Recently, I went to a local… geek sale, I guess you’d call it. It had people selling collectibles, comics, as well as local writers and artists showing off their novels and comic book art. It is a semi-regular thing that I like to attend. Not just to get my fill of Funko POP! figures, but also to chat up people doing the kind of thing I want to do myself.
One is a comic book creator/ artist named Ariel. She’s quite talented and always great to talk to her about her work and what she’s working on. Another is Liam Gibbs, a writer who has four books in a series already published with more on the way. He is doing the kind of thing I am trying to do myself, so talking to him, as well as Ariel, is always inspirational.
The day after though, was kind of a come-down.
There wasn’t anything bad about the following day. It was the standard weekday, at the job that pays my bills. The job is a decent one, surrounded by decent people and a good boss.
Yet this day was just… a real downer.
It wasn’t until near the end of the day that I realized why it might be a downer.
The previous day, I was chatting with Ariel and Liam, as well as guy named Shawn who modifies and creates action figures. Talking to them, to people who enjoy the same kind of things that I do, was quite enjoyable. The next day, was like a geek hangover.
It made me realize that I have to put more of an effort into networking… a term I dislike, because it sounds so bullshit-y. It sounds like you are selling yourself. Yes, I know that is part of the game when you are trying to promote yourself. But I would prefer just to chat about stuff I like.
Chatting with people about stuff we enjoy helps build up our self-worth, if that makes any sense. It’s like, when sports fans get together and talk sports. They get into it and soon, its like they are speaking their own language. I’ve seen this first-hand with a couple of buddies of mine. It seems like it is a bonding moment for them, and others who gather and chat. it’s as if they are validating the thing they like.
That makes more sense, it is validation of the things we like! I could talk about my characters, story ideas, how complicated it is to write or plot-out a time travel storyline, especially when alternate realities are added, and the enjoyment I feel getting either classic He-Man figures or those Funko POP! figures. But most people I know couldn’t care less. Or worse, they think its ridiculous that a grown man would like collecting such things.
Being able to chat with those who like the same kind of things I like was a lot of fun and enjoyable.
I’m sure you are thinking that social media has tons of places I could go to meet people and chat about all this. But, there is always something different about conversations on social media and in-person. Social media allows us to connect with people from all over the world. But it will never have the immediacy of chatting with people in person. In my opinion, that will always be better than chatting online.
Going to work the following day, surrounded by, for lack of a better term, “normal people”, just reminded me that this is the norm, and may continue to be the norm, if I don’t do something about it.
We find motivation and inspiration in all kinds of places. For me, being reminded that there are others who enjoy the same things I do, who are striving for things that I enjoy, and others who are succeeding, shows me what is possible.