I was talking to some friends who are attending DragonCon this year. I know there is a big stigma to going to conventions. It's viewed as a place where we all dress up in bad Star Trek uniforms and talk about the merits of the Ferengi vs. the Klingons or something like that. I wanted to say a word in favor of convention attendance for the fan and the creator/writer.
Regardless of you "geek" level (and I say that as a term of endearment) you will find like-minded people at a fantasy/sci-fi convention. Sure there are some extremes, but for the most part it is people interested in the same stuff you are interested in.
As a fan, you leave with autographs and swag and all sorts of cool things you didn't know people sold. As a creator you leave rejuvenated and convinced there is an audience for your stuff, you just have to reach them. Of course you have to create first and that is where most people stall out.
So, if you've never been to a conventions, find one and go. It will be interesting to say the least. If you are going to be in the Atlanta area around labor day, let's hook up at DragonCon.