I have been to many conferences but none fill my heart the way Realm Makers does. There’s just something special about communing with like-minded individuals that sparks joy in my soul. That fires me up and fuels me to tackle my dreams.
In fact, this was the first time I had “conference withdrawals”—yes, that’s a thing. Though I’d been eager and excited to see my family, I wasn’t quite ready to let go of all the feels Realm Makers produced for me this year.
I felt like a newbie flyer on this trip. Yes, I had flown before, but that was 15 years ago. Regulations have changed drastically since then and all these worst case scenarios kept bombing my thought trains as I prepped for the trip.
One of my biggest fears had been missing a connecting flight and getting stranded at some airport in a different state.
And as fate would have it, that almost happened! LOL.
My flight into Salt Lake City had to dock at a different terminal than originally planned, causing me to hoof it through the entire airport to reach my connecting flight on the other side. I slipped into speed walking mode, thinking I had time, but no. They announced final boarding and forced me to dash through the airport like a mad woman. Good times, good times. 😉
However, I must say, soaking in the beauty of our world from high above took my breath away—aside from the mad dash through the airport.
Deep thoughts and hidden nuggets
Whenever I go to conferences I always walk in with the mindset of being a sponge. And I pray that never changes no matter how far I travel in my career.
Because we should always be learning and growing to cultivate our craft(s)—fine tuning them if you will. To do that, we need to be open to explore the knowledge that God has put before us without the mindset of “Oh, I already know everything.” That mindset usually leads to downfall—just sayin’.
With that, here are a few of my biggest takeaways:
- Embrace YOU. The atmosphere of Realm Makers is to embrace your inner nerd and not feel ashamed about it. Which is fantastic for all of those faith-based creatives who love to get their geek on. But this atmosphere also empowers writers to know that it’s okay to define your own version of normal, that there are like-minded, faith-loving friends doing the same thing.
- Spread your heart ALL over the pages. I LOVED the class Mary Weber and Jim Rubart taught on The Heart of Your Story (paraphrased title). So many writers hold back from digging deep for fear of…well lots of things. But this class encouraged writers to not hold back from diving into those personal themes of our own life’s story. To take our hearts and spread them all over the pages. To take those experiences we’ve suffered through and turn them around as a form of ministering to others.
- Don’t focus on networking. Focus on friendships. I think adults have lost sight of the art of friendship. Making friends isn’t hard or as complicated as one may think—and this coming from an introvert. And most entrepreneurs focus a lot on who could give them a leg up or a star dazzled connection. Stop that mindset! Don’t focus on connecting with people that can give you something in return. Focus instead on building friendships, preferably the lifelong kind.
Amassing a Tribe
The writing life does not need to be a solitary one. We live lonely lives by our own choosing. We must stop.
I loved that Realm Makers gave me the chance to meet individuals face-to-face that I’d only previously chatted with online. As well as meeting so many heartwarming Realmies that I’m collecting (in a non-creepy way) to be a part of my Tribe, my community.
Because life was not meant to journey alone. Plus it’s more fun when you have others along for the ride to laugh with. 😉