October 28, 2003
Yes, I decided I needed one more entry about this year’s JournalCon, even though more than a week has passed since I got home. (If you’d prefer to look at more pictures of JournalCon instead of reading more words about it, I put up an album; it’s got the pictures I linked to in my last entry as well as some additional ones). New entries are still popping up in other people’s journals about the con, so at least I’ve got company. I’ve also got a confession: JournalCon was not the best time I’ve ever had. It was a good time, to be sure, and I’m very glad I went. The committee did a great job and everyone I talked to was perfectly friendly. I’m just left with the feeling that I could have had an even better time if I’d done some things differently.
The key for next year, and I definitely plan to go next year, will be figuring out how to do more of the things I liked about the last two cons and– here’s the really hard part– not get stressed about what I’m missing. Of course it’s impossible to meet everyone and do everything, but that doesn’t keep me from feeling just a little pang of disappointment when I read other people’s entries about what they did and who they did it with and wonder why I couldn’t or didn’t join in. That’s the strange thing about an event like this; I have my experience of it, but I also have a window into a lot of other people’s experiences and it’s hard not to get into the comparison game. Did she have more fun than I did? Did he have better conversations than I did? There’s no upside in thinking like that, yet I find it hard to stop. I must stop, or at least cut back.
So, what did I like best? Sharing meals with people, for one. Sitting down to eat is a good atmosphere for conversation. Unfortunately, there are only a few mealtime opportunities in a weekend. Perhaps I need to model myself on the hobbits and have second breakfast and such. I couldn’t gain that much weight in two and half days. I’ll just bring bigger clothes for Sunday.
I liked the chances I had to sit and talk with people outside of meals, too. It seems from reading other people’s entries that staying over Sunday night might be a good way to get more opportunities for that sort of thing. I’ll have to see about budgeting two vacation days instead of one for next year.
I liked meeting people I’d formed forum-based relationships with. Without them, the con would have been less fun. I can see that coming to JournalCon without that kind of previously established link could be tough for someone like me who isn’t at her best in crowded social situations. If you’re thinking of coming next year and are worried about not having an “in”, don’t be. You can e-mail me ahead of time and we’ll make plans to meet up. I won’t even force a swagnet on you if you don’t want one.
My disappointments? There were some people I planned to at least say hello to that I never saw. There’s just so much going on and so many people cram non-Con events into the time (like I did with the quilt shop trip) that it’s impossible to talk to everyone you want to. There are even some people I would have liked to meet that I didn’t even realize were there until I got back. I don’t know that there’s much I can do to solve this, other than making sure I don’t retreat into the comfort zone of talking to only people I already know. When I made an effort and sought people out, I never got a bad reaction.
Okay, I think I am finally done writing about JournalCon 2003. Thank you for your attention.
Last year at this time, I provided updates about all sorts of things going on in my life.