It’s that time of year again- CONVENTION TIME! Ok, yes, I know conventions and conferences happen year around, but my favorite big bad pile of insanity and creative energy is this week- aka Comic Con International, San Diego. Also known as the giant monster convention to end all giant monster conventions.
Being an uber geek I’ll be attending Comic Con again this year (year 22 for me ;)). Now even though the focus at this convention isn’t only about writing, it does have a growing number of writers, editors, agents, and publishers there. Not to mention the extreme burst of creative mojo that slams into you when you first go in and surrounds you until you leave for good on Sunday.
The thing is this creative mojo doesn’t just come from all the folks in the book industry, but from the insanely huge amount of talented creative folks. Art, collectables, film, TV, music, everything of a creative bent is there in some form. And I just enjoy it all.
There are many recommendations for writers to go to writer’s conferences—and I totally agree. There is a narrow focus that just helps get the writer brain moving at these. Things like RWA Nationals and dozens of smaller local writers conferences should be sought out- regardless of what you write.
Good writing is good writing—regardless of genre.
But I think folks should be exposed to as many different types of writing and creativity as possible. In most cases, books are not JUST one genre. Think about it. I write SF/F with romantic elements- but in my books there’s almost always a mystery component (many times with a dead body or two). By being around folks who write in other genres I’m able to steal…er borrow…their mojo. Pick up tips that will make my writing stronger and the stories more interesting.
Same with a huge general convention like Comic Con. I don’t want to write screenplays, but hearing about them (or some wicked cool game designs) can influence my writing.
As writers we have to pull in as much variety as we can, to keep our work lively, interesting, and constantly moving forward. If we just focus on our specific little niche of creativity, we’re shutting ourselves off from a ton of influences that could only make us better.
So look around—find a convention or conference to go to- then find a few more. But make sure you have variety in your choices.