Blogfest: Stuff I got wrong

Blogfest last year was my first ever big blogging event. As I descended the escalator into the hall full of people I half recognised from Twitter I thought:

Shit! I’ve made a terrible mistake.

Fast forward 12 months and there I was gliding down the escalator into a hall full of people I actually knew and this time I thought:

Double shit with sparkles on! I really have made a terrible mistake this time.

Instead of enjoying the day with friends I’d made over the year I had stupidly agreed to sit on stage in front of them all and speak.

The lovely ladies from Mumsnet were very keen to show me to The Green Room, where all the people who belonged on stage were sitting round discussing politics and nibbling canapes off the back of swans.

Outside in the hall people who actually knew my name were stuffing their faces with free pastries and taking bets on who was going to be the first to disgrace themselves.

What the fuck had I got myself into?

During the opening keynote discussion I found I really liked Sarah Vine, maybe I could channel her presence and self confidence while I was on stage?

As I daydreamed about becoming Sarah Vine it dawned on me that I was basically fantasizing about being married to Michael Gove.

Ironing the Chief Whip’s undercrackers is not the sort of thought you need running through your head 10 minutes before stepping out on stage.

Many years ago I tried my hand at stand up – I thought it would be a good test to see if could write funny.

I quickly realised that standing up in a room full of people was not my natural home.

Sitting in my pyjamas feeding a toddler cereal from a bowl on the floor like a dog is my natural home.

Hello Blogging!

Blogging is the perfect fit for me. No one watches you and you can edit everything the way you want it in just 40 easy drafts.

Quite why I had agreed to step on stage again and talk about comedy is beyond me. I think the ladies at Mumsnet may have evil powers.

I hated doing stand up because I was terrified and here I was again shitting myself. Fortunately the witches at Mumsnet sat me next to an expert in incontinence.

If you ever find yourself in a terrifying social situation my advice would be to take a hilariously funny Scottish lady with a strong grasp of bladder control with you.

In the end I actually enjoyed the panel discussion but there were a couple of topics that I’ve been thinking about a lot since.

Mainly to block out the images of me arguing with Michael Gove about him leaving the toilet seat up.

We talked about comedy requiring fearlessness and how you can’t teach funny.

But I’m not sure that’s exactly right.

If comedy required fearlessness Chris Ryan & Ross Kemp would be headlining Live at The Apollo.

What you actually need is a tiny moment of boldness, just a pinch of Arabella Weir’s ‘Fuck ’em‘ attitude.

Saying you can’t learn to be funny also sends a message that the whole comedy lark is too difficult.

Don’t bother trying. You’ll be shit.

I think that if you’ve already stuck your head above the parapet by starting a blog trying to be funny doesn’t require that much more fearlessnessnessness.

And remember sometimes you have to be shit to get good – how’s that for a Think Bomb?

I’m off to worry that maybe I shouldn’t have referred to the lovely ladies at Mumsnet as witches.

On second thoughts.

Fuck ’em.

17 thoughts on “Blogfest: Stuff I got wrong

  1. Moving swiftly past the thoughts of MG’s netters, it was fantastic to meet you on Saturday. And it’s worth a lot to know that someone as all round fantastic as you needs big girl knickers (with or without Tena) on occasion too.

  2. The Michael Gove thing explains an occasional slightly taut look on your face punctuated by the odd frown. Or was that the leopard skin? Fantastic they sat you next to Gussie – I wondered if she’d tried to slip one under you before it started. When we all piled out, I noticed a solitary white fluffy headband sitting on a front seat chair. #howtofindyourfanny Perhaps she’d planted a few in advance, You were great . You’ve got the ‘Fuck ’em’ attitude. What more do you want as a Mum? X

  3. Brilliant. I was right there with you. I bet you have totally undersold yourself here. I do think we can learn funny, but not everyone can deliver it or write it.
    Loved this post, and well done on getting the invite. However your description of your fellow bloggers as ‘witches’, most probably means you have had your moment in the sun. 🙂

    • That’s what I wanted to say but didn’t have the right words! Not everyone can deliver or write it – Thanks for clearing that up.

  4. Unfortunately I wasn’t at Blogfest (maybe next time) but having previously been in an audience I can only imagine what a head-*uck it must be to have all of those eyes peering at you on stage! Even more so if you’re also visualising domestic life with Mr Grove *eek!*
    I agree that comedy needs a huge dose of braveness and also self belief – I find if I laugh at my own jokes (often out of sheer nervousness!) others will laugh too…or maybe they’re laughing at me…hmm…! Great, funny post xx

  5. You did well up there and it was lovely to spend some time with you during the day bab. I’m a bit jel of the green room though. That sounded wicked! You held your own and inspired me lots xxx

  6. So, normally I’m rather a shy, univasive, wallflower type, but as a comment to this post I’m going to just put it out there and say I FUCKING LOVE THIS POST!!! (Now I feel naughty for swearing!!) (Sorry mum!!) you have nailed it. I so wish I’d attended the ‘how to find your funny’ just to meet you in person, though in sure I’d have had to pack extra Tena Lady if this were to be the case!!! I’m trying my hand at funny, but we’ll see where it ends up. First I need a bit of that Sarah Vine attitude too (I also thought she was amazing!!) Great post!! Steph xxxxx

  7. I saw you at Blogfest and thought you did brilliantly, Hence checking out your blog and commenting on everything, oops. Also very jealous that you hung out in the green room with Jon Ronson!

  8. I know I said it via twitter, but it was so good to meet you Kirsty! Really wish I’d gone to your session, heard so many good things from everyone about it AND I had no idea when sitting next to you that you’d been speaking- duh! x PS just looked at your ‘about me’ bit, and you are NO WAY 40- I want what ever you’re having if that’s the case 😉 x

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