I got back from DragonCon almost two days ago, and I'm still tired. Going back to work tomorrow is going to suck. >_< But it was an awesome trip, best time I've had at the 'con in a while. I stayed up late hanging out with friends, was first in line to get a book signed by Jim Butcher, and took a bunch of great pictures.
I also got into a dance-off with one of the Blues Brothers at a Tolkien-themed 70s music dance party. I lost, of course. One does not simply get into a dance-off with a Blues Brother and win.
One of the greatest things about DragonCon is that it's cross-fandom like crazy - it's all about fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, and there's representation from hundreds if not thousands of different works. For example, I went as Bumi from "Legend of Korra", while my friend Paul had costumes for both Harry Dresden of "The Dresden Files" and Rincewind from Terry Prachett's "Discworld" series. (Together, we were an awesome crossover.) And seeing so many different people celebrating so many different things got me thinking.
Every single creator behind all those series was once just like us.
They looked at their hard work and wondered why it seemed like nobody liked it, why nobody wanted to hire them or help them get published. They wondered if they had what it takes, or if they were just deluding themselves. They wondered if all their hard work was worth it. They wondered if quitting would be easier.
And now, because they didn't quit, their names are known all over the world. They have people lining up for their new releases. They have sales numbers that mean they can keep doing what they love. And they have fans who show the world just how much they love their work.
So no matter what you're feeling now, no matter how difficult it seems, no matter how much you want to quit or wonder if you could quit if you tried: keep at it. Because when you make it, it'll all be worth it. Because someday, they'll love your work too.
I'm writing a lot of this for myself, to tell y'all the truth. I didn't get chosen for the contest I mentioned two weeks ago, and looking at the critique I got, I'm sitting here torn between "Maybe they have a point on that" and "How the HELL much do you expect from FIVE [expletive deleted] PAGES?!". So I needed to write this out, to remind myself that someday, I'll look back on this and laugh, because I just got done telling someone who's at a convention dressed as one of my characters how much I love their costume.
Next entry: I started writing the sequel to THE ACCIDENTAL WARLOCK last night. My next entry will be about that and why I'm writing it now.