Report from Balticon


It would be entirely too easy for me to write a nice long woe-is-me post regarding my experiences with doing one day of Balticon.  However, I’m trying to avoid woe-is-me posts, because I don’t like reading them when other people do them, so instead I’m just going to do some lessons learned.

Lesson one.  One day is not enough to do a convention.  Sure, it lets you attend some panels and wander around the dealers room, but it means you’re there as a casual fan rather than someone who is serious about getting some networking done.  The two big problems?  Networking largely happens after hours, and an hour spent in a panel is an hour where you’re not getting to talk with people.

Lesson two.  If you can’t network, stick with people who can.  It’s an art, it’s a skill, it’s not something everyone was born to do, or can even learn to do.  That’s why having friends who are better at it than you can be a benefit.  Though remember, they’re often trying to do some networking as well, so don’t cramp their style.  But don’t be completely out of touch either.  Networking is about knowing people who know people, and anyone you know at a convention who you’re not staying in at least some contact with while there is an opportunity lost.

Lesson three.  Plot ideas can come out of the strangest panels.  Deep brain stimulation.  It’s like hooking a pacemaker up to the brain, and is being explored as a possible treatment for depression that isn’t responding to typical treatments.  Oh yes, there’s a hell of a plotline there that’s churning over in my head.  Hopefully that alone will end up worth the price of the one day admission.

So next year?  I’ll probably do Balticon again, with the unquestionable goal of doing it better.

Tomorrow is June 1, so look for State of the Writer, and the day after is a Fortnightcap day.

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