It’s not unusual before a convention for me to have anxiety dreams. They follow pretty regular patterns: I’m at the con and I’m not ready. I don’t have any of my stuff. My table is in a weird location, is ridiculously small, or doesn’t exist. Nobody’s buying anything. I arrive to the convention in the middle of the last day. I’ve left something important at home and can’t do my work. Stuff like that.
So far, I’ve had one, a couple weeks ago; I showed up to find my table was a small card table in a dark, hidden corner of the lobby and realized when I got there I had left all my books at home. Michael Jackson was there in disguise and there was some flying at one point – it’s a dream, these things are to be expected – but it was the same anxiety dream I’d come to expect.
The only weird thing to me is that I’ve only had one so far.
Athrocon is my biggest convention of the year. It’s always where I launch my new book, and this year there’s the shirts as well; just trying to figure out how many of those to bring and in what sizes took nearly a whole afternoon. So there’s definitely a lot of pressure for this convention to go well. So why is this pressure not haunting me during my sleep? Have I become too apathetic to care about the stress of my business? Or by some miracle have I become well-enough adjusted to doing conventions that I’ve just instinctually figured out how not to royally screw up every time without concentrating really, really hard?
It’s odd. Having those dreams used to have me freaking out the mornings after, making to-do lists and packing and just doing all of the things I know NEED to get done RIGHT NOW even though it’s 2 weeks out at the time. But that’s not happening now. Am I really prepared? Am I ready? Does my subconscious finally have enough faith in me to do this on my own that it doesn’t need to wave the Big Stick of Failure over my head when I’m asleep? I guess we’ll see this weekend at Anthrocon, if all goes well.
Now, if I can only remember to pack my pants…