Last night Jenn and I got home from Madison, Wisconsin, where we attended WisCon 37 and spent time with more awesome people than I can count. What a great week! It was a much-needed vacation and I had a fantastic time.
I have a complicated relationship with SF conventions. Attending one is usually memorable, and often creatively energizing; at the very least it’s a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new people, and load up on books. But it’s also almost invariably a head-on collision with social anxiety and writerly self-doubt, an extended exercise is resisting the urge to cower in a hotel room, craving controlled environments and familiar routines.
But that’s the thing: it’s almost always both. Some confidence, some doubt, a lot of awkward, a handful of comfortable. At the end of the con, I’m almost always glad I went, even if it’s for a backwards reason, like appreciating the return home. This time, though, the return home was just the gravy, because the trip itself was almost uniformly positive.
It was great to catch up with friends over coffee and great food, and put faces to names (and to Twitter feeds, and Facebook statuses, and Futurismic submissions, and…you get the idea). It was also a relief to shut down routine behaviors, disconnect from the day job, and clear my head in that clean midwestern air. And while I didn’t get any writing done (why do I ever think that will happen?), I did do some fun brainstorming on a new novel — something to tackle once I finish the novella-in-progress, which is within spitting distance of being a draft at this point.
It’s good to be home, but I’m sure glad I went. Thanks, everyone, for making our Wisconsin trip such a great time. I really ought to do this more often!