I have a tendency to be an introvert and most of my career life it has taken a concerted effort from me to reach out and connect with people, not because I’m shy or insecure but more because I’m happy living in my own head, writing, thinking, reading, watering plants, riding my bike I could go on but I’d risk boring you to tears.
I’m not afraid of getting up in front of a crowd, public speaking is one of my gifts, but hanging out in a coffee shop or night spots for any length of time isn’t my first choice. WhenI saw the challenge in the Great Writers series to “connect” I groaned inwardly.
Upon refection I realized that I had done exactly what Jeff (Goins) had recommended. There’s a group gathering outfit in town called Meet Up. There all all sorts of Meet Ups, hiking theater, painting and even writing, more specifically, WordPress Blogging and web pages. I went to the first one that purported to be an intro to WordPress and how to set up your blog. There were too many people there to really be able to interact but I’ve always figured if you come away with one juicy tidbit you can use, it’s worth the trip but I decided to try a different one the next time.
A couple of weeks later I went to a brown bag session, 11-1, at the local techie hangout. It was a really great gathering, definitely my kind of encounter with people. After I got my specific questions answered by the guru-in-residence I started chatting with some attendees around my table about what their background was, what they did, the theme or focus of their blog, and got a ton of great resource info and some really exciting new ideas and information about what they were working on. The Meet Up is a regular weekly event and I plan to attend whenever I can. I think the attendees will probably rotate so there will be fresh ideas each week and I can broaden my contact base. This works for me! Another attendee arrived later and sat down with us and wanted to pick our brains about the appearance, layout and presentation of his blog. When out time was up he asked if I’d meet with him again to discuss some things we didn;t have time to go over.
It was a truly fortuitous meeting, I had been wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life, my job search wasn’t going well and I had been taking different kinds of classes and going to job fairs for a few months. I’d been spending a lot of time on my writing and loving it. Suddenly here was someone doing planet stewardship and conflict resolution and I was resonating with every word and idea! I don’t know how this will all play out but I believe it’s the path for me (and of course as always I reserve the right to change my mind if it isn’t) Writing and speaking to raise awareness and consciousness about these important issues is essential to our survival in the universe.
I ordered a couple of books, that’s what writers do right? Writing to Change the World by Pipher and Write it Down, Make it Happen by Klauser were my choice, the first has arrived and is a perfect choice and I’m still waiting for the other but I’m feeling more convinced that I’m on the right path. I also ordered some business cards with “writer” as one of my skills on it and they’ve arrived too! I’m excited.
Reaching out and connecting is critical to having a meaningful purpose and sharing my gifts whether it’s something I do easily or if I have to work at it, it’s all part of growth and development as an individual.