I especially looked forward to meeting up with one or two bloggers with whom I’ve struck up a friendship over the months.

But whilst I look forward to events like this – parties, socials, gatherings of one kind or another (and I properly looked forward to this one too), when the day comes, I always inexplicably find myself wondering why I ever signed up in the first place. ‘Just get up, get washed and dressed and Get On That Train,’ my inner extrovert (is there such a thing?) ordered me. ‘Whatever resistance you’re feeling now, you know you’re going to enjoy it once you get there.’  It’s true, I DO enjoy things like this once I get there. It’s just that when it comes to the day, it always seems easier not to go.  It’s not a confidence thing; it’s not a shyness thing either. I’m not a shy person and I can hold my own in company, business or social. I do find it tiring, but not in a bad way, just in an introvert’s way.

So I got myself up, washed, dressed and off to the station. My mood lifted as a through-train arrived within a couple of minutes and it remained blissfully un-crowded for the whole journey. Decanted from the Tube at Kings Cross, I should have gone straight to the British Library. Instead, my protesting introvert reasserted itself, so I stopped to fortify its poor disconcerted soul with a Costa Coffee, Arabica, two shots. Twenty minutes later, I was ready.

And guess what? It was a super day. From the moment I wandered into the plaza at the British Library (the giant man on the loo/statue of Sir Isaac Newton) is a great landmark) and was eyeballed by BlondeWriteMore Lucy, to a last cheery hug from Suffolk Scribblings Dylan, I enjoyed every amiable, sociable moment.  The lemon drizzle cake (thanks TanGental Geoffle and sorry I’m not big on rhubarb!), the photos (looking forward to seeing how those turned out), the courtesy with which our big group was treated at Pizza Express, the Awards (well done the winners!), the conversations, positivity and friendship, and the general, warm conviviality of the whole thing.

It was fun meeting fellow bloggers ‘in the real world’ – ones I already knew and ones I didn’t – and getting to know other blogs will be an enjoyable follow-through. Sacha and her co-opted team did a terrific job of logistics and it all ran like clockwork. An afternoon filled with conversation, laughter and waves of cheering and whooping too. Amazing, when you consider most of us are unreconstructed introverts, happy to engage from the other side of our respective screens and devices but generally subdued in company.

My afternoon had an unexpected ‘extra slice’ too, with an on-spec call from a friend who lives in Manchester, who was in London with a spare afternoon and hopeful of meeting up. Turns out he was but 5 minutes down the road from our #BloggersBash, which was by then winding up. Cue a stroll up the Caledonian Road and a top-up of caffeine and conversation in a quirky café piled high with books and magazines and boasting old cinema seats for chairs and packing crates in place of tables.  Shabby chic, or just plain shabby – I’m not sure, but it was perfectly pleasant.

All in all and exceptionally enjoyable day, and all the more surprising that it all took place in Central London which, as regular readers of this blog will know, is not my favourite place to be.

To all who came, it was a great pleasure to meet you and celebrate some top writerly bloggers. Blonde Lucy… thanks for the lovely boost you gave me about my guest post. And Dylan… It was a real joy and privilege to meet you in person at last. And I can’t wait to get stuck into that next Beta read!

23 thoughts on “First Annual #BloggersBash – This Introvert Gets a ‘Reality’ Check

  1. It was a real pleasure to finally meet you too, Julie, and a very enjoyable day all round. I’ll get the book to you as soon as it’s ready (it may be some time).

  2. “I always inexplicably find myself wondering why I ever signed up in the first place.”—Oh yes, I know that feeling well. But how wonderful you all had a chance to get together. It must’ve been interesting to meet and see 3-D versions of the bloggers you ‘know’ online.

  3. Hi Jules; a real pleasure to meet you, too. It was a grand day and so good to find out we all had that last minute ‘no, I’ll stay at home and iron the cat/carpet/aspidistra’ feeling before forcing ourselves to go. Off to Kindle to buy Singled out!

    1. I think sometimes the fact that we have those last-minute insecurities make the pleasure of a great event/gathering all the sweeter. It was lovely to meet the man behind all those wonderful rambling walks!

      Oh, and thank you! I do hope you enjoy the read. Gritty it is though… You have been warned! 😉

  4. Wow, sounds like a great time. Makes me wonder if there is such a thing in my neck of the woods. (Loved the visual I got imagining the big man on the loo.)

    1. It was a lovely day. As for the man ‘on the loo’ you can check out the giant statue on The British Library website. It’s actually Sir Isaac Newton.

  5. It found this interesting as I am an introvert and I too find the effort to “get ready” to go places exhausting even if I love it when I get there. I wonder why that is?

  6. Hi Jools, it was lovely to meet you on Saturday and thank you so much for answering all the quick firing questions I threw at you in the pub! As you could probably tell I was very excitable that day what with meeting so many other bloggers.

    Your book sounds right up my street and I’ll certainly be downloading it.

    I look forward to meeting up with you again.

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Hugh. It was lovely to meet you and chat in the pub too – and I didn’t mind your questions one bit! I was interested in our differing experiences. I hope we have occasion to meet again – I feel certain there will be another #BloggersBash – and I’m already enjoying your blog. 😊

    2. Oh.. And if you do download ‘Singled Out’ I really hope you enjoy the read. It has its gritty moments though… I hope they don’t shock you! 😉

  7. Hi Jools. Shame we didn’t get a chance to talk at the Bash. Next year hopefully. Enjoyed your write up and the bit about your fortifying coffee! Yes double shots of coffee are great for zapping us introverts into these events!

    1. Thank you, and yes, it was a shame we didn’t all manage to get round and speak to everyone. But it sounds like there will be a ‘next time’. As for caffeine… Always, always I need its fortifying powers!

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