Alt Summit Taught Me To:

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Be You  |  The Fresh Exchange

It has been quiet hasn’t it? Yeah I know. Funny how a blogging conference makes it hard to blog, but time away is never a bad thing I am learning.

As you all know I was speaking at Alt Summit this year, which was a huge honor. It was completely frightening and exhilarating. I loved it. I am planning to share some of what I talked about in a post soon for those of you who were not there. It is pretty exciting to share tips and tricks about things that I have learned being a blogger so I hope you all will enjoy.

Besides speaking, Alt was amazing as always. The parties were above and beyond, there was dancing, champagne, catching up with old friends, and making new ones. Instead of giving the normal recap about every panel I thought I would talk about what Alt taught me this year.

Before heading to Alt I was personally struggling with feeling uninspired. I felt exhausted. Though traveling is pretty much the best thing ever, it can also be draining for someone who needs alone time and stability. Let’s be honest, an evening with a little Bon Iver, wine, and your Pinterest can cure all ailments right? So I left prepared to soak in whatever Alt had to teach me. I needed a little mo-jo pump up.

When arriving at Alt I found a group of women searching. Searching for sponsors, connections, publicity, and maybe even a book deal. Though many of the panels were about finding your voice, opening shops, and branding yourself, I felt this odd pressure to be making my rounds to potential sponsors and I saw many others with this “hunger”. On many levels I don’t think it is wrong to be searching and working hard to land these things. As bloggers we have something to offer and we should be compensated, and I know I have done my fair share, but within that search I know personally that passion and perspective can become lost. I have seen it in myself. This ugly head rears. Watching all these talented ladies searching and “working it” made me personally question if this was a world I wanted to be in. I am not a sales person…I am a creative; someone that just wants to inspire and challenge myself, which isn’t that why we all begin blogs?

The other thing I noticed was how much there is to keep up with. Write an editorial calendar, instagram this, hashtag it with these things, wear polka-dots, pitch an idea, create create create, give the impression it is all perfect, have a rate sheet, make original content, contribute. Then hello…Vine..! Yeah I have an account but I am scared to make a video…yeah silly I know. It concerned me for the lifestyle and design blogging community, because when were we finding time to just live the lifestyle we are exemplifying? Where is the time away from a screen? I began comparing and feeling as if I could not keep up with this. I knew it was not Alt, but just the bringing together of the community that had brought this whole thing to the surface for me.

Create Without Fear  |  The Fresh Exchange

Then Stefan Sagmeister came and saved me! At the moment I felt all this pressure and insecurity of keeping up with this world I have fallen in love with, he reminded me about what it truly means to be a creative and how it is so easy to struggle with happiness. He talked openly about how design must remain a calling. He showed how he himself has been crazy fearless with his own ideas and yes we saw all sorts of penis.

What I took away was the reminder of why I do this. Why I sit here day after day dreaming, creating, and helping things come to life for the clients I love. He refocused my head from this being about getting ahead and more about remaining real with yourself, with my creative bones, and challenged me to be more fearless. Thank you to Alt for bringing him. It altered everything in me. He pushed me and challenged me to see deeper in myself and reminded me that there is more to this whole blogging thing than just the surface of what I put out on social media and on these pages. It is about finding happiness and knowing what you want to do in this life with the talent you have been given.

So coming home, I felt this understanding of myself creatively I did not expect. For once I was giving myself more creative freedom and not shooting down ideas so quickly. It was the push I needed. I remembered why I blogged  and that I did not start this space to make money, but instead I began it as a space where I could create on my terms. If it so happens there is an amazing company that fits the bill to work alongside my creativity and vision, AWESOME! I am all about collaborating. I think when I felt failure in this space was when I felt a need to fit a mold. I forgot there is no mold in the creative life. All I have to do in this space is to use it the way I always intended to use it; as a creative outlet. Yeah, I want to create crazy shit, travel and see the most I can, do the most good I can, inspire the most I can, and I want to make babies and inspire them to live crazy creative lives too, yup that’s what I want. That’s it and whatever happens along the way of doing that is what happens. It will all come together as it should.

So whether you attended or didn’t, you may have at one time or another wondered if you could do this or if you could keep up. The truth is keeping up is not what matters, instead just do what you love. Tell the story you want in the way you think it should be told . There is no mold or formula to success. Create what you want to see, work hard, and be nice. That is it. Things come together. Everyone has their own pace because we are all individuals. We all have our time and we all have our own places in this world and community.

All these thoughts contributed to some big changes you will be seeing here (thanks once again to Alt for giving me direction). My editorial calendar is getting reals around here. I have big ideas, a new contributor (you are never going to guess who it is), and some crazy new concepts coming your way. Some of these things scare the living you know what out of me, but I figure I need to do what feels crazy more often. Breaking out of the box feels good sometimes. It’s kind of like jumping head first in to freezing cold water, a total shock at first, but you quickly adjust.

Happy Wednesday my friends! Stay true.


images via: Cory Weber

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