People go to conferences all the time. They go to learn about their work or their hobby or about something they love.
I also decided to go to some conferences. I’m a writer. I thought, hey, I should go to some writing conferences. Serendipitously I signed up for two conferences in Tennessee, one right after the other. The first was a Writing conference, called Tribe 2017.
It was amazing. . . Well, it was amazing after I wasn’t sick anymore. I wrote about it here
The next one was called Story 2017, put on by a non-profit called Story Gatherings.
I had learned about it after going to a Wonder Workshop by Kid President creator and all around Whimsical Wonder Brad Montague last April. I (me and Robin Anderson, my friend and business partner for the storyettes – thank goodness for her wild hairs, literally and figuratively) loved the workshop so much we thought a conference about Story would be just the thing. I had been struggling to get my words out up to this point, so what could it hurt? Plus, I’d never been to Tennessee.
I wasn’t prepared. I had had a life changing event at the Tribe Conference, so to think the next one would be as amazing wasn’t even a thing I could comprehend.
It was so much more than I can even explain. In fact, the two are so intertwined, I need so much to tell you about what I learned.
I am beyond changed. I think I keep saying that, but I probably am not going to stop. I mean, I came to these conferences because I was tired of being the same over and over and over, so being changed is what this was all about. I wanted to learn to be different.
The problem is, we tend to forget things once we leave a magical place like this. And I am DETERMINED to remember what I learned these last two weeks. There were lectures and readings and audio-visual and demonstration and group discussion and practice and now. . . I’m going to teach you. And you, reader, get to be my guinea pig. I’m going to share my experiences and I’m going to recommend you do things. I’m going to write and teach and listen.
Here’s a short list of the things I’m going to share with you that I learned from these two conferences that are currently, actively, RIGHT NOW, changing my life.
- “What if” is a powerful and important question for, not only storytellers, but for people who just want to be happy.
- Stories bring people hope and it’s pretty selfish to keep that story to yourself. . .
- Being you is the most important thing you can be. Hiding or masking yourself is cheating you and,frankly, it’s cheating me.
- Pain is a source for good and trying to ignore it won’t help me be a better writer or person.
- Pain doesn’t have to be the ONLY focus. We can learn a way to look at things that acknowledges the pain AND makes us feel good.
- I need you and you need me and that’s not bad.
So, hi. I’m glad you are here. I’m about to put my beating heart, my ego and my insecurities on this website because I asked myself, “What if” telling my story helps you discover yours? Because that is exactly what all of the storytellers I met these magical two weeks asked themselves. . . And it worked.
I’ve discovered me.