This weekend I had the privilege to attend the skirt! Creative Conference, a two-day event in Atlanta, Georgia for creative women, specifically women writers, organized by skirt! magazine. Never before have I been in an environment in which I was surrounded by women who understand my passions and dreams and who genuinely seem to want me to succeed even though they’d only known me a few hours or a few minutes even. Any attempt to describe how amazing the weekend was will fall short, but over the next few days I will try to share some of the wealth of inspiration and information I received.
The conference kicked off with a keynote address by Kim Marcille Romaner, founder of Possibilities Amplified, Inc. and author of . Her talk was called Creativity in the Time of Corrosion: 6 Strategies for Surviving Today’s Belief Crisis. Why is this a time of corrosion? Quite simply because things suck – the economy is still sluggish, natural disasters are ripping through the country, and many other nations are facing civil unrest. How do you hold on to your faith, how do you hold on to the belief that you can make your creative dreams come true in the midst of all this?
Though Romaner’s theories are rooted in complex scientific theories, they’re actually quite simple.
Strategy #1: Be kind to yourself. What do you need to do to be nicer to yourself? I need to rest more so I’ll have the energy to write. I need to learn to say “no” so I’ll actually have time to write. I need to stop doubting my talent and self-worth so I’ll have the confidence to write and share my work.
Strategy #2: Let go of things you think you know. Often we have an idea of how we think things should happen and when they don’t turn out that way, when things get off track, we allow our hopes to be deflated. But we must trust that our dreams could come true in a way we have never imagined.
Strategy #3: Move into wade mode. Romaner launched into some pretty complicated science talk here, but the gist is that we need to open up to all possibilities and one way to do that is to ask unlimited questions. For example, instead of thinking I will never be able to do this ask yourself If I could do this, how would I?
Strategy #4: Raise your perspective. Instead of seeing your creativity simply as the stories you write consider how you want creativity to be expressed in every moment of your life.
Strategy #5: Expand your comfort zone. Take risks! Romaner had us make a list of risks we’d challenge ourselves to take over the next 30 days. I challenge you to do the same.
Strategy #6: Apply the Inverse Zeno Effect. I’m sure you’re thinking, WTF, but let me explain. Here Romaner explained the importance of measuring things in an encouraging, not disparaging manner. So instead of saying, “I suck. I got nothing done today,” take a closer, more honest look at your day. Write down all the things you did that were positive contributions to yourself and to others – whether it’s updating your blog or brushing your teeth.
And can you believe that was just the first day? Whew!