this post is titled Laika for some reason

When I started my blog almost ten years ago, I made a dedicated effort to write something new every day. I figured that it was good practice for me as a level zero writer, and I also knew that the only way to keep readers engaged was by providing new content all the time.

As the years rolled by, I had to force myself to take breaks, even when I was writing multiple weekly and monthly columns, because I had fallen in love with writing, and I really enjoyed interacting with readers in comments.

But as the years rolled by, I changed. My family changed. My work changed. The world changed, man. You've changed! You used to be cool! What happened to you?

Um. Sorry.

A lot of things changed, and so did the way I wrote about them. The biggest change for me was watching my kids grow up and move out on their own. As they became teenagers and then young adults, I felt less and less comfortable writing about them. It felt okay when they were little, and I was writing about becoming a dad and the experiences I had raising them, but as they got older and made friends who read about them on my blog, I began to feel like it was an invasion of their privacy to write about them. And also, honestly, teenagers can be total dicks to their parents, impossible to deal with, and their existence is, as far as I am concerned, conclusive proof that we never master time travel. Because if we did, I'm pretty sure all parents would travel back in time and make sure they never hooked up at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance.

My career changed, too. Namely: I had one again. Writing about the struggle to find work was more comfortable and interesting to me than writing about how great it is to have the work. It's also damn hard to write about things I work on when they don't make it to the audience for a year or more, and we now live in an era when studios and networks explicitly forbid us from blogging, flickring, twittering and otherwise talking about our work. I'm lucky that the shows I work on are mostly willing to leave me to my own judgment, but I still play it safe rather than risk spoiling something through my own carelessness.

The world changed. The way we communicate online changed. Where I once had a blog, I now have a Twitter and a Tumblr and a podcast and a YouTube and Reddit and Flickr and and and and and like and such as. What used to turn into a 1500 word post on my blog is now a link on Tumblr, a picture on Twitter, and then nothing at all on my blog, because I've lost the need to write about it.

I'm not sure what happens next. I still love to write, though, and I still love interacting with readers. I still love telling stories. I've been writing more and more fiction, because I don't feel weird writing about people and places I've made up, but I stopped writing regular columns because I began to get really sick of the sound of my own voice.

I used to write every day, and I looked forward to it. I kept my eyes and my ears and my soul open because I never knew when something was going to crash into my life that would make a good story. I'd like to find a way to get back to that, but I think things have changed so much, it's not really possible to change them back again.

79 thoughts on “this post is titled Laika for some reason”

  1. I think I would be more upset if you didn’t change. You’ve grown as a person, as a writer, as an actor, and as a creator. I appreciate this post because its been a long time coming. Don’t forget, your fans have also grown with you. I started following your blog about the time you started it and over 10 years have had my own struggles and successes. I am very happy where I am today but I had to make sacrifices too. Some things I wish I had more time for, but I’m not willing to sacrifice the even more awesome things that I have cooking.
    You want to write with us and you want to interact with us, which is great. We’re just talking about a medium change (most of us are on twitter and your other e-dwellings) and maybe a frequency shift. And if that means its because you’re taking time to write fiction, act, or just time spent with family it is time well spent. We’re all in it for the long hall and I’m happy to see you moving forward and not dwelling on what once was.

  2. You lie, I was never cool!!! All joking aside, it sounds like you should take a step back from writing about the personal stuff for a while and focus on the fiction. It does pain me to say that because I do look forward to reading your blog, but you as a writer need to decide what is best for you. You’re an excellent writer whether it be writing non-fiction, fiction or instructional manuals. The bottom line is: you write it and we’ll read it.
    Good luck on whatever your decision may be.

  3. I’m going to sound old (oops, wait, I am old.), but I don’t tweet, twitter, whatever. I enjoy reading blog posts, yours particularly. 140 characters? Not enough. Our whole world comes at us in teeny tiny bursts of almost-info. The news has become almost exclusively sound bites. If you want to know more, good luck. /rant
    I hope you will continue to write lengthy-ish posts. There are a lot of great words out there just waiting to be used. Be inspired Mr. Wheaton, be inspired.

