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The Voices, or Finding Your People


There are the voices.
Ian Morgan Cron: “from one artist to another.”
Isaac Rentz: “I’m agnostic when it comes to art.”
Anne Lamott: “The voices in your head are of the wounded, raging ego.”
Bob Goff: “You aren’t as creative as him. You are as creative as you.”
Phil Vischer: “It’s not One Big Thing.”
Erwin McManus: “No other species has the ability to bring an idea into reality. That is the creative act. That is building the future. Future is the other everywhere.”
Kyle Idleman: “Don’t let your art become your idol.”

They tell the musician or the writer, the sculptor and the dancer to keep dreaming. Those are good words. They remind us we are not the only ones.


Then, the voices from the seats. They are like tokens. They are like a balm, like a handful of herbs tossed into a mortar, ground by the pestle of webbing conversations, overlapping voices and ideas, the excitement of new relationships burnished with the contentment of those already established.

The hugs from the friends who until that moment have been too few characters and too small avatars. The conversations at lunch, where someone listens with genuine interest about the latest vision, the current struggle. They celebrate each and every victory, from reaching a word count goal to signing on the dotted line. And for me, it was the extended remix version of a twenty year friendship with a beautiful, wise and real woman who thinks and challenges and hopes and dreams with me.

We all need that kind of friend.

It is the voice of my friend: “Everyone needs community.”

And indeed it is true, there is a community for everyone. Within the larger context of the Story 2012 conference, I was blessed to be among friends.

Where do you find your place(s)?

17 Comment

  1. Wow, that’s a fabulous list of voices. And friends. Thanks for giving us a little window into what sounds like a fabulous conference. I’ll have to do a little research and see about going sometime. Is it always in Chicago?

  2. Such a joy to finally meet you. I finally had a minute to decompress a bit from the event. Getting to spend time with people who get that part of my life (the writing bit) are a rarity, and I soaked every last speck I could out of that time. But it left me pretty wiped out. I look forward to starting to write this out.

  3. It was wonderful to meet you in-the-flesh, Jen. I’m in the “bumpy reentry” period, post-conference. (so I blogged on Soul Care, and tweeted to Ben that we creatives need some of that in post-STORY days.)

  4. YES. The latter kind of voice was the real reason I was there. I’m so thankful to have met you in person and shared meals with you and Kristin and the rest of this crowd of fellow creatives, and spend the weekend with Lore. It is a beautiful thing to be understood. 🙂

  5. Don’t you just love Bob Goff? I sort of want to adopt him. Now there’s an example of someone being exceptional, whose brain processes life quite differently.

    My boy spent a year going to school out in Chicago. Kinda wish he were still there. Love that city.

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