Introducing our Community Leader: Elan Morgan (Schmutzie)!
We have the most incredible community here at BlissDom Canada and our community leaders are here to make sure everyone feels valued and included. We want to give you all the chance to get to know them as much as possible before October so please take the time to follow them on twitter and chat with them and introduce yourself. They want to get to know you too!
Today: The delightful Elan Morgan (aka Schmutzie).
What do you love about BlissDom Canada?
It’s Canadian! All of the major blogging and social media conferences have historically been in the United States, and Canada needed some of its own action.
Do you have any BlissDom Canada memories you’d like to share?
My favourite BlissDom memory is actually something that happened late at night after most of the conference-goers had gone to bed. Two other bloggers and I sat up until after 2:00 a.m. talking about our lives, our writing, and our conference experience. It was powerful to spend time with like-minded, creative people who understand the work that I do. Those two hours alone were worth the price of admission.
How did you come up with the name “Schmutzie”?
The name Schmutzie was a nickname I took on with a group of friends in the 1990s. It came out of a memory of my mother always wiping “schmutz” off my face and telling me to be tidier when I was a kid. I was always more amused than annoyed by it, because I am a little storm of mess everywhere I go.
How do you nurture your creativity?
I take time every day to connect either with the creative work of someone I admire or with the creator in question, because we tend to shoot for what we think is possible, and I want to remind myself every day that more is possible. It keeps me from engaging in negative self-talk that my work will never be better or is not worthwhile now.
What advice would you give to bloggers just starting out?
Don’t panic about numbers or making best-of lists. Channel your energy into growing your talents and finding out where your strengths are. Blogging provides so many creative and professional channels for expression, so make sure not to unnecessarily limit your exploration of those channels by using follower numbers and other metrics in the beginning as a measure of your work. Those metrics aren’t a proper gauge of talents that you have yet to even really be able to explore, let alone understand and master.
What do you do for fun?
I sing in the bathtub, go on photo walks, eat really horrible junk food, leave secret graffiti in hidden places, and attend blog conferences, of course
What makes you laugh?
What are you passionate about?
I am really passionate about helping others find their voice and the courage to use it. Blogging has given me the platform where I discovered my writing, photography, and design, and it helped to push me through the difficulties of cancer, depression, and addiction. It’s a powerful medium on a personal level, and I want to help spread that power through my writing and design where I can.
Can you tell us about Grace in the Small Things?
is small community based around the idea of gratitude. I started it in 2008 after I saw a therapist who told me that I should start a gratitude journal, in part because it was a positive project that I couldn’t blow out of proportion. (I tend to blow things out of proportion). By our next meeting a week later, I had created an online social network and invited a thousand of my closest friends. Oops.
Over that first year, I shared five things I didn’t hate every day. Now I’ve scaled it back to once a week, but GraceInSmallThings.com continues to thrive. I like to say that it’s one of the few places online where nothing bad ever happens and everyone’s nice.
Can you tell us about Violence Unsilenced?
is the brilliant brainchild of Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz that has grown into a full non-profit with a board, of which I am a member. It is committed to giving both female and male survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and sexual assault a voice. In sharing their stories, not only is their silence broken, but so many others who have not felt heard can know that they are not alone and can take steps toward healing and justice. It is important for survivors to know that there is a safe and supportive community for them to be a part of, and I am honoured to be a member of that movement.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today Elan!