Should You Go to a Conference?

No matter what your hobbies or career choices, eventually you’ll be faced with going to a conference. Should you go or not?

The short answer is yes. You should go.

The longer answer begins with “it depends.”
Here are three things to consider when you’re decidig whether or not to go to a conference.

1. Budget

Unfortunately, conferences aren’t free. Some are more expensive than others and only you can decide if it’s worth the cost or not. If you’ve never been to that conference, it’s difficult. How can you know if a conference is worth the mone if you’ve never been? (Talk to others who have been, evaluate the speakers, etc.)

Aside from the conference fees, though, remember the travel expense and vendors. Many conferences have books or other merchanidse for sale. That needs to be considered when you decide on your budget.

2. Education

Depending on your profession. you have to have to have a certain level of continuing education credits. Because of that, you might be hesitant about going to another conference for something you don’t have to do. I understand that.

The thing is, if you don’t go to conferences that aren’t “required,” you’re behind on new advancements and upcoming trends by the time they hit the stores. That makes you scramble to try to keep up. Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting you should chase trends. Keep with what you know and love, but be aware and ready to change or adapt if there’s something new coming up that you want to incorporate in what you do.

3. Connections

Conferences allow you to network and meet with like-minded people who work in similar areas as you. Yes, you can meet people in groups on Facebook and other social media platforms, but there’s something to be said for meeting people face-to-face in real life. The shared connection of the interest the conference caters to makes networking and meeting new people easier and less awkward.

The people you meet can become friends, mentors, coworkers, collaborators, and even fans of your work. They can help you promote your work and you can help promote theirs. It’s almost like having a built-in street team.

What else?

There are many more reasons to attend conferences. I couldn’t list everything here, so I thought I would focus on the top three. What did I miss that you think is an important consideration? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Podcast: Living Your Creative Life – 6 Keys to Creativity Part 3

This is the final installment of the 6 Keys of Creativity. If you missed parts 1 and 2, links are below so you can go back and listen to them.

Part 1

Part 2

7 Methods to Cope When Life Gets in the Way

Last week was interesting. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say there are times that life gets in the way. It feels like it jumps up and slaps us in the face.

What do we do about it? Especially when things are going pretty well and we’re humming along, doing what we do.

Here are seven ideas to cope.

1. Keep on keeping on.

Sometimes the disruption is minor. We can keep on going like nothing happened. That doesn’t mean we aren’t stressed out about it or that we’re not disappointed, but we can deal with it without much interruption in our lives.

2. Take some time off.

This is what I had to do last week and why this post is late. Only you can determine how much time you need to take off. I decided that the rest of the week was right for me. It turned out to be the right decision for me. Maybe one day will work for you. Maybe a week would be better.

At the end of the week, I was ready to get back to writing. To my way of thinking, that’s how you know when you’re ready to get back to whatever you do. However, if you don’t get back to that point relatively soon, there might be something deeper going on.

3. Meditate.

I really can’t say how well this does or doesn’t work. I intend to meditate but either fall asleep or just don’t do it. I do have Insight Meditation Timer and enjoy the relaxation music to go to sleep, so that is a resource to consider.

4. Rest.

Maybe to cope with stress or unexpected events, you need more rest. Go to bed earlier. Get up later (if possible). Take a nap (again, if possible). Don’t just try to power through.

5. Escape (literally or figuratively).

Reading and watching movies are forms of figuratively escaping. A literal escape is a vacation or weekend getaway. Just don’t escape to the point of running away from whatever is going on so you don’t have to deal with it.

6. Be kind to yourself.

This should go without saying. However, I know we are our own worst critics. Goodness knows I am!

When you’re going through hard times, the temptation is even greater to be hard on yourself. Try to avoid that. You really didn’t screw up. The world isn’t going to end because of what is going on (even if it does feel like it). It will be okay.

7. Remember it’s (usually) temporary.

The world might feel topsy-turvy, but it will be back on its axis tomorrow. Take a breath and remind yourself (every five seconds if needed) it’s temporary.

Sooner or later, your world will right itself and your creativity will return

Leave a comment and tell me what works for you. Do you do any of the things on this list or something different?

Have You Ever Done a Make-Along?


Depending on what you choose to do as your creative outlet, a make-along could be a crochet-along (CAL), knit-along (KAL) or something else.
This year, I participated in my first ever crochet-alongs. One was in March for the Crochet Guild of American (CGOA) in honor of March being National Crochet Month. The second was with Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts and Furls Crochet on her desig, the Bronwyn Shawl.

I made a cowl and a short scarf for the CGOA CAL. I’m almost finished with the Bronwyn shawl. Both designs turned out absolutely beautiful. I have to admit, though, the Bronwyn shawl kind of tested my patience, especially at the beginning when I kept getting a trapezoidal shape to what is supposed to be a triangular shawl. But after starting over five or six times, I LOVE it!

The question that serves as the title for the post is a real one. Have you ever participated in any kind of make-along? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments.

5 Themes for the Days of the Week


I know themes are everywhere. Taco Tuesday. Throw-back Thursday. Woman-Crush Wednesday. And so on.
I’ve thought about themes and how they can be beneficial to a creative practice. Here are some themes I’ve been thinking about.

1. Motivational Monday.

There are so many motivational quotes and creativit quotes that could go on this day.

2. Tip Tuesday.

Afer so many years of studying creativity and developing my own theories and ideas, I have a lot of tips I can share.

3. What-if Wednesday

This sounds like it could be a brainstorming day.to come up with more ideas for future projects.

4. Thankful Thursday

In November, a lot of people do a month of Thanksgiving. But why limit it to November? For that matter, why limit it to one day of the week? Of course, it’s not. But it is a day of public gratitude.

5. Focus Friday

I have a friend who does Fnish Friday, where she wraps up ny outstanding projects for the week. I decided to kind of flip that and do a Focus Friday. This day is meant to make a list of what you need to do for the next week to be successful. You don’t have to p lan it out yet unless you do your weekly planning on Fridays, but at least you’ll have an idea of what needs to be done when you sit down TO plan it.

I know I said this was a list of five themes, but we’ve covered everything but the weekend, so….

BONUS:

6. Siesta Saturday

Yes. Siesta. Take a nap. It’s the weekend. There isn’t a law that says you have to run-run-run, go-go-go every single minute. You need to take some time to rest and recharge.

7. Serene Sunday

In our family, Sundays have historically been a quiet day. Church/reflection/quiet time. Whatever you want to do with it. Think about it like the calm before the storm that is the work (or school) week.

Are these themes that work for you? What would you change? Let me know in the comments.

Podcast: Living Your Creative Life – 6 Keys to Creativity Part 2

Today’s episode is about the next two keys of my 6 Keys to Creativity. If you missed the first part, you can listen to it here.

 

Do You Plan Everything?


I don’t know how it’s happened, but I’ve become a planner. I used to be a pantster in just about everything. Not anymore.

In writing circles, a pantster is someone who basically flies by the seat of their pants and doesn’t outline or really even plan anything about their current work in progress. Yes. That was me.

Like I said, not anymore.

If I sit down to write or do any other kind of work, I want to know what it is I’m going to do. More than that, I NEED to know what I’m going to do. I spend too much time playing games or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram if I don’t.

Maybe it’s an age thing? I don’t know. It does seem to go along with age, though. As in, the older I get, the more I need to plan.

That brings me to the point of this post.

What about you? Do you plan everything? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

If you are a pantster, do you ever see a time you will become a planner?

Better yet, do you think planning would restrict your creativity too much? That’s probably a question for another blog post, but I’m genuinely interested. Leave me a comment and let me know.