I love going to conferences and conventions. They are just the best. More often than not, I am inspired to write and I meet some really amazing people—both fans and other authors. That was true of the WyoCon convention I attended over the weekend.
It was just a small con at the White Mountain Library in Rock Springs, but it was a lot of fun. I did my Surviving Zombies workshop, and it’s always a blast to get the audience involved and to listen to their plans when the dead arise. I love that people take the time to think about how they are going to survive the apocalypse. It’s important to be prepared.
After my presentation, I sat at my table for the rest of the day. There were several participants who ventured by, and I spoke with many of them on a variety of topics, from reading to movies to other conventions. I also had the opportunity to chat with the other authors around me. They were such amazing people.
Going to conferences and conventions feeds my soul. They can be incredibly exhausting, but seeing other fanatics reminds me of why I write. I might not always sell a ton of books (I sold two at the last one and consider that a win), but I get to meet some really cool people. Like I said, it’s inspiring going to these things.
Things have been pretty bleak in the writing world lately—and not necessarily just my own. I’ve read numerous articles about how readers aren’t buying books like they used to and that Amazon is trying to monopolize the entire system and authors are going to be the ones who suffer.
Really, it’s nothing new, but it’s still something that plagues authors—and not just us indies/self-pubs. Everyone is feeling the pinch. There are those who blame it on self-publishing and how easy it is to publish a book nowadays—flooding the market with millions of books instead of thousands—but that’s not the only reason. The publishing industry has changed, and we’re all trying to figure out how to keep up with it. In the process, we see our earnings shrink and less and less books get sold.
It can be incredibly depressing. It can make us question why we are even wasting our time.
I get it. I really do. I’ve been down that road. But at the same time, I still really enjoy telling stories. I love seeing people read my books and review them—even if it’s just a small percentage. And I love going to conferences and talking to people about other books and nerdy pop culture things.
At the end of the day, it’s all about perspective. It’s deciding what you want to take from an experience and deciding if it was good or bad. Personally, I spend the vast majority of my life being cynical and a little crabby, but it’s nice to take a break and immerse myself in my writing and other geeky ventures. Sure, I might not make a lot of money doing it, but it makes me happy, and that is the most important part.