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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.

2 comments to Moments that Make the Convention Worthwhile

  • Ethan Mackey

    Just thought I would come visit your site—checkout out the resources of the authors I listened from.

    Funny that I should find this comment on here again. I am also another one who found that insight just for me. I had a baby a few months ago, I’m applying to business grad programs, just relocated, got a new job, etc. There have been times I’ve wondered whether it’s really worth my time to try to write 45 minutes a day to become maybe a mediocre writer at best. I’m still in the young development of being a writer I suppose where I still need a pat on the back letting me know I have potential enough to pursue writing.

    In a round about way I suppose, I just wanted to say thank you for that panel and your wonderful insight. That panel could have not come at a better time for me.

    And wow do you look familiar. You must have subbed for one of my English classes while studying at BYU.

    • Welcome. I wanted to catch the thought and write it down because I need it, but I’m glad it was reaffirmed for you as well. Keep creating. It is worth doing.

      I’ve never taught at BYU so that’s not where I’m familiar from. I’ve taught at LDS Storymakers and LTUE, if you’ve attended either of those conferences.