Last week, I packed my bags, kissed my husband & babies goodbye, and headed to my first ever blogging conference.
I’m definitely still in processing mode over here. Attending multiple sessions + meeting lots of new people + getting minimal sleep will do that to you. But there are a few lessons that keep rising to the surface. Here are 3 things I want to remember during future conferences:
Get outta that comfort zone.
On the second day of the conference, I was ready to go back home. I called Jonathan and cried when he had to hang up the phone. I wasn’t having as much fun as I thought. After all, I didn’t really know anyone.
Here’s the thing: I had met a lot of new people and had fun conversations with them. But since there wasn’t anyone I truly knew, I was feeling super lonely. In God’s amazing providence, guess what my topic for that night’s “Life. Intentionally.” was? Loneliness. For 6ish minutes, I talked about what to do with the loneliness feeling – whether it lasts a couple hours or a few years. And then I had the opportunity to put those thoughts into practice. You know what it looked like? Getting out of my comfort zone. It looked like talking with people when I thought they might have something better to do. It looked like being really insecure and nervous about approaching someone – and doing it anyway. It looked like me feeling like a total creeper because I kept following a certain lady around because I wanted to talk with her. I know, total stalker alert, right??
In the end, it meant meeting a bunch of new people and having conversations I never would have had if I hadn’t decided to get outta my comfort zone. Good life choice? You betcha.
Just because they’re an expert in blogging doesn’t mean they’re an expert in YOU.
You will meet a lot of experts at your blog conference. Especially if you’re following lesson #1. Experts in web tech, site design, podcasting, writing, speaking, blogging, etc. They will give you advice. They will tell you what has worked best for them + their customers. They will share things that you need to do TOMORROW. No – make that tonight. They might tell you to change some things. Write more. Write better. Write with a different voice. Start this. Quit that. Think it over. Don’t overthink it.
I’m about to hyperventilate.
Here’s the bottom line, my friends: listen to advice with an open mind. talk it out with God. take time to process + consider what will happen if you follow said advice. but don’t follow it just because an expert said to do it.
Consider the advice in light of who God has made you to be. In light of the gifts and other responsibilities He’s given you. One piece of advice that was given to me was to write more often. Right now, I pretty much average 1-2 posts per week. I’m thinking about the advice; I think there’s a lot of merit to it. I’ve already talked it out with God and my husband and plan to do that more. But it’s important not to feel pressure to do something just because an expert said to do it. They might be an expert in blogging, but they’re not an expert in me or my fam.
p.s. the great thing about going to a Christian conference is that all the organizing peeps would echo this lesson. they continually encouraged us to listen to God + follow His plans for our lives.
Take time to process.
Think. Write. Pray. Sleep. Talk. Brainstorm. I heard a lot of things at the conference – some about blogging; some about life as a Christian. Now it’s time to decide what to do with them. It’s time to put everything through the ultimate filter and see what comes out on the other side. Be careful not to immediately make goals and changes. Instead, think about the intention behind those goals. And if you don’t know what intention means, watch this and this for a super clear definition: the ___ behind your ____.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I’m still in processing mode over here. In the meantime, we’re still going strong in our “Life. Intentionally.” series on periscope! Find me at CThrelfall or you can catch all the videos right here. Tonight’s topic? being intentional with disappointments.
How about you? Have you ever attended a conference – blogging or otherwise?
What are some tips you’ve learned? Let’s start a helpful discussion in the comments!