I went to my first WorldCon this September, over Labor Day weekend. Wearing a mask was required, as was a vaccination card for registry. I kept my mask on for most of the functions and ate most meals in my room.
WorldCon, despite the scare of COVID, inspired awe and wonder. Many legends were there, either on panels or displayed in the hall. I spent a good long while on Sunday in the Terry Pratchett exhibit after doing an afternoon panel, and received pins to remember. Some even had video displays of their TED talks.
Being on panels with those that had attended WorldCon for years was humbling. I felt way out of my league when discussing colorblindness or the Final Girl. Yet hearing other people’s experiences from the 1970s and onwards was also a learning experience, about the atmosphere that led to these conventions thriving.
I always thought that when I went to WorldCon, it would be when I was top of my game and brimming with confidence. Nerves remained, with Toastmasters training helping. Yet, despite worried I’d make myself a fool, three people came up asking for autographs. That was a shock, and I didn’t have a nice pen with me. Yet it was also nice.
You never know where you are on. a creative career path. Some authors break into their beloved industry at a younger age, while others enter in their prime years. Yet one has to keep writing. Also, you have to have one pen handy, and a mask.