  4. I find it refreshing that you blogged about this. I’ve been writing my whole life, but only recently started blogging. Three months in and I’m already having a hard time coming up with funny, relevant topics to write about every day. But I started this endeavor striving to learn what it takes to be a Real Writer…and so I publish something everyday. Even if it’s garbage. Then I have to apologize to my readers for the creative process.

  5. Wil,
    I would like to add a minor but important point. The blog separates you from the rest of the “establishment” and gives your voice more soul than the 140c’s of the Twitterverse.
    To borrow a sports analogy, your blog is the full game to your twitter’s highlight reel. I’m sure I speak for most of us in saying we are more interested in the game than the highlights.
    However, with that said, your time has to be respected. Ten years ago I’m fairly sure its a safe bet you weren’t thinking:
    - Conventions every quarter
    - Eureka
    - Big Bang Theory
    - Criminal Minds
    - The Guild
    - Several published writings
    - Public face of geeks and gaming persona
    That’s a lot of things accomplished in a decade and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the highlight reel that made all those happen. It was showing up for practice and writing your blog. It was playing hard each and every game from whistle to whistle by opening your trials and tribulations to those of us who follow this blog.
    In the end you have to continue to do what you feel is right and reflective and if this is retirement (ya im still clinging to the sports…) hopefully you still show up for the odd alumni game now and then! :)

  6. Wil,
    I started blogging in 2005 after reading your blog for about a year. The interwebs are constanting changing and we tend to change with them. I think that a combination of Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, and your blog is an awesome way to communicate with the rest of the world. I’m just an average guy (geek) and I choose the medium based on the message as well. Thanks for allowing a small glimpse into your life from time to time. It reminds us that we are all alike in the end.
    Kurt

  7. A few things I have noticed over the last few years…
    1) That you dont always blog about local events (i.e. Brush Fires – local sports).
    2) You dont always blog about things you have been connected to in the past (i.e. WSOP and the end of online poker).
    3) You sometimes stay on the same topic for quite a while – i.e. gaming
    The fact that you blog as much as you do is pretty impressive though.

  8. In ‘The Hobbit’, when Bilbo and Company reach Rivendell, Tolkien writes something that you echoed here: it’s a lot easier to write about complicated or even negative experiences, than it is to tell a story about how smoothly everything is going. Which in itself is a good thing of course! We all like your work and you definetely deserve the appreciation you’re getting.
    I really like reading your posts and listening to your podcasts but I can see how it’s not always easy… Especially if there’s a big part that’s a no-go zone like your acting work.
    However, Tolkien refers to a lot of storytelling going on in Rivendell so that might be a hint… A lot of readers will be very thankful to keep reading. Maybe that fiction that you refer to? We’re curious now! :)
    Anyhow, I’m sure you’ll figure it out in a way that everyone (and yourself in the first place) will like. We’ll send you some mojo, just like in the olden days, remember?
    Jo x

  9. Stuff changes, life changes, I’ve always found it easier to write in my old, old blog on LJ when I’m sad, hurt, or just really need to bitch… Being busy, working hard, playing hard, prospering seems to make it harder to just sit down and dedicate a half hour to an hour of writing, it’s easier to just tweet, or update a status.
    Your blog and prior webcasts are great fall backs when something momentous happens that it can’t fit in 140 characters and a picture just can’t capture the overwhelming emotion.
    You are pretty lucky to have such an awesome fan base that I’m sure that they will peek in for updates when you post them.

  10. I realized these changes, too. But I try to keep my blog as my main voice in the internet, because there I have the power to delete things. The blog entries go to the RSS feed, the RSS feed goes to twitter, twitter goes to facebook, and there I meet all my friends. Unfortunately they prefer facebook to comment my blog instead of the comment function of my blog.
    And when I read Laika I thought of the Russian dog that died on its very first space mission :-( I hope your blog isn’t going to die.

