Moments that Make the Convention Worthwhile

I was the panel moderator and it was the last minutes when everyone was sharing a last thought with the audience. It came to be my turn and I began to talk. I had a plan for what I wanted to say, but by the second sentence I could tell my words were deviating from my intended course. Yet that third sentence was so obviously right, so necessary that I just followed along with the words to see where they were going. I’ve had such moments before, when I’m given the words that I should say. This was one of those moments. The panel was about structuring life to support creativity and this is approximately what I said:

“It is hard to make space in our lives for creative things. Sometimes it is hard to believe that our creative things deserve any space. Yet the act of creation is powerful and important, even if what we create only ever has an audience of one. Even if the only one changed by it is the creator. This is how the world becomes a better place, one transformation at a time. That’s not what I meant to say when I started talking, so perhaps someone here needed to hear it.”

As I left two different people paused and said they thought it was for them. I know it was also for me, because of late I’ve had a hard time believing that my creative things deserve space.

Moments like that one are why this experience of Salt Lake Comic Con is so different. We came home tired and happy rather than drained and depressed, which is a big improvement over FanX last spring and SLCC last fall. We had a better location, a better network of support with other professionals near us, enjoyable panel schedules for both Howard and me, and we brought our kids with us. That last was something I’ve not done before. I usually try to keep the parenting spaces and the business spaces separate because trying to do both broke my brain. Except the kids are bigger now. They came and they helped work the booth. Patch was excellent at it. He loved telling customers about Schlock, taking credit cards, and interacting with people. Gleek liked those things, but she was far more interested in shopping and in negotiating with me for the most possible things she could buy. However once she had her shiny new things, she settled down. Both kids were really good at running errands and trying to be supportive. Patch stayed for a whole day. When Gleek was offered a ride home with a neighbor, she took it. Link opted out of the whole thing, because he knows his limitations with crowds and this event was likely to make him miserable. Kiki was at college and spent Saturday hiking with a group of college friends.

I leave the convention with a list of what to prepare for the FanX event next spring. I also have a list of all the things that fell behind while I was focused elsewhere. Tomorrow I need to hit the ground running and head out into a new work week.