precious and fragile things

I'm sitting in my apartment in Vancouver, finishing my coffee and oatmeal. My iPod is shuffling through a massive 80s alternative playlist I made before I came up here, so I've been accompanied by Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Souxie, Depeche Mode, The Jam, and Bauhaus while I start my day. I'm not going to the set until at least 4:30 today, so I stayed up late last night after work playing Civ V, while Chilean miners were pulled to safety on BBC in the background. Seriously, guys, the engineers who made that possible are some of the most amazing people on planet earth. I hope they get the credit they deserve for saving all those lives and reuniting all those families.

I got tired of Queen Elizabeth fucking with me (I may be militarily inferior now, Mum, but you just wait until my science gets going, and then you'll be sorry! Muwahahaha!!) so I went to bed around 1230, and slept until I woke up 11 hours later — I guess my body was completely wiped out after a loooooong day on the set. I've been in slow motion today, catching up on feeds and trying to motivate myself to write, without a lot of success.

Once, not very long ago, I wrote in my blog every day, no matter what. Since I started working full time on Eureka, though, I haven't had a lot of extra creative energy when I'm done filming. The list of stories I want to write is growing, and my notebook is filling up with one line ideas that I hope to tackle in November and beyond, but my immediate motivation just isn't there; I need time to recharge, I guess.

There's a lot of really cool stuff happening on the set every day, but we can't talk about any of it, because it's all spoilers for episodes that aren't even going to air until something like January at the earliest. Normally, I'd get home from work and fire off a quick 500 words about something awesome that happened on the set that day, but if I did that now, it would look something like this:

Today, I shot a scene in [REDACTED] with [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] where we [REDACTED]! Oh man, [REDACTED] was so awesome because [REDACTED]. Tomorrow, we're going to shoot [REDACTED], so we rehearsed that between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], and I just can't wait for it.

So, as you can see, it's just not that interesting. I suppose I could write those posts and publish them in a few months, but that doesn't really appeal to me. It feels even more like writing into a black hole than usual.

Hey, speaking of publishing into a black hole, did you know I did a new Radio Free Burrito? Episode 29 features a performance of my story in Clash of the Geeks.

Speaking of Clash of the Geeks, writing that story, even though it was just under 3000 words and is very silly, was a pretty major milestone in my life as a writer. See, I've written lots and lots of fiction, but I haven't felt like a lot of it is worthy of being published. (Note to writers: this fear — because that's what it is — doesn't serve any useful purpose other than pushing you to write better … unless you keep setting the bar higher and higher so you don't risk rejection or embarrassment. I'm Wil, and I'm the Voice of Experience.) I knew that I had to publish The Last Unicorn (Pegasus Kitten) no matter what, so I decided to just write it, have as much fun as I could, and not judge every goddamn word that my brain spit out. I decided that it was okay to be lurid, it was okay to have fun with it, and I only stopped once to think about the reality of my story appearing alongside actual, professional, award-winning authors. The result of that was an experience I enjoyed, start to finish, and a story that I'm actually quite proud of. Those of you who have read it can probably pick out the one line of dialog that made me squee with joy when I saw it coming, a line I would probably not have given myself permission to write under normal circumstances.

So far, the feedback I've gotten from readers and writers has been enthusiastic and positive, so I've been able to stack that on top of the unadulterated joy I felt while writing it to almost get me over the wall of doubt that my internal critic has constructed between me and the next story.

tl;dr: You don't have to be perfect when you write stories. Just have fun and give yourself permission to enjoy the process. Also, release your frakking work, even if you don't think it's the best thing ever. I'm Wil, The Voice of Experience.

Huh. Look at that. I found something to write about today, after all. Not too shabby, since this initially started out as the dreaded blog about not blogging.


59 thoughts on “precious and fragile things”

  1. Oh. You’re in Vancouver. I’ll be in L.A. in November. Any chance you’ll be around? We could get together for some Magic/Dominion/Carcassonne/Settlers of Catan.
    Hyuk-hyuk. Wouldn’t that be incredible? Playing games with Wil Wheaton. Totally a serious invitation.

  2. Wil, Just for my information I have been following you for some time on here and twitter, for some reason you blocked me on twitter. I’m a bit confused and a bit disappointed because I have never said nor done anything to harass, nor have I ever said anything wrong or nasty to you. Can you please explain what I did or said for you to block me (Twitter account @RichardLewisEsq)

  3. Thomas Edward Bosley ” Mr. Howard Cunningham ” on the sitcom Happydays which ran from 1974 to 1964 Passed away October 19, 2010 A great loss to us all : ^(

  4. We have the X/Y Gen to thank us for two wonderfully descriptive words used there in your post Wil, Muwahahaha and Squeee. Where would we be without them. II am glad for you thanking and recognising the engineers. Our job is to be unseen and unheard so things go smoothe. By the way, I was thinking of those engineers that brought us the magic of your morning too … The iPod, Civ V and the BBC in the background ! .. oh!, and the Video Toaster 😉

  5. Ok, Wil, I gotta say that I totally needed to hear that: “You don’t have to be perfect when you write stories. Just have fun and give yourself permission to enjoy the process. Also, release your frakking work, even if you don’t think it’s the best thing ever.”
    I’ve been working on a story idea for the past…oh…ten years and it wasn’t until the last couple of months that the plot suddenly started to come together. I’m almost done with an outline of the plot and have started working on the first chapter. I do want to try and get it published, once I’m done writing it and have bounced it off a few people and am relatively sure that it Does Not Suck. I’ve got a bad case of the “what if’s” and “maybe I’m not a good writer” and all those other doubtful voices hollering in my ears. I’m going to take your advice, stick my fingers in my ears, and go “LA LA LA LA!!! CAN’T HEAR YOU!” at those voices and get this Literary Beast finished! Thank you for inspiring me!

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