Monday, November 10, 2014
I’m back! I have no money, I still haven’t unpacked my suitcase, and I’m pretty sure the scratching sound in the ceiling means a possum has moved in while I was away, but I’m back from my convention in Chicago.
If you ever get the chance to go to a convention, take it. Not just for the workshops and the networking, but for the chance to actually meet fans. I’m not actually sure I have the words to explain what an absolute thrill it is when someone says, “Oh! I love your books!”
Writing, to me, is something that happens late at night, usually when I’m in my pyjamas. It’s a thing I do to entertain myself, primarily. The idea that it might entertain others is so far removed from the process that it doesn’t feel real.
Until Chicago, writing was an online activity for me. I communicated with my publishers, editors, co-writers and readers through email, Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes parcels of books arrived in the mail and I get stowed in the box under the bed in the spare room, but that’s as real as it ever got. Until Chicago.
Until I was sitting at a table and there were people lined up in front of it, with books for me to sign. My books. Also, I had to remember to sign in my pseudonym, which was fun! And some people actually wanted pictures taken with me. And—get this—some people actually got flustered when talking to me, because they were nervous. Ha! Nervous of meeting me! I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before in my life.
Suddenly, my perspective has shifted. Writing isn’t just a solitary something that I do now. That part of it—the part where I eat Barbecue Shapes and sing loudly along to Aussie rock from the 1980s—is only a very small part of the big picture.
Meeting fans—readers who are as excited about your stories as you are—is so much fun, and I hope I never get tired of it. And seeing the big picture inspires me to keep writing, and, most importantly, to keep my enthusiasm for writing. Because even though writing is becoming more and more like a job for me, it’s also a complete privilege.
And it’s great to be reminded of that.