In the last two months, I’ve had the opportunity to go to two expos that I wouldn’t normally go to. In May, I assisted Clare C Marshall of Faery Ink Press at Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. This last week, I went to Otafest, a Japanese entertainment and anime festival here in Calgary.
Both events were outside my normal writing-convention-going self. One slanted toward movies and comics. As I was assisting a vendor, I approached the conference in a marketing mindset. The variety of creative goods for sale really got me thinking about the potential for expanding marketing for fiction novels and creative works. Some teams at the conference were doing a good job with indie published comics and novels. There were some customers there willing to support indie projects, but a lot of the people there were present for existing fandoms.
When I realized I was getting the most enjoyment out of anime-related merch/panels/cosplay, etc, I decided to register for Otafest, a primarily anime festival. I hadn’t been to Otafest in about 6 years. The price tag was heftier than I remember but the fans there were hardcore. Ninety percent of the attendees were dressed up to some degree. But these people were die-hard fans. They loved the indie creation culture and were more likely to support works of artists. But there was less original content available there than at Calgary Expo.
As a writer, I went hoping to have inspiration from the fans of existing works and to give me hope that people would love my work. And I think I found that–in abundance. But the audiences were two different worlds: Calgary Expo was mass-market, singular fandom passionate fans. Otafest was splintered and more welcoming to a variety of fandoms.
But the thing that really got me was that there is a lot of people out there willing to support creative material. There are a lot of people who see value in what writers and illustrators, etc, create. And it made me want to create more. So I think it got me moving again.
My fingers are writing words again. Even though I’m starting with a blank document and that is the most intimidating thing for me, I am writing. I am overcoming. I am on the path again. Now, to keep the passion burning.