Making CON-tact

It’s convention time! I know, I know, I missed not only Chicon but DragonCon, too. But I am going to ConText 25, a science fiction workshop held every year in Columbus, OH.  This year’s dates are Sept. 28-29-30, 2012.

I went for the first time last year, not sure what I’d find. It’s a small convention. But that means you can see the panelists, can shake Mike Resnick’s hand at a coffee-klatsch, meet and talk to people in the halls. Check out the “Entertaining Guests” link; it’s pretty awesome!

Next up is World Fantasy Con, November 1-4, 2012, in Toronto. I’ll be there soaking up the good vibe, meeting people, socializing for the sake of writing (honest, it’s all work-related!). If any of you will be at either of these events, look for me and say ‘Hi.’ Many folks who leave comments here, or “like” the postings, are blogging under pen names (blog names? whatever!), so I’d be unlikely to recognize your real names. Still, I’d love to meet.

This talk of conventions leaves me wondering: what do you go to conventions for? Is it to meet famous writers? To meet editors who may publish your work, or agents to represent your novel? To socialize with your peers, with professional acquaintances, or far-flung writing friends? To hang out with the ‘big league?’ Or for some reason I haven’t hit upon?

For me, it’s two-fold. First and foremost, I socialize and remind myself that, while I labor in isolation, I am part of a larger spec fic writing community. This sense of community, of belonging, then fills me with hope, and that spurs my creativity. Also, the sheer amount of creativity in some of those rooms is mind-boggling. How can I not be awed, then aspire to shine my two-cents’ worth of creativity in response? And let’s face it, some of that creativity’s got to rub off, right?

And then I have to admit, I do love the panels and workshops. There is so darn much to learn, and those authors and editors on the panels share so much with the audience, it’s informational overload. Seriously, after the 2010 WFC, I sat dazed for two days afterwards. It was shocking, it was bliss, it was exhausting!

Which leads to my only piece of advice: after a con, give yourself time to decompress, to recuperate, and to process all you’ve seen and heard. Then, get back to it and write!

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About M.E. Garber

I'm an itinerant Ohio-born speculative fiction writer now living in north central Florida.
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4 Responses to Making CON-tact

  1. Sonya says:

    Sit in the front row again and hob nob. U are destined for greatness as an author! Whooo Hooooo go girl!

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  2. You are brave! I’m a total chicken when it comes to such things. Every year I think I should go to Boskone because it’s relatively close, and every year I decide it would be nothing more than me paying to go and hide for several days.

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    • M.E. Garber says:

      The first writing convention I went to was the 2010 World Fantasy Con in Columbus. I was living there, and it seemed ridiculous not to attend when the world basically shows up on your doorstep :-). Still, I was shell-shocked. All those people, all those “big names,” and me, just a tiny little newbie writer.

      While I did retreat into my shell as a means of self-preservation, I still managed to see and hear so much that I felt it was a rousing success for a first time attendance. (And the free swag was *amazing!*) So, i’d suggest you give yourself a break, allow your inner introvert to keep you quiet but force her to let you go–at least for a day.

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