N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

Balticon and a roar of a start…

Balticon is always a wake-up call for me. It is a weekend spent with people that are succeeding at something I aspire to. Be it podcasting or writing these people are DOING what I feel like I only give lip service to. Now I know that is not true, I know what I am doing behind this screen and I know it to be valuable and worthwhile. STILL, it does not stop those feeling of inferiority from creeping up on me like the murderer in a mystery story during the rest of the year.

Yet when I come to Balticon, instead of feeling bad I’m broken out of my funk and into the bright light of, “I CAN DO THIS!” Every year Day and I drive back on Monday (Memorial Day), talking about the plans for Unleaded and our various stories…from here came the idea for Unleaded in the first place and the first novel I wrote, from just those 2 hours-ish driving back after a weekend of being submerged in writer/podcaster nirvana.

This year though…this year was different.

Honestly, I was disappointed…not only in myself but in Balticon. I felt like a fan. A fan is not what I EVER wanted to be. It’s not that fans are bad…I just don’t want to be one. I want to be a writer. I want to be a podcaster. I want to be ON the panels not IN them. I want Balticon to allow me to rub elbows with my peers…and I want those peers not to be clambering for autographs and dressed up in hall costumes, but instead talking about the process of writing and their love of it (or hell, even just bitching about it over a beer).

Being a fan at Balticon is not nearly as fun as being an aspiring something…

And yet, I was still aspiring enough to become hideously disappointed when the panelists (SPECIFICALLY MODERATORS) had A) no clue what the panel was about, B) made it clear they had no clue what it was about, C) made no attempt to prepare for the panel, and D) plainly didn’t care. This happened more than once and it was such a terrible blow that I found myself attending things I would never have sat in on just because the person moderating it had an interest in the topic.

Argh, sorry…but that really burned my butt this weekend.

Anyway, to get back to the point…I found myself at a loss this year.  I had no novel to show off, I had little interest in the people that had little interest in the panels, and I was stuck being the timid fan girl.  I hated Balticon right then, for showing me what I was failing…namely myself.  I never wanted to feel this way, but there it was and I had to do something about it.

What did I do?  I made a plan.  “In Harm’s Way” will be edited and submitted to my group this year…AND I’m going to work on the joint project with Day all summer and make it my NANO novel.  I’m also starting Unleaded again, it is about 10 minutes of my time once a day…there is no reason I can’t give it that attention.

So…the corner had been turned, the terrible bleakness that descended upon me during Balticon has given way to a new obsession, and let us hope next year I will be pandering my novel to anyone who shows the least bit of interest.

Do you hear me? Because I’m talking about YOU…I see you hiding back there, the Balticon attendee who doesn’t really know who I am, but you see I KNOW who you are and you cannot escape my new determination to become a published novelist!


Find your leaf and turn it,


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