So, I'm heading up to AnthoCon, my last Con of the year. I'll be rooming with fellow Hiram Grange Scribe Scott Christian Carr, I'll be signing copies of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One all weekend long, I'll be speaking on the following panel Saturday at 1:00:
Reaching Through the Veil: Channeling myth, religion, spirituality and the collective unconscious in imaginative fiction
An examination of the unseen forces that influence or manifest in fiction, from a mix of genres and beliefs. Moderator: Innana Arthen. Panelists: Lincoln Crisler, Jackie Gamber, Tim Lieder, Kevin Lucia, T. J. May, W. D. Prescott, Jeremy Wagner
...trying very hard NOT to act like a little fan-boy around all the bigger writers, and as usual, seeing folks who have become very dear to me, indeed. Because that's what Cons are all about, now. I'll be honest. They always pose a conflict for me. I'm amused by simple things, so even driving to new places I find fun and exciting. I know I'll be hanging with good friends all weekend. But I also know I'll miss my wife and kids, and by Sunday, I'll be chomping at the bit to get home.
Which has made me really evaluate WHY it is I attend Cons, now. At first, it was because I was a wide-eyed newbie who knew NOTHING (aside: like I really know any more NOW), knew no one, and just wanted to get into the genre SOMEHOW. Meet people, see faces, shake hands, go to panels, list and learn.
So, after almost three years attending Cons, where am I now? Well, I'm not a marque guest, there to draw attention to the Con, also there to actually maybe make some dough selling books because I have actual fans. Won't be like that for a long time...or it may NEVER be like that.
Where does that leave me? A middling fellow, who has done readings, spoken on panels, now understands that attending a Con is NOT going to CHANGE MY WRITING FUTURE, also aware I'll spend more money attending than I'll earn selling books. AND, the kids are getting older and little more demanding of Abby when I leave them, a little more of a handful.
Why go at all, then?
Because these folks have become my support group, my horror writer support group. Binghamton is a pretty small city. Not much in the way of writers here, even LESS in the way of horror writers. So I'm pretty much all on my own. Plus, writer forums have never meant much to me. Kinda old school that way. I get a giggle from Facebook and Twitter friends once and awhile, but I really need to SEE people. That's what makes an impact on me. Actually being around and SEEING people.
So, I'm not going to AnthoCon to sell my wares, impress folks at my reading (if I even do one), try to network or wheel and deal. I'm going to see my support group. Draw energy from them, revitalize, charge myself back up from their collective batteries for this crazy thing called "writing." In essence, that's what Cons are to me, now.
And hopefully, that's what they always will be, even if my career does grow. Because being a writer is a damn lonely business.
Hard to get by without your support group.