Professional Development 2-for-1: that’s how it happened for me….
Trying to figure out what would be the best professional development ‘EVENT’ was a tricky one. Where do I go? What do I do? What do I say about it? So… I did two events in one day… and lived to tell the tale: in blog format, no less. 🙂
For years now, I’ve been working towards pursuing a career as a freelance superhero, writer and possibility creator. An active part of the Ottawa Writing Circle’s Meetup group, I have attended several of their workshops, social mixers and I finally decided to venture out of my comfort zone to see what their OWC WRITE IN event had to offer. I have always been a very solitary figure as a writer. True, I’ve had my share of group writing and editing opportunities over the years, but this opportunity was a little bit different.
When I met up with our coordinator, Averill (@averillelisa), there were two more participants pecking away at their respective writing projects. Prior to our meeting, I had mentioned the event on Twitter– Thank you @Averillelisa for giving me my first Twitter conversation in real-time!! Not only did we mention each other by Twitter id: it also gave me an opportunity to learn new conversation skills with someone who actually Twitter talked back.
The write-in group included such writing personalities as Averill Eisa Frankes (bottom left w/ me), Alexandra, Ariel, Belle Alvine, James W. Cook, Michelle Human, Nick HJ, Sanna, Tamara and me. (all mentioned are profile names for our Meetup Ottawa Writer’s Circle Group)
Writers periodically dropped in and introduced themselves and we did have a discreet ongoing conversation; politely asking how it was going when we caught someone blankly staring at their screen. Averill did forewarn me that there were no outlets or wifi at the world exchange plaza foodcourt, so I had made a game plan in advance. I went with my trusty fully charged MacBook Pro and I used my iPhone to call up any images that I needed to play with. Airdropping stuff from my phone to my computer has become a regular practice for me— way less grunt-work!
“Can’t edit a blank page,” is one token of writerly wisdom that Averill left me with: short, sweet and to the point.
Same day, different location…
45 minutes after leaving the world exchange food-court? Yeah… I managed to haul myself and my amazing computer all the way home with a quick, portable fre-fab food that I picked up at Sobey’s with roughly 5 minutes to spare.
When I initially signed up for this online event, I thought that it might have video or some sort of interactive discussion. They’d been reminding me via text and email and I’d even built it into my calendar as a backup. I’ve done a whole lot of reading of a whole lot of books and listened to audiotapes with these fine fellows. Luminaries and philosophers and authors all rolled into one: they have distinctively different appreciation for social media.
So, I rushed home and plugged my trusty MacBook pro into my television so I could see everything hi-def… and then, it turned out that their ‘BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: How to find meaning in a messy world’ (link for encore presentation) was audio only via internet that combined the sharing power of Deepak Chopra with Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Being perspective. Bummer.I sucked it up and listened and took notes anyway. The simplicity of the presentation worked well: zero technical glitches or distractions throughout.
Common narratives revolved around the power of transformation on the other side of catastrophe and their usual ‘this is how you can build power from powerless’ mantra. The one super interesting part of their presentation talked about the tole of social media in our society at large and how it can be used to make a positive impact.
Eckart made an interesting analogy to Narcissus, touching on the superficial, facade based practices of social media. Admittedly, he doesn’t really use it much at all. On the other side of the coin, Deepak Chopra sees the power in social media for human creativity: becoming “a catalyst for collective awakening.” He brought an interesting perspective to the conversation. Talking about the power of luminaries to share their knowledge and experience with the world, Deepak sees social media as the opportunity to have more luminaries present on the world-stage.
Left exhausted and inspired by the onslaught of creative input and my own interpretation of how challenging and rewarding this social media rich, professional developmental day could be for me: my plans for a luminescent empowering career path took shape. I’m continually proving to myself that I am willing to try the impossible. Let’s face it, in my world ‘Impossible’ is what a scaredy cat says when confronted with something that seems too big to conquer. Giving up the ‘im’ part of that equation is what transformation is all about–
Transform the IMPOSSIBLE into a POSSIBILITY!!