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.

Do You Wish You Were More Creative?

Sometimes you get stuck in a rut. You think you’re not creative. Or you feel “blocked.” You get frustrated and don’t know what to do next.

Well….

I can help you with that. In more ways than one.

First, I have a few books out that address various aspects of creativity. They’re all linked below with short descriptions of each. Second, you can work with me directly in a coaching situation tailored to exactly what you need. Third, you can join my email list where you will get periodic creativity tips and other updates. I am working on a freebie to offer you when you sign up.

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone Everyone who is mae in the image of God is creative. These devotions illustrate how creativity surrounds us and how we cn use it in his service even–and especially–in unexpected ways, such as teaching, parenting, gardening, and cooking, as well as themore expoected outlets of writing, painting, and drawing. Hopefully,. they will help ignite the spark of creativity in you.

80 Creativity Tips 80 Creativity Tips provid a jump-start to sagging creativity and a boost when motivation is low.

Journal Your Way to Creativity Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided journal designed to help readers tap into their creativity. Some of the promps may sound silly, but some of the silliest prompts tend to be the ones that make you dig the deepest.

Question of the day: What is a service or product that is not listed here that you would be interested in?

Let Me Tell You a Story

Have I ever told you how I started writing? Or anything about my creative journey?

No?

I want to do that now, then.From the time I was about 7 to 16 (I’m guesstimating), my mom was a babysitter. My job, if you can really call it that, was helping to entertain the kids.

That included telling stories.

Even my brother loved my stories and frequently wanted me to tell him a bedtime story.

Eventually, I started writing them down I would also write poems. I was on the school paper and yearbook. But even though I wrote, I didn’t call myself a writer. My writing was mostly just for me at that point.

Don’t get me wrong. I had teachers who encouraged my writing, but those were mostly on school assignments. I didn’t think it was really that big a deal.

Fast-forward to college.

I was waiting for one class to let out so my class could start. I think it was Introduction to Sociology, if I remember correctly. A classmate came and sat by me (on the floor in the hall) to wait, too.

I was reading Writer’s Digest.

Her: “Oh. Are you a writer?”
Me (hesitating): “Yes.”
Her: “What do you write?”

To be totally honest, I don’t remember the rest of our conversation. It was *cough*  years ago.

Why do I remember this much of it?

It was the first time I gave myself permiossion to say I was/am a writer.

This is why I say that you are the only person who says you can or can’t be creative. It’s why I say you have to give ourself permisssion.

No one else can do that.

If you hven’t yet given yerself permission to be creative, to be a writer, to be whatever, do that now.

You might have to do it more than once. That’s OK. Just keep doing it until it sticks.

What a Creativity Coach Does

As I mentioned in previous posts, creativity coaching is a subset of life coaching. But that doesn’t tell you what a coach does or even who they work with.

So let’s address the second question first.

A creativity coach works with creative people. By my definition, that would mean everybody. Since that isn’t possible, let’s narrow it down: artists, writers, composers, dancers, and actors. Just to name a few.

But now what does a creativity coach actually do?

Well…

That’s typically between your coach and you. Each coach has a different take on things and a different specialty. I could go all generic here and talk about creativity coaches in general. But we’re on my blog and talking about something I’m interested in and love to do. So I’m going to be talking about what I would do.

First things first, I would request that you book an initial consultation using the calendar linked here. During that consultation, which would be done via either Skype or Zoom, we would discuss what your issues are and whether we could work together.

Based on that conversation, I would make a recommendation for one of my coaching packages and we would take it from there.

My packages are a combination of email and video or phone chats. You will have a contract and homework to do between sessions. Everything is designed around you and what your goals are.

So while this doesn’t tell you exactly what a coach does, it does provide a framework about how I work so you have some idea of what to expect.

Have you ever worked with a creativity coach before? How was it?

Ebook vs Print

This has been a question since Amazon came out with the first Kindle. First, I will say that as an author, I will write and publish in both digital and print formats. That’s not what I’m talking about here, though.

I’m talking about what I — and you — prefer to read.

In case you don’t know, I’m legally blind. I have difficulty reading small print, to put it mildly.

I love the feel of physical books. The crispness of the pages. The smell of a new book. The slight resistance of the spine when you open a book for the first time.

You get the idea.

The problem is most books don’t have large print. The ones that do are huge and awkward to read.

I love ebooks. I especially love that I can have hundreds of books on a device in my hand or in my bag. I don’t have to decide which books to take with me on a trip.

I love that I can make the print as large as I need it so I can read comfortably. I also like the option (in many but not all) for it to read a book to me if I’m doing something else or don’t feel like actually reading it myself do some reason.

With print books, I like that I can highlight passages or make notes in the margins. That’s not as easy to do with ebooks.

Do I think ebooks will replace print books? No. I think there will always be a place for both. I don’t think ebooks will ever fully replace hard copies of books.

At least, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.

What do you think? Will ebooks replace print books? Which do you prefer?

Blog It All (or Not)

Have you ever started something and you were so excited about it? I’m sure you have.

Then, something about it, maybe the way you bad it set up, made it feel more like a chore. You didn’t look forward to it anymore and you didn’t really want to do it. It wasn’t fun. You only did it because you felt like you had to. It was expected.

That, my friends, is where I had gotten with this blog. I needed something to make me want to do it again.

This weekend, I watched the Launch Bloggers Conference live feed. (I was originally going to go, but couldn’t.) I had a couple Aha! moments while listening to Melissa George and Marisa Mohi. Because of that, I’m making some changes here.

The main thing you’ll notice is frequency. I will no longer be trying to post every day. Instead, you can expect posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Beyond that, I will post links to podcast episodes and videos when they go up, most likely on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I’m also going to make better use of blog categories and tags. Instead of trying to do articles/opinion pieces on things I don’t know enough about, I’ll be talking more about what I know, what I’m working on, and things I use to get my work done.

There will be more behind-the-scenes stuff and explanations of why and how I do things. Instead of talking generically about creativity, I’m going to be showing more about how I use it in my life so I can give practical examples.

I think these changes will make for a more interesting and fun experience for all of us.

I’ll have another post up on Wednesday.

What Do I Pay to Get Published?

It’s often an unasked question, implied instead of direct. Many people don’t want to appear crass or rude by talking about something as obscene as money. (Please read that as tongue-in-cheek as it was intended.)

The question is still there, though. “How much do you pay to get published?”

In the early days of the Internet and before, the answer was usually nothing. “Usually” because although vanity presses and self-publishing did exist, it wasn’t as commonplace.

Now, that answer can be very different. There are a lot of things to consider before putting a book out, whether fiction or nonfiction.

An indie author has to consider whether or not they pay for:

  • Editing.
  • Formatting.
  • Cover art.
  • PR/Marketing/Advertising.

Depending on how you do things, it can get quite pricey.

Right now, I publish through KDP, part of Amazon. There is no cost to me unless or until I purchase actual print copies of my books. That’s how I prefer it.

That said, I am exploring other self-publishing options. There’s nothing wrong with Amazon, but you know the saying about don’t keep all your eggs in one basket? I’m too much in one basket. A little diversity in publishing options would be a good thing.

What about you? In what way(s) do you need to diversify?