Something keeps happening this year, and I don’t know when this shift happened truly, but it’s here now.
When I first started writing, I felt like a girl on the outside looking in. I felt like I was playing in a space I didn’t truly belong in, and that I didn’t know the rules of.
This year it started with Ad Astra. Before I would compliment people and make small talk, but there was this feeling of trying. I wanted so badly, and I felt like I was trying to get into a space I didn’t quiet belong. This year though, it felt natural. It felt like I owned some of that space. That I wasn’t renting it, but that is was mine. I knew who I was in it, and what I brought to the table, and the conversations where truly connective.
That catapulted into a richer online experience on twitter. Even with twitter being the trash fire that it is, I still felt closer to these people I had met at this event. I felt like they where more than people I admired, but people I knew and related too. Friends.
I went to Can Con, and it felt like a reunion of old friends, in a new location. Even though I had never been to Can Con before, it felt familiar. We had an impromptu after hours panel in our hotel room about makeup, and tea, and we grabbed people on the elevator and invited them back, and it was all around a solid experience.
In the past as ML I would stress about the numbers. Who showed up? How could I make everyone feel welcome? How I could engage more people for next year? I’ve hosted the overnight write in for several years now at my place, and each year, I worried about it from an ML perspective.
This year, I think we had the lowest turn out, and yet, it felt to me like the best overnight write in I’ve ever hosted. It was like having an intimate gathering of your closets friends, who all brought food, and good stories, and we wrote. The fireplace was on, my tree was up, the ambiance was solid, and the company was amazing. It was cozy. It felt less like hosting, and more like connecting.
Maybe it was the best overnight write in, because I didn’t take any of the stresses as ML in it with me. I was there to write, but I’m not worried about 50K. I was there to host, but I’m not worried about number of people who show up. I left all those worries at the door and just enjoyed the people I had over.
The differed I would say this year, is that I know who I am as a writer, and feel comfortable in my own skin about it. I feel less like I’m trying to be something, and more like I am the person I’m meant to be. Less like I’m trying to impress people, and more like I’m connecting with them. It has been an amazing feeling.
So even though I’m not where I want to be in my career, I still feel like this has been a breakthrough year for me. I feel like I own the space I want to occupy, and that I’m comfortable in who I am to be their.