Tuesday, 8 August 2017

WorldCon 75 Helsinki – meeting, greeting, and networking

So... WorldCon 75 is about to begin and I'm not nervous at all!

This will be my first WorldCon, and what better way to kick off than to begin right at home. As soon as I heard that this year the event was going to be hosted right here in Finland, I knew I was going to attend. Regardless of the level of truth there is to it, I can't get over the idea that no one ever comes to Finland! We're quite the small player on the world stage, so whenever something big and international happens in the worlds of anime or writing (particularly scifi/fantasy related), I get bonkers excited.

Having attended Animecon in Kuopio just a few weeks ago, I knew that this would be a fantastic chance to meet and speak with other people from the same field. A brilliant way to meet new authors, writing enthusiasts, and maybe even agents all but a hop and skip from home. A networking possibility made from solid gold. So I set about actually pulling my socks up for once and setting all the social medias in order and such.

I can't begin to describe what a project it's turned into!

If there's any advice I can give to those planning to do the same, whether it's as an author or an artist, definitely don't leave setting yourself up online to the last minute!
In my defense I will say that I was pretty good this time around: I actually gave myself a nice 2-2.5 weeks to work on this. "Ah, setting up a domain name, a blog, and ordering business cards can't be that hard." And it's not–it's navigating the minutiae that chips away insidiously at both your time and patience, until you realize that the event you need to attend is tomorrow and your web address still sends you to a 404 page instead of your blog.

Then there's the huge litany of other things that aren't ready yet, since I am pedantic about preparations.

Nope, not nervous. Or freaking out. Calm as sheet ice floating across the arctic.

Aside from panicking over technical details, I hasten to add that I'm equally sure that this is going to be an amazing experience. WorldCon have reported over 8 000 members this year, around 6 000 of whom are attending. More than half of the attendees are coming from abroad. I honestly can't wait to see what it's like! Without a doubt I shall be remaining true to my convention-going nature and snapping enough photos to max-out the memory on my phone. Will do my best to keep all the excitement updated on the socials ;)

Also, not gonna lie, am very happy to have the perk of being able to pop home for lunch!

If you are also heading for WorldCon, do enjoy yourselves, and should you be staying in a hotel, please do avail yourselves of the blackout curtains as it stays quite light outside until the wee hours.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

And What Will You Do When You're Older?

I don't know about you, but this is a question I still hear. You'd think you wouldn't get asked this anymore after passing 18, or at least after graduating. After all, you are now legally "an adult". You've been through the education system and have grown into a good member of the society, and–at some mysterious point in time–have been handed a mysterious handbook on life and how to live it. Therefore you now know life and are prepared to face and should a clear idea on how to forge your way forward.


I didn't. I don't know if it took me unusually long or if I was relatively quick in figuring out what it was that I loved and wanted to do. However I certainly didn't have a clue when I finished school. I didn't even have it down when I finished college and had worked part-time jobs for five years.

There's no one who knows you better than you.
Stay true to whatever it is you're passionate about.
At first I thought there was someone else out there who would know and tell me–someone super educated and with a lot of experience who would take one look at me and know exactly where I'd come from and what I was going for. I spoke to a lot of people. Sure I got a lot of advice, some of it very useful and helpful, a lot of it less so. I got a lot of opinions. I quickly learned to take them as just that: opinions. Yeah sometimes they helped me see or think of something new, sometimes not. I got quite a few suggestions. A lot of them were interesting, a lot of them sounded good.
But that Cinderella slipper that fit perfectly just on me never appeared–that one plan of action or idea of what to do with my future in order to be happy. There were just heaps and heaps of 'almosts', 'half-and-halfs', ' and 'not reallys'. 

And the conclusion I came to might be a really obvious one for some. There's possibly someone reading this wondering how I didn't see it right away. Yet it honestly took me several years of asking others to figure out:
No one is going to tell me how to make my dream a reality. While the beauty in our world is that we're all unique, it also means that there's no one out there who's exactly like me; who knows me like I do. I'm the only expert on me there is. So I was the only one who was going to either figure out how to fashion that Cinderella slipper of the perfect job and life for me, or not.

And at first that sucked!
What? You're telling me that I don't get a magical mentor to explain things?! Cinderella gets a smiley grandma in pajamas and I don't even get an instruction manual?
But yeah, that's really how it has to be. No one is going to live my life for me–they're busy with their own. And while I can find lots of amazing people who share my passion for writing and art, who can share heaps of experience with me to help me along, in the end we're all a little bit different.

So in the end, here's my conclusion. I might be a little late to the game, but I've arrived. I know what my passion is–writing and drawing–and I know it's the kind of work I want to do. And I want to make the most of it.

This blog is my start for that: a place to dump my thoughts. I'll be posting book reviews, my thoughts on writing and tips I've learned, probably some of my drawings or other projects, or thoughts on art in general. There're probably going to be a few rants. A lot of them are possibly going to meander. There will be much bad humour.

My hope is really that maybe some small part of my ramblings might help someone out there. If I make someone laugh, or feel accepted or understood, or just helped kill a bit of time–awesome. Or maybe I'll just blab into the great void of the internet unheard. Who can say?

To anyone out there who's confused about what you want to do with your life–it's totally okay not to know. You won't be the only one. If you've got a dream, don't give up on it. Keep going!