*This is a continuation in my 5 Part series on how to turn your creative hobby into something more. To read the first post, click here.
On my second to last day at the conference, I was licking some wounds.
The night before, a popular band had come to perform and there was a floor open for dancing. One thing you should know about me is I love a good dance. Going to dance clubs in college provided me with some of my favorite memories, and one of my first official dates with my husband involved a dance floor.
Dancing is my favorite!
But again, I was at the conference alone, and I didn’t want to be the awkward girl shaking her tail feathers solo in the corner, so I determined to mingle a bit and make some new friends.
Immediately upon entering the ballroom, I encountered a group of women I’d met briefly before. They were women who all wrote for a popular site that I enjoyed, so I introduced myself, told them how much I appreciated their writing…then I stopped talking.
I’m not a good conversationalist. Ask my husband – it’s one of the things that drives my sanguine man crazy.
Now, these women are all lovely individuals. I have no reason to think they were purposely trying to push me out, but the fact of the matter is I tried to invite myself to their party and it simply wasn’t the right moment. We all stood in an awkward circle for a few minutes until the band started playing. They started dancing, and ever so slowly I found myself standing on the outside of their circle.
I was the awkward girl shaking her tail feathers solo in a corner. So I left.
The next morning, I walked into the courtyard with a little trepidation. I was meeting someone I’d only ever communicated with online. And what’s worse, I’d asked for the meeting. After the night before, I wasn’t sure I wanted to invite myself to anymore parties so I briefly considered running.
But then I saw him and he saw me, and there was no backing out.
I’d asked Shaun Groves if we could meet face to face and talk about Compassion International and the possibility of me taking a trip with one of their blogger teams. He graciously agreed, and as this conference was in his home town, we set the meeting up.
The conversation was uplifting, encouraging, and insightful. Shaun gave me his vision for the next few trips, and we talked about some action steps I could take to perhaps join them.
We parted agreeing to pray over whether or not I would be a good fit for a Compassion Bloggers trip. I walked back to my hotel room in a fog. The emotions of the weekend were beginning to swirl around me, and I suddenly felt exhausted.
The next morning, I heard my cell phone buzz. It was from Shaun. “We’re taking a blogging team to Tanzania in May. Want to join us?”
Three months later, I was on a plane with Compassion Bloggers to Tanzania. That was the week that changed everything. It changed how I viewed my work as a writer. It changed how I viewed the world. It was the catalyst that pushed my husband and I to start the adoption process – the adoption that would ultimately be terminated.
And the balm to my grief over the termination was writing. I finished my novel in the three months after our adoption fell through, words the only thing that kept me from spinning into depression.
Taking your creative hobby to the next level will often be uncomfortable. You may have to invite yourself to a few parties. But just because you invite yourself in doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be there. You may face some rejection (in fact, it’s almost inevitable that you will), but if you’re willing to shake it off and move on to the next party, you just might find a place where you fit.
Starting a business or a ministry takes time, confidence, and loads of perseverance. We can’t cut ties and run every time we feel unwanted or uninvited. Sometimes we just have to step up and and let people know we’re here, and we bring value to the table.
A few things to consider in this second step
1.) What value do you bring to the creative marketplace? What do you have to offer?
2.) Is there already a community that’s doing what you do, or something similar to what you do?
3.) How can you step into that community and become a part of it? The fact is, we’re all better with a support network, so where can you find support in your creative pursuit?
4.) What scares you most about inviting yourself to the party? Speak truth over your fears and insecurities, and cover them in prayer.
“Do not be anxious in anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” Phillippians 4:6
Join me the rest of September as we continue to discuss how to take your creative hobby to the next level. Subscribe to my blog in the box to the right so that these posts will appear directly in your inbox!
This series is inspired by my upcoming book Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom. *
Co-authored with Wendy Speake, this book is specifically for the creative mom who wonders why on earth God designed her creative, and then gave her children. It’s full of encouragement and stories of renaissance moms who are impacting the world with their art, oftentimes with little ones by their side.
As a special incentive, if you buy your copy by the end of September you will receive a free pdf downloadable that expands more on how to turn your creative hobby into a thriving business. Offering practical tools that will help you take your art to the next level, this is the encouragement you need to move forward toward your creative pursuits.
Purchase your copy of Life Creative now, then come back and fill out the form to receive your free pdf downloadable.
*affiliate link included