Welcome to the final installment of my conference recollections. Here’s my final thought on the subject of conferences – don’t just get connected, stay connected.
At the conferences I’ve attended in the past I’ve met some amazing people. We chat, they give me their info, I go home and think, “Oh my gosh – he’s a multi-published author and speaker. He was just being nice. He doesn’t really want me to contact him. I’ll only be a bother.” That’s as far as it ever goes.
Well, not this time. I met some amazing people at the ACFW conference (published and pre-pubbed), and I’ve decided that this time I’m going to stalk them – I found them on Facebook, Twitter, websites, blogs, MyClassReunion.com (some of those hair styles – wow!). I make sure to email them, leave comments, “like” status updates – anything to help them remember me.
Sounds kind of desperate, doesn’t it? I’ve considered that. I’ve also considered how much I like it when people email me or comment on my blog or take the time to read my tweets. While it can seem overwhelming at times, I’m also very flattered that they care enough to think of me.
I also want these people to know that I think of them as PEOPLE, not just Mary Connealy, my favorite author in the entire universe (shameless plug), because they are people. And it’s not just the published authors that I’m staying connected with – I met some amazing pre-published gals. They’re having babies, working full time, writing blogs, and working on their manuscripts. They encourage and challenge me (even if they don’t realize it).
The thing that all of these people have in common is that they are genuinely amazing individuals that I am happy to know. I don’t just want to stay in touch so I can say that I know this author or so I can ask this writer for help – I’m invested now. I want to celebrate, mourn, struggle, and pray with them, and I’m not going to let my insecurities prevent me from doing that.
Besides, I’m a pretty spectacular person myself. Who wouldn’t want to stay in touch with me…right?
[There’s no question today – I just want to encourage you to email or call someone that you’ve been meaning to contact, but haven’t. Don’t get in your own way!]