7 months later and it's safe to say that I needed that long to process the sheer force of information received at last year's Blogtacular! Going back through my notes, I'd managed to fill nearly a whole notebook this time round! So much wisdom to be gathered up and made into some coherent blogs. Rather than a load of waffle and introvert ramblings!
Having attended the year before for 2016 - read my takeaways on that one here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016. This year was about building my creative community.
During my first conference in 2016, I didn't really get the buzz about community. I wasn't interested in finding out more. And it's taken me a very long time to truly understand the word 'tribe'. For some reason, I kept getting it confused with my customers. Your tribe can be your customers, just as your inner circle of friends may buy the odd thing from you. But when you really think about the roots of the word. It conjures up other words such as 'clan' or 'family'. People you follow and people whom follow you. In this digital age, that last sentence can relate very much to who follows you on social media and vice versa. Whereas, if you strip away all of the technology and think back to the first human race. A tribe were who looked after you, supported you. And you would've served towards the community in some way also.
So in this day and age, tribe, to me, means the people who understand me. Who want to come alongside me and support me. And also, those whom I want to get behind and cheer on. People whom inspire me, excite me and lift me.
Finding my creative tribe in Blogtacular has been more than a blessing. It's been and will continue to be, the highlight of my year since first attending in 2016. As a creative, we can often see the world differently. So to be amongst my people who get that, is just amazing!
There's always a lot to take in with attending Blogtacular. There is teaching and lots to learn. But also, time to indulge in creativity with other like minded individuals. Such as attending the photo walks. I was so nervous when I attended that first year in 2016. I met Rachel of ohnorachio.com fame and Kim Lawler of www.kimlawlercreative.com (not knowing at the time just how successful these people were!) and just babbling incoherently at them. I remember thinking 'ok, she doesn't know what I'm waffling on about'. It was embarrassing on my part! But then I met Steph of www.beyondthesofa.com and pretty much glued myself to her for the rest of the photo walk! (And talking of photo walks, to do one around your local area, check out my blog post for tips and join the hashtag #localphotowalk - https://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/creating-a-local-photowalk-join-the-hashtag).
Below is a photo of Adele from www.nestanddressed.co.uk. This was taken on the photo walk from Blogtacular 2016. She was posing prettily with the two gerberas and I think I made a crude/silly comment such as 'one for each boob!'. Thankfully she laughed along with me and posed to humour me! Love that gal!
Getting to know people for the first time when you don't know anyone can be overwhelming. Especially if you're an introvert, hate big crowds, get imposter syndrome, analysis paralysis and all those other insightful buzz words that describe our intricate personalities. But once you get past that first bit and start building relationships, it is so worth it!
Below are my top tips for finding the right community for you. And if you choose to read further, more of my thoughts on how I see the future of relationships. How we will interact with each other and how that will change.
Top Tips on Getting Involved
1. You can build community in any area of your life.
3. Here's a little anecdote that one of my friends gave me: remember, relationships are like farts, if you force it, it's crap!
4. Go forth. Be you, be free, connect and collaborate.
A few more deep thinking, introvert thoughts on relationships. I keep saying lately, that the world now seems to move too fast for my liking. That since 2012, the change in technology, how quickly things upgrade, has been a little shocking. If we sit and think about the progress made in those few 5 years, compared to the decades before! With this ever evolving, fast moving world, relationships will not be left out in how we engage with others.
A good few years ago, in my faith in God, I asked Him to order my friendships. That people would get in touch with me if I'd forgot them. Or I'd be prompted to get in touch with certain people to organise meet ups etc. And to help me let it go if it seemed like things weren't working. To be able to have the wisdom to say 'I'm wasting my time putting in the effort here'. And just let things fizzle out. Without the drama!
I feel like now, my close friendships that I see regularly have been whittled down to those that , to quote a RuPaul kinda phrase - 'give me life'. And there a few on the outskirts that still give me life but not as often as I'd like! And I take that as God's timing. That there are a few special people I may not see as regularly, but when I do, it is always of absolute quality and what I/the other person needs in that moment.
Another way I see relationships changing are in line with the digital age. I think I can be quite old school in wanting a face to face relationship. But when you make connections with people who live in other parts of the country, it's just not possible! And I've had to say to myself, an online relationship is just as good! I can take a while to process and embrace change. Being a part of Blogtacular has helped me embrace this online world of relationships. Being an introvert, I engage best on a deeper level. I am the one to one, deep talker. So accepting slightly more surface level relationships is a vulnerability of mine.
Another one from the photo walk of 2016. Can you spot me?! I'm at the front, far left in the pink top..
People come and go in our lives. The ones that are here for the long haul will stay for the duration of your journey. Some people are only meant to be in your life for a short while. This could mean you have something to give them. If someone pops in your life and pops out. It means you have contributed to their purpose. Or they have contributed to yours.
What are your thoughts on this changing world and how relationships may evolve? Do you agree/disagree with my thoughts? I would love to hear what others think and any other insights people are feeling/sensing.
In conclusion, I say again... Go forth! Be You. Be Free. Connect. Collaborate. Peace out.
Photo credits and more info:
This year Blogtacular are running an affiliate scheme where I can benefit if you mention me as a referral. A small commission as such. So if I have excited you enough to buy a ticket, please use my Twitter handle of @J_CreativeJulia. You can follow this link to get your ticket: https://www.universe.com/events/blogtacular-2018-tickets-london-06K2FX?ref=J_CreativeJulia
Header photo copyright of Amber Rose Photography - www.amber-rosephotography.com.
Group shot from the photo walk in 2016, copyright of Mollie Makes.
All other photos/drawings are my own.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my mug shop and Etsy shop.