Saturday, May 31, 2014

Conventional Wisdom

You really want to know why I still go to science fiction conventions when I have so many reasons not to go?  OK, here are a few:

First,  I find it extremely difficult to write while on the road and many conventions require extensive travel.  I often think that lost time could be better spent on writing (this is probably a delusion on my part.)

Next, there's the cost.  Sure, I get a free pass on fees, but for that benefit I am obligated to entertain the paying guests by sitting on panels and BS-ing with others in the industry about whatever comes to mind.  The panel subject is usually just the starting point for a wide-ranging bull session.  To be completely honest, I generally enjoy panels and especially answering the audience's questions.

Then I have to pay for travel, the hotel, meals, etc which, while a valid business expense, is also a drain on my rather thin earnings, as it is for all the fen who go.

There's the hassle of fans, most of whom ignore me, damn it!   Overall, it's a miserable experience except for the Green room, the hallway encounters, the panels, and all the other opportunities to share moments with fellow writers, editors, fans, and publishers.  From these I always gain insights into the business, develop new friendships, hear of opportunities, and generally make myself known in the industry. I have never been to a convention where I didn't come away with valuable information or new ideas to play with.  Another benefit are the dinners and lunches with your peers - nothing is more fun that being with a group of writers letting their hair down over a few drinks and some God-awful food.

Sure, I could (and do) keep up with the same people on social media. It's nice, but nothing beats a hug or handshake from a fellow writer at a con. That brief but intimate physical contact reassures me that all that lonely dark time spent on the keyboard is worth doing.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!