  11. As much as the world seems to morph into a more online existence, I seem to retract from it. Real life – and I mean *real* life – doesn’t allow enough time to do all the things I’d like to do, so I have quit MySpace, Twitter, Yahoo Groups … although I do still follow a couple of blogs.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s OK to withdraw. It’s like the closing of one door only to have another open.
    Thanks, Wil, for all you do. We appreciate you. :)

  12. You could always get a couple of your old pals together and do a weekly podcast… sure, you have done “radio free burrito” for what, 5-6 years on and off at this point, but a noe hour a week podcast from you and your pals, using cool people you know as guests, would pretty much rock. Sure, Hardwick does Nerdist but there is plenty of time in most of our schedules for MULTIPLE awesome podcasts… and all you really have to do is roll up for a weekly and just go on the mic, you don’t have to overprepare or anything, just have some fun sound samples ready to drop in at the drop of a hat and you are good to go. Just a suggestion from one of your newer fans… who really enjoys rfb AND your writing ;)

  13. I enjoy the content that you do give us although i mostly lurk about it. There are so many great things on the internet, I know i sure don’t remember to check them every day. The world doesn’t need every second of everyone’s life. You’re a cool person and i along with everyone else here will surly read and give you virtual high fives about the things you do share with the world but in the end, if i knew every thing you breathed ate and looked at, i’d feel like it was intrusive and prolly just tune it all out at that point.
    Keep up the awesome you’re comfortable with and i’m sure the world will be content with it. If they’re not? Nothing they can do about it anyways =D

  14. Wil, I’ve been here reading your blog for most all the decade you’ve been here. You have changed, evolved, grew and engaged us, you humble fans. The one thing you did not do is be a dick.
    Peace

  15. Laika was sent to space on a death mission, now they put up a a monument for her.
    As for your blog, it’s very comforting to read it, I like it very much, please write! Now that you don’t feel like doing it the way you used to, you can write about different things, maybe. it’s awesome that you have things to do that you love, it is great that you have not much complains, which are always a material to create. You can give your opinions on life, environment and alot of other things, you can do some meditation and share experience, change is good, because it is kind of like river flowing, it’s going somewhere and it’s nice to share your journey with others. Please write! and Thank you.

  16. This is exactly why I hate Twitter: because people seem to literally lose their ability to write posts of any kind. Everyone on the planet but me thinks it’s utterly wonderful, but I can’t help but notice that writing in general has gone downhill because of it. It makes me sad.
    *sigh*
    I’d like to say keep on trying, but if Twitter is so awesome that you just don’t want to write any more, what can I do?

  17. Feels like the old “it’s not you, it’s me” speech.
    Well, let me tell you something, you clown-shirt wearing, Enterprise driving, dice rolling, t-shirt designing, voice acting, Axis of Anarchy leading, convention paneling, RFB ignoring, King’s fan… IT IS me! I know damn well it’s me! It’s always been me!
    Seriously though, I can’t imagine the huge responsibility this blog must be for you. In your position, I’d probably feel guilty every day that I didn’t post. If that’s the case… all I can say is, don’t. Your fans aren’t stupid. We’re aware of the effort it takes and the time you put in to keep yourself available to us.
    You’re not a dick, so trust your instincts and trust in us a little. If life in general has got you too busy to blog, or even tweet for that matter, then so be it. That’s a good thing in my book and honestly, we’ll be here for the next one… whether it’s tomorrow, in a few days, a week, a month, or even come Christmas. (I swear you had better check in for the holidays.) Hell, the busier you are means the more shit you crank out, which in turn means it’s easier for me to find quality RL distractions.
    However, if you’re still wrestling with guilt, an autograph may help suplex it into submission and clear you in my book… just saying. *cough*
    Of course, I suppose I could be waaaaaay off base with all this… in which case I’ve proven that at least some of your fans are in fact, quite stupid.

  18. Wil: please continue to post here when you feel like it. I don’t subscribe to Twitter, and am often not online every day, so I enjoy coming to this site whenever I crave a bit of delicious Wil-ness that you have admirably shared with us these past ten years. I will continue to have wilwheaton.net bookmarked. And I will continue to watch your work on the telly and read your work on teh webs and buy your books. Keep bringing the Hawesome! If that means less frequent blog posts, so be it. But please don’t stop blogging. Your voice is welcome whenever you care to share it.

  19. The world changes, our world changes and sometimes we look back and see a lot of accumulated changes. And it’s good to see some changes happen in other people’s lives too. I enjoy reading your stuff here. But family life, work and other things have their own priorities and ‘having to write something!’ will not result in good stuff (I think).

  20. We change. Maintaining passion requires acknowledging that. I’ve found that maintaining it requires a certain amount of discipline, pushing yourself to explore and push past your limits, and, from time-to-time, doing something that scares the shit out of you.

  21. So, it seems you plan to slow down. I gave up my own angry liberal type blog when I got tired of being angry at the *&&^%@! nutball conserva-types out there for ruining a once-great (and once-great-again-in-the-future-that-I’ll-help-make-without-those-*(&%^%$!-people) country. It was making me angrier, not calmer and letting the steam out so it didn’t build up. Anger is like that.
    But, if you have to take a break, or write about your writing more, or your pets, or LA, or whatever, so-be-it!
    Seems I’ve always either connected better with people older or younger than me (Asperger?) and reading your stuff was certainly more of a connection than some of the people I work with daily. Yep, that’s not necessarily a good thing. That’s a reflection on me and them I think. So, if you choose to leave for an extended period of time and just enjoy things, as you have the right to do, that is fine but I’ll miss reading your blog every few days.
    Here are some of my happy memories:
    * watching you put a computer together in record time on The Screen Savers
    * reading about the hard part of your life
    * reading about how you survived
    * reading your books about your childhood and how it matched much of mine with D&D, Rocky Horror and such but with stardom added to spice things up
    * you figuring out, in essence, that some people will screw you over for their own interests
    * you figuring out that most won’t but may not care much either
    (Okay, these last two are my interpretations of what you’ve written)

  22. As so many have said already, do what works for you. We’ll be here. I personally don’t Facebook, Twitter, or whatever, but I do follow a few blogs that speak to me, and yours does.
    Thanks for letting us be a part of your life, however vicariously. :-)

  23. I have enjoyed reading your blogs almost daily since early 2005. Unlike other celebrities, you actually respond and make your fans feel like old friends rather than strangers. I am on your blog way more than Twitter, Facebook, etc. I look forward to it everyday. Whatever you decide, we back you up, just know, we all love what you write and talk about, and if you do go, you will be greatly missed.

  24. I really had it hit me hard, amongst other things, how IN the digital age we are. On thrusday morning I was sitting in the ER, after getting T-Boned by another driver who ran her red light, and I thought to myself,”Gee I wish someone could log on to facebook and leave a note for my friends and family that I am in the hospital but I’m going to be ok” I had left my cell in my totaled car and had no way of aces sing my friends for even a ride home, it was a pretty odd feeling…

  25. I read somewhere that you should still write three pages a day to keep the writing muscle in training shape. They can suck but you have to write them. If not having enough material is the problem because your life is cool – well – think of it as a challenge. But I agree that twitter and the rest are no substitute for a real blog – and you can handle the depth.

  26. Hi Wil,
    just read this post..sorry for the delay. This is just one reason why I love to read your blog: Your honesty and thus authenticity. I can totally understand why writing this blog isn’t as important to you as it was years ago – and why you’re now much more uncomfortable to write about your kids since they’re almost grown up and have their own lives. Thanks for telling us the truth!
    Yes, things change, and they do it all the time, and we have to adapt or it’s going to break us down. Our times are particularly fast, especially concerning all means of communications. Blogs twitter, flickR, tumblR…it’s not easy to serve all of them. You can’t dance at all weddings, I guess…*gg*
    Thank you for writing a blog to think about…and not only “twitteing” *lol*!
    Lots of love
    from Elli

  27. I’m happy that you have written so much about your family. It’s so common for people who win at life to be total douchebags, but the warmth and love with which you write about your kids and wife really warms my heart. It gives me hope for humanity, and it makes me want to hug a kitten.
    You’re a hero to me, Wil. You win at life AND at being an awesome human being. :)
    If your travels ever take you to Kingston, drop me a line; I’d love to buy you a beer.

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