I've discovered that value is in the eye of the beholder. I sorta knew this all along in life because no two people view the same thing the same way. So of course, no two people will value the same thing the same way. But this really hit home for me this week when I came upon a discussion about the value of conventions.
Since I'm leaving for RT in a couple of days, this discussion was timely. And interesting. A lot of valid points were made all along the spectrum from those who liked conventions to those who hated them. Stories were told about past conventions and the names of authors I've read but never would have dreamed I'd meet were part of these stories. And somewhere along the line, it dawned on me that there's some serious value in the stories you can tell many years down the road to a google-eyed author like myself. ;) Those anecdotes are priceless. And believe me, not one of those stories was told in a "whatever" sort of way. The stories held meaning to the tellers. There's a value I don't think any of them thought of.
For me, the RT convention is local this year. It's the main reason I'm going. That and I want to expand my horizons as an author. I want to see what it's like to be treated as a multi-published author, even if the readers are looking at me quizzically and saying, "Who are you again and what is it that you write?" I want to sign books and cover flats, even if it's only one or two. And I want to give away all my goodies in the hope that one or two of the people who walk away with them don't dump them in the trash can of their hotel room.
I guess I'm optimistic. Maybe too much so. I could be pinning my hopes on a pipe dream here. This convention may not end up making me feel more like an author. After all, that's supposed to come from inside me, isn't it? Well no, my gut tells me. The stories are supposed to come from inside me. The sense that I am really an author should come from the recognition of others. Those who recognize my name or my cover art or some review I got.
"Oh, yeah! I know you..."
Just a few of those and the convention and all the expense and stress will be worth it. My sights are set kinda low I suppose, but that's what I want out of this venture. I'm not trotting across the stage at the EC party on the arm of a half-naked Caveman. So not me. But I'll enjoy watching the other authors I know do that. And I'll enjoy being away from my office for a few days and my house too. For a few days I get to escape the stress of my regular life and see what it's like to just be...an author.
There's a heck of a lot of value in that for me.
Have a wonderful Sunday!