I really didn’t manage to get anywhere near as much writing as I wanted to. The reasons behind this are many and varied. My job is still quite demanding and has not settled into a pattern I can control yet. Coupled with extended periods of extremely brain busy times which leave me with no capacity to do more than the basics. This sucks but until the situation changes which I’m hoping it will soon then that is going to remain. I am also a creature with hobbies. Musical theatre, board gaming and knitting crochet all of which a necessary to my well being to stop me going completely off the rails. But there is a part of me that feels hugely guilty that I don’t write more.
One of the things I need to do is make space for writing physically in my house I’ve made my office a dumping ground and that needs to change so I am going to have to get my bum in gear and do so sorting of stuff.
Next I’m challenging myself to write something by the end of January. Some poetry or a short story something small and doable. I feel like there is a solid white box sitting in my brain doing nothing but taking up space allowing me nothing but the ability to get the barest of essentials done. The box needs moving breaking down and redistributing but it is swollen and doesn’t want to move.
I’m aware that it sounds weird. Maybe to go with a computer analogy my hard disc is full, I need a RAM upgrade and a defragging. A hard reset wouldn’t go amiss. Though to be fair I could do without the smashing into a wall and dissolving that usually precedes them.
That said the rest over the festive period combined with headcold of doom has meant I’ve had to rest so that should help recharge.
Having just got back from Nine Worlds I’ve been reflecting on Conventions of this type and how just attending can really impact on your body. Folks tend to push themselves beyond their normal capacity for doing things because there are so many shiny things to do happening from dawn til dawn if we’re honest so here are some tips that have helped me.
Pace yourself. It sounds lame but it really helps survive the cons that run over several days. Don’t get stupidly drunk, try to grab some sleep you will handle everything better.
Plan your panels and have back up choices. Try to get to panels early and if something is full or not going to work for you go to something else. At nine worlds I had to plan carefully and I kept having to miss things because rooms were full or I had been distracted by something shiny.
Be polite. Let people come out of a room before trying to enter it. Be aware of what you are carrying and try not to take people out with it.
EAT. No I mean it you will need to. My strategy is load up on breakfast and then try to grab a decent evening meal. In between times I have a bag with various snacks that are designed to keep me going. Also be prepared to wander away from the hotel in order to find cheaper food.
DRINK. Nine Worlds were brilliant for making sure that there was tonnes of water freely available some tracks had tea available (yay feminism) but I didn’t know this in advance and I carried bottled water everywhere just in case.
Don’t try to do everything as a huge group. You will block thoroughfares, you will annoy other con-goers and half your group will be resentful of going to things they don’t want to. Instead meet up at prearranged times in pre arranged spots to squee and stuff.
Try some panels on your own. Scary I know but I ended up sitting next to or by some very interesting people who were lovely to talk to and I’m now stalking them on the twitters. A great way to make friends.
Compliment people. Not in a creepy way, when someone was wearing awesome cosplay or were wearing something cool. Or had done something cool at a panel I tried to say hello and that I liked what they were doing. It was a way of giving them a little bit of kudos and it started up a couple of cool conversations.
Enjoy yourself. That’s what cons are about at the end of the day, you get out of them what you put in.
Thank volunteers and organisers. They have worked very hard to make things happen. Show them your appreciation.