Chicon8 Day 1

This month is going to be full of writing community, starting with the 8th WorldCon in Chicago.

I’m not sure I’m going to write a retrospective every night. I did that in the past, but I’m not sure I have the energy or the tenacity to do that now. Tonight, I’ll write something. Tomorrow night, we’ll see.

Thought One – Traveling is Exhausting

Baycon earlier this year was pretty easy as far as travel is concerned. We loaded up the Mustang and drove a few hours. There was a little bit of traffic, but the act of driving calms me, and I felt like I was in control the whole way.

Flying to Chicago started off with getting up at 3AM so that we could be on time for our 6AM flight. I drove us to the airport, and everything went as well as it could there. But it was still really, really early, so the whole day started off painted with the colors of exhaustion.

I’m not comfortable flying. I don’t like being out of control. Furthermore, the seating is just the right spacing such that after a few hours sitting in the same position, my knees start to bother me. Fortunately, we had a direct flight, 3 and a half hours in the air, so the physical discomfort was kept to a minimum. But the flying itself still took something out of me. I white knuckled through the takeoff and landing.

We took the train from Chicago O’Hare, which dropped us off downtown, about a half mile from the hotel. We walked from there. The distance wasn’t too bad, but I carried all our bags, which was… you get it.

Traveling is exhausting. But that’s not the only thing that wears me out.

Thought Two – Dealing with People is Exhausting

I’m a bit of an introvert. This is not a revelation to anyone. That alone means that this convention, and the cruise coming up later this month, are both going to take something out of me.

Meeting new people and getting reacquainted with folks I’ve met before has a cost, but it comes with benefits. I’m not just talking about the all important Networking, which is important. More important to me right now is making friends and creating memories.

I’ve been in isolation for a long time. I hardly leave my house anymore. I haven’t been writing in Starbucks like I used to. The only time I see people these days is when I go in to the office, which now that I mention it, I did that this week, too.

It costs me something to engage with people, and sometimes the cost is too high. That’s what happened tonight. We went on the evening Walk with the Stars and I didn’t really talk with anyone. Then we went to various parties in the rooms, and I could barely stay in any of the rooms for more than a couple of minutes.

Thought Three – Write to Recover and Try Again

I’m in a place surrounded by writers. The community is all around me. Maybe what I can do is just take some time to sit in a public place here and write for a little bit.

What am I going to write? It doesn’t matter. The act of writing soothes me and recharges me. I’m working on this blog post and I feel better already. I can work on an outline for the Cyberpunk story I want to write. I can work on the Darren Silva story that I never finished. This feels like a good plan, and it may be more beneficial than spending a bunch of time listening to a panel which covers subject material I’ve heard a half dozen times already.

So that’s my plan for tomorrow. In summary, traveling to Chicago and engaging people exhausted me, and I’m going to address that by doing a solitary activity in a public place. Until I feel better.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes.