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In the fall of 2015 I attended the very first Nerdcon: Stories in Minneapolis, MN. The convention basically catered to two types of attendees: the fan and the creator. It very much wanted the people who came into the convention center as fans to leave as creators, and the creators to become fans of not only their fellow creators but of their own fans.
Creator, Fan, Both, Neither?
I was at a very weird crossroads in my life where going into the con I wasn’t really either fan or creator.
Once I had been a huge fan of John and Hank Green, who were the masterminds behind this gathering. It was 2015 when I started drifting away from the nerdfighter community for various reasons. Let’s say I was…at odds with one of the Vlog Brothers at the time and the communities treatment of their audience.
So, not exactly a fan of some of the “big name” special guests. I was definitely star struck by Mara Wilson, it’s always nice to see Lev Grossman, and the energy is always great at these things. The HPA 10 year anniversary gave me all the feels. I came away with a to-read list taller than I am, from all the great authors I heard speak but didn’t know about before hand. Not to mention, I became pretty much obsessed with every performer to grace the stage.
Every other con I had attended before this one, I at least always thought of myself as a creator. I was a YouTuber. Not just any YouTuber but a BookTuber. I was sent free books, I had an upload schedule, I had thousands of subscribers, I was a proper creator.
In the fall of 2015 to early 2016 I was struggling against the storm of a reddit community who didn’t like the content I was making. That makes it sound way more benign than it was, and I’ve talked about ways to avoid it, but long story short: I was scared. I struggled against my instinct to stop creating (not just YouTube, but everything) and my urge to create. The instinct to stop was largely winning.