The most satisfying thing about this job is connecting with people who love the same stuff you do. And I don’t mean in a “Gosh, your books are so cool, have my babies” kind of way. I’m talking about my visits to events both now as an author and when I was a journalist, those occasions when you just get to chew the fat with fellow fans. You can do this anyway, but being a guest or a crew member carries certain advantages. Your time is structured, which I like, you feel like you have a license to talk to anyone, and a lot of people want to talk to you. Connection, right? I might protest misanthropy and snarl at the world from the safety of my garret, but we’re social creatures at heart.
Meeting people who have actually read your work is also damn cool. It demonstrates you’re not sat alone in said garret shooting words out into the inky void, but actually into the minds of fellow geeks. It reassures you that someone is willing to invest the time and effort to read what you put so much time and effort into creating. That affirmation means I can dial back on my medication, and my therapist gives me that special smile that indicates progress and perhaps, one day, release into the community. If the reader likes your work, so much the better, but it’s not crucial, and friendly negative feedback is intensely useful.
This is not about ego, but you know, being at one with your fellow man and all, in the grand communion of science fiction. The gang from Fifty Shades of Geek I was particularly impressed by. Check out their website.
Attending Black Library Live delivers even more for me on the communion front, because I’m a MASSIVE fan of GW (I bought new toys. Shh! Don’t tell the wife). And as I used to work there, I got to see a lot of old friends. Most precious of all, I got out of the house for two whole days!
I wanted to say thanks to all the pleasant people I met, and double thanks for making the 120 preview copies of Baneblade sell out in 25 minutes or so. I was the day’s first sell out! (Um, that could be read two ways. The nice way, folks, the nice way).
I had such a good time that it didn’t matter that my 2500 point Ork army, the largest fielded in some time, was utterly annihilated by Jes Bickham’s Hive Fleet Eumenides the Friday before the big day, nor that my Dakkajet, so loving painted over so much time, was shot down the turn it arrived having achieved precisely nothing. Such is the fate of all freshly finished miniatures, however. I bear no ill will. (The final beer after the game though, probably a mistake…)
A great game followed by beers followed by a great event = a great weekend. See you at the next one.