Conventions and conferences are scary places for people who’ve never attended one. It’s not all showy displays, vendors and people in costume, though you’d think that’s what Cons were for – Furries and Freaks looking for an excuse to drink.
To this list I would add – do not confuse “collaboration” with “sexy time”. Every con I go to I get approached by some douchebag who thinks that offering to “collaborate” with me is the most flattering experience of my life. Except it won’t be. It will be meets over coffee taking about everything but a project, invites to someplace quiet, and me wondering if my mini EMF pulse cannon knocked out the right lights and cameras when I dumped the body.
Do not mistake “aspiring writer” with instant kinship. I think it’s great that you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but that is never an excuse to hoard my attention or assume I’ll let you buy me a drink so you can wax philosophical about the great American Novel you never got around to penning because your ant farm keeps you so busy. I work 60-some hours a week, run with a very active writing group, crank out words for page and screen, and still manage to look fabulous at conventions.
Do not assume the pretty girl is not a professional writer. “You’re a writer? But you look like a model” kinda stings. I got your attention, fantastic – that’s how the trap works, now wander over and fall in lust with my brains. My words are stacked pal, and when read initiate a cognitive experience you will never forget. FACT. Thank you for saying I’m pretty, but I don’t attend cons to be wooed by some guy in a chili-stained “Hans Shot First” t-shirt.
Here now required reading material for all writers, fans, and people who crash conventions and conferences for thrills: 25 Things Writers should Know About Conferences and Conventions (via Chuck Wendig).