If you’ve been following us for a while, you know I love to do a write-up about my When Words Collide experience. This year, as I explained in this previous post, I decided to take a light approach. I did this for mental health reasons, all things said and done.
So, did my experiment work?
I am very happy to say yes! Usually I throw myself at the weekend and attempt to fill in every 50 minute slot I can with something I think will help me at some point creatively. I get up early, drive an hour, sit from 10-6, drive an hour again, then sit at home in a vegetative state. This year I went from 3-6 on Friday afternoon, 11-6 on Saturday, and then I took off Sunday. What’s more, when I was at the conference I kept everything very low-key. I was grateful for my decision early-on because life reared its ugly head and my Thursday night was annihilated, so I was not well-rested coming into the conference.
I also refused to go to any panel that wasn’t strictly writing and reading related. A few people told me they took in excellent marketing panels, but, unfortunately, I wasn’t having any of it. Part of me was sad to have missed out on content (especially on Sunday), but a bigger part of me was relieved not to be pressured. It has been a long time since I’ve enjoyed the conference as much as I did. There was no anxiety at all, which is amazing in and of itself.
I’m itching to get my manuscript done so that I can maybe play a more active role in the editor offerings next year, but I don’t want to stress myself out ahead of time. It’s a small thought in the back of my mind. I have a lot going on right now so it might not happen.
As far as panels went this year, my favourite had to be David B. Coe interviewing Guy Gavriel Kay. Not only did they inspire me by showing me a way to meld different passions together, but Kay reinforced my belief in rereading–which I wrote about here.
On top of all this, in one panel I attended, the chair of WWC discussed how low-key WWC actually is compared to the big writing cons out there, like Surrey and World Fantasy. Since my con experience is pretty minor, I had no idea. Yes, WWC offers a lot of content, but that’s because they want to offer something to everyone. They don’t actually intend for people to take in every single thing like I try to do. I need to remember that moving forward.
If you attended how was your experience? If you’ve attended other cons I would love your two cents!