I’ve seen some of these posts crop up about cons and being confident during them – I’m rather new to them myself so don’t know extensively about dates and lists and so forth. I’m the sort of person who goes – ah! There’s something on today – and if I can make it, I’ll just go for it. Yes, an impulsive and mostly foolish person!
As previous articles have been extremely helpful for people about what to do, I thought I would approach this blog post from a different angle. I will post parallel, running my freight train of foolish alongside and give a wave.
OK, here goes:
1. Best advice I was given at primary school (apart from how to avoid being beaten up, which didn’t work) was: Even the Queen takes a dump. Quel Horreur!
Yes, they are writers, fans, con leader extra-ordinaire or compere, but they are essentially people. They may be people who wear many hats, but there’s still a head underneath it. We have the best thing in common already, and that’s even before you go to a conference in something you like. Win win!
2. Push yourself. I was damn shy as a kid – I could out-shy anyone. Come on, let me see how you shy! Seriously though, I pushed myself. It’s a lot of fun once you do, and yes, I’ve had a lot of disasters. I just try to see the funny side of it. You don’t need to hurtle down a cliff – trying taking the stairs first.
3. Train your brain. Humans have this annoying survival trait of looking for the negative. That’s how we’ve been wired, to look out for situations that could take us out at any moment. Look for the positives, take those negative thoughts to one side like naughty children and interrogate them. They’ve been blown up to pure exaggeration most likely, like naughty kids often are. (I dropped my sweets, it’s the end of the world AHHHHHH! I had to take his. I HAD NO CHOICE.)
4. Pure speculation, of course. I’m still a young’un (I think, but who’s counting?) but I’m sure a lot of the whole hardcore award-winning instantly recognisable incredibly amazing people started off like us, thinking “Hmmm, what the heck do I do now?” Some will be able to empathise with us and understand where we’re coming from (and maybe where we’re going to). Some might not. Some might try not to. But hey, all part of the package, right?
Hell, I’ve done things wrong ALL the time. At one of my workplaces, a new guy had a welcome party afterwards. I went to hug him at the end of the night and he said “Isn’t that a bit too early to hug me?” when my arms had ENCIRCLED him. I found it tremendously funny (and still do, I’m smiling as I typed it) as hugging people as a child was one of the hardest things to do. So it goes!