I remember walking into the room of The Factory and the first thing I texted my husband was, "It's tables. Oh goodness, it's tables." For this introvert, walking by myself into a room filled with new people meant walking straight through fears and insecurities. I felt like an imposter, a rookie, an amateur. But as I found a table with some empty seats and approached, I just dove right in to the awkward introductions and small talk. And as we got to know each other, I quickly learned I wasn't alone. I quickly learned I was safe among these fellow writers. We could express our dreams and desires and goals with an understanding and bond that isn't found many places.
We sat together soaking up all the wisdom and advice and encouragement we could through the weekend. We listened to talks about honing our voices, establishing our platforms, expanding our reaches, going pro, and planning our successes. We were constantly inspired and constantly challenged.
At the end of the first night of the conference, I made a promise to publish something that night. So I ended up writing a post about how being at that writing conference actually impacted my parenting. The next morning I was suprised to find myself called on stage with Jeff, and once again walking straight through fears and insecurities as I was handed a microphone and asked about the post. I awkwardly stumbled through whatever words I could quickly gather, was super surprised to be gifted with a Kindle, and then headed back to my seat where I was met with sweet encouragement from my new friends.f
The Tribe Conference has the ability to push you out of your comfort zone and towards a more fully alive version of yourself as you press into your calling, yearnings, and journey as a writer.
The thing I appreciated most about the conference was the dynamic group of speakers and all of their different approaches. There were times it seems we were given conflicting advice. But I found myself incredibly grateful for the assortment of perspectives. For a room filled with diverse personalities, writing styles, and ambitions, being able to sort through various ways of doing this whole writing thing was so good and valuable.
You leave with direction and a plan, new friendships, and a range of much needed information for every aspect of your writing career from those who have gone before you. Now of course, you get out what you put into it. I'm sure there were some people who walked away with a different experience than I did. But I chose to see being there as a gift and an incredible opportunity. I chose to absorb everything I possibly could and learn as much as I could from as many people as I could. I chose to be fully present, despite my fears and questions and insecurities. And those choices will continue to greatly impact me as I continue along in my writing journey.
So you, my writer friend, should definitely go. It will be more than worth it!
The Tribe Conference is September 16-18th at The Factory at Franklin, just south of Nashville, TN. And there are still standard and premium tickets available. Be sure to check out www.tribeconference.com for the list of speakers, the schedule, and to purchase your ticket! You can also check out #tribeconf to scroll through some highlights from last year and other things to expect this year. And find it on twitter as @TribeConference. You absolutely cannot beat the price for the quality of speakers. I can't wait to hear about your experience!
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.