It’s been a while since my last newsletter, huh? Life’s been absolutely hectic these last few months. I’ve just moved from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL to be closer to my family. It took several weeks of packing, cleaning, loading, unpacking, and cleaning again, but it’s finally done…mostly. There’s still several boxes of stuff sitting by the front door and I’ll get to it eventually.
Well, that’s still not a good excuse for missing so many weeks of newsletters. As per Quietly Romantic tradition, if I go too long without releasing a new blog post or newsletter then my next one needs to include an embarrassing story.
Here we go.
A few years ago, I was at a conference and I had the opportunity to meet one of my heroes in person. He was a huge source of writing inspiration for me and was someone that I really looked up to. Think along the lines of…meeting Stan Lee, if you’re a fan of the Marvel superhero movies…or meeting George R.R. Martin, if you’re a fan of the Game of Thrones series. Yeah, that huge.
He’s an intelligent person, and there are so many things I want to learn from him.
- How does he write so well?
- How did he attract so many fans?
- How does he come up with such amazing topics to write about?
He arrives at the conference, gives a presentation, and afterwards starts interacting with some of the guests. I wait in line, fidgeting all the while. Finally, it’s my turn to talk to him. I stagger up to him and shake his hand.
“Hey, I’m Steven. I’m a huge fan of your work! It’s good to meet you”, I exclaim.
“It’s good to meet you too,” he replied. “What do you like to do?”
“Umm…I like…video games?” I mumble. He replies with a deafening silence. “…And I also like reading?” I continue.
His feet start to shuffle away from me. “Well, it’s good to meet you Steven. Best of luck.”
“Yeah…good to meet you too,” I reply, hiding behind a smile of feigned pleasure.
Welp. Something went wrong, but I didn’t understand why at the time. I paid a lot of money to attend this conference just so I could meet him in person. And this is what I get? For weeks after this encounter, I just told myself that I never should have met my hero in person because he was a jerk.
But now I’m older and wiser, and I realize that I was the awkward one in that conversation.
If I could go back in time, there are three ways I’d change the past:
- Kill baby Hitler. This is a given for time travel, right?
- I’d stop myself from watching the Chicago episode from Stranger Things season 2. I mean…I love Stranger Things, but what even was the point of that episode??
- I’d tell myself what I’m going to share with you in this newsletter today:
Here’s what I know now that I wish I knew before.