So today was the last day of ConFusion. The panels are done, the goodbyes have been said (in most cases, I won’t see these people again until next year), and I’m back home.
I am exhausted.
I don’t mean in a physical sense, although the thought of doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the day is ~very~ appealing.
I mean mentally.
I’ve spent all weekend being “on.” Being on for the wonderful folks running the con, with the folks that showed up for the panels (and my fellow panelists), and being on enough to socialize with my peers.
Call it lack of nerve, call it social anxiety, call it whatever you want. The plain fact is that there is a cost for me in mental energy when it comes to walking up to someone and introducing myself.
But it’s worth it. I met some amazing folks this weekend. Folk that, had you told me a week prior that I’d be sitting down and having a drink with, I wouldn’t have believed you, I hadn’t expected to be hanging around with. Folks that I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting if I hadn’t made that effort.
And, while I’m recovering now, the experience was well worth the price of admission. And what you don’t hear very often is that it’s part of the job.
There is a lot of networking that goes on at conventions, and word of mouth is a big part of this industry. It’s what sells books, and it’s what gets your name into the ears of the folks that are looking for authors.
So – and believe me I know what I’m saying here – get yourself out there. Introduce yourself. And it may be difficult, but it’s worth it. I suspect that it’ll get easier the more I work at it.