This weekend, I will try to Create Alliances…

While many of you will be Bloggiesta-ing this weekend--Good luck! Have fun! Hope all your projects go well, and try a Mini-challenge or two while you’re at it!–I’m actually getting out from behind the computer for a couple of days and connecting with a smallish group of smart, creative women from the social-media world. (The iPad is coming with me, but the computer really will stay at home.)

Creative Alliance '12 logo

Creative Alliance ’12 (CA ’12) is

“…a boutique conference retreat experience slated for Sept. 27-30, 2012 in breathtaking Ojai, California. Founded by women savvy in social media, CA ’12 will be a smart and soulful experience where authentic and strategic alliances can be formed among creative business women in the online community.

“Built on the belief that authentic alliances are an integral component to building a successful online creative business venture, CA ’12 will focus on offering its attendees discussions that are both smart and soulful. After a weekend spent with like-minded women, CA ’12 attendees will leave armed with both information and inspiration as they continue to build their creative ventures.”

“Creative” is a word I struggle to apply to myself and what I do online, and a few freelance writing gigs do not an “online business woman” make. Yeah, I’m starting to wonder why they’re letting me come too…

This is only the second time around for Creative Alliance. I know a few people who went to the first CA in 2010, and their highly positive reactions to it were what interested me in going myself when an opportunity came around. I’ve gotten acquainted with more of the original attendees during the last several weeks, and it certainly does seem like authentic alliances were formed among them! It’s exciting to see that, but also a little nervous-making. It’s not like I’ll be the only first-timer there, but I’m starting to worry that this may all be a bit over my head.

The fact that it’s a small conference–less than 50 attendees–and will emphasize conversations in even smaller groups is good. The fact that it’s only an hour or so from home is also good.

The fact that it’s the first conference-type thing I’ve done in a couple of years with people who aren’t from my book-blogger world…probably won’t be bad, and may even be very good, but right now it’s probably the most nervous-making part of it. (Even more nervous-making than the fact that I’ve signed up to read a personal post in front of the group on Saturday night. Yes, really.) But everyone involved with the event emphasizes its supportive vibe, and reading this from returning attendee Ellie @ One Crafty Mother reinforces that:

“When my turn came, I squared my shoulders and did my best to drop the question mark. Hearing myself articulate not just my accomplishments but also my dreams (saying your dreams out loud is hard, and vulnerable-making), to a room full of women I previously considered intimidating, was so freeing. Hearing some of the biggest names in the social media world voice their own fears, or neuroses, put me instantly at ease.

“We’re all the same inside, I thought, us creative types. Balancing on that beam of creativity and ambition. Juggling mission and ego. Creating from inside but still needing some kind of validation, especially from within our own community.

“Those bigger, crazier conferences (that I shall not name) are so loud, and crazy, and full of egos clamoring for attention. Those conferences bring out the worst in me, and I won’t say my own ego isn’t tossing its hat into the fray, hoping to be noticed.

“That’s not what Creative Alliance is about, not at all. It’s about finding your inner light, articulating your dreams, obstacles and fears to safe people who get it – man, do they get it – and forming a community that will pool their ideas and resources to help you achieve those dreams.”

Going into this weekend, I’m not entirely sure exactly what my creative dreams are. The chance to figure them out is one reason I’m doing this.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be out of my comfort zone, but there’s excitement mixed in with the nervousness. It sounds like I’ll be out of my comfort zone in the most comfortable environment possible, and I’m wondering what will be created there.

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