On Monday I shared most of the photos I took at Alt, but today and tomorrow I wanted to share some of the takeaways that I’ve been thinking about since I left.
I took in so much information at Alt, including lots of great tips, but rather than break down my notes for you guys, I decided to divide my thoughts into two posts. What I’m taking away from the overall messages I heard there. Today I want to talk about authenticity, persistence, and originality.
It’s funny, because I would have thought that in blogging things would get easier over time. I’ve written about the cyclical nature of blogging before, but there’s something else at play here that I hadn’t considered before. As your audience grows and you’ve been doing this for a while, some fear starts to creep in. You become gradually aware that people are watching you. And although that can be empowering, it can also be limiting. After all, the last thing you would want to do is lose that audience you’ve worked so hard to build.
I’m a collector, so as I’ve gathered information and inspiration from the online community over time, things have started to feel crowded. It’s easy to feel like there’s not a lot of room to truly be original in this insanely creative community, and we all know that being unoriginal, or worse, possibly too influenced by others, is really the kiss of death in this online space.
I think a lot us, myself included, let fear rule our decisions on an all-too-regular basis. Fear of what others will think, fear of failing, fear of not being good enough. The message in so many of the talks was about the importance of exploring. I definitely walked away from this trip with a renewed commitment to thinking outside the box.
Garance Doré spoke about dealing with negativity, and while I honestly haven’t encountered much negativity directed towards me online, so much of what she said about being true to yourself hit close to home for me. There will be challenges and hiccups, but being true to yourself and continuing to put yourself out there is a choice you will have to make over and over again. Not just once- the challenge doesn’t go away after your click publish on your first blog post.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to be better like yesterday. Inevitably when you go to a conference where you’re learning a lot in a short period of time, it’s easy to come home and feel like you’re spinning your wheels. It takes me about a day or two to start feeling frustrated that I can start implementing everything at once. So I’m trying to remember this week that this is all a process. Progress happens a little at time, and there are some things in regards to my business that will never be “done.” Some things are always a work in progress.
What do you think? I want to hear! And stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!