Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How Allume Changed My Life (or The Day An Introvert Stopped Hating Conferences)

 (Perhaps I’m the last person in the world to write my Allume post?)

In October 2011 when I started Church Planting Confessions all the others bloggers in blogosphere were going crazy over The Relevant Conference. I decided at that moment that I would be attending in 2012. A year later and the conference is now Allume. Additionally I suddenly remembered that A.) I’m an introvert and B.) I hate conferences. You see for the last several years I’ve attended more conferences than I can count many of which I've helped staff. The rare times I had the chance to attend a session I was too drained or too underwhelmed to enjoy it.

As the weeks before Allume grew closer, these realities made me question even attending at all. Should I get someone else to buy my ticket and get the money we need so desperately?  Would it be just another trip amidst a busy fall travel schedule? Could I hack it among bigger, better, more experienced bloggers? Would my pension for anxiety and natural introversion leave me locked in a hotel room alone having wasted time, energy, and resources?

I finally bought my plane ticket the first week of October and I’m so glad I did. I knew this conference was different the moment I picked up my crazy full bags of free gifts. Every detail was done with excellence. Sarah Mae, Jessica Heights, and the rest of the team truly thought of everything.

What was most amazing about this conference was the keynote sessions. It wasn’t just the caliber of the speakers that blew me away but what they shared. All of them (successful bloggers and writers) took the stage as broken people. They all shared stories of being imperfect, unqualified, or even losing it all. 

My biggest takeaway was from Darren who reminded me to spend 90% of my time doing what will get the largest return (not the other way around). This really lifts the burden of feeling the need to do everything well all the time. 

I have to tell you that meeting the fabulous Jacqui from Faith and Simplicity alone would have made the entire trip worth it.  Jacqui’s story of tragedy and loss is so similar to mine. Her friendship alone was worth the layover. 

To all of you who made Allume what it was, I sincerely thank you. Here’s to lives of intention, writing blogs that are more than words, and investing our time in things that reap eternal dividends.

If you’re a blogger who wants to make an impact through your writing you simply must join us at Allume 2013. I promise you won’t hate conferences any more…

1 comment:

  1. Joy, it was such a blessing meeting you at the conference! God is so good to connect hearts from the east to the west. And to let you know, I haven't written my Allume post, yet! :) I have been processing and pondering, but hope to do so soon. I feel like we're long, lost friends! We'll definitely keep in touch! Blessings.