3652 days later…

So, while I'm putting together the last few things I need to take to PAX, I realized I forgot to mention something: ten years ago yesterday, I started my blog at WWdN*. Ten years ago today, Metafilter declared that it was "lame,"** and most of the Internet was really shitty to me about the whole thing***. I was so sad and hurt by how cruel people were to me back then, I almost gave up before I'd even started… but for some reason, I was stubborn and just kept going.

I'm glad I made it across what Ira Glass calls The Gap, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be going to PAX (or doing any of the wonderful things I get to do these days) if I hadn't. Thank you to everyone who has shared the journey with me; I hope to continue earning your time and support for the next ten years.

*I'm going back there, eventually. I'm just, uh, kind of busy at the moment and haven't gotten around to it.

**In fairness to MeFi of ten years ago, it was kind of lame … but we all have to start somewhere, and I recall being judged not on the merits of whatever I was doing then, but on what I had been told to do in 1987. It seemed unfair to me. And holy fuck the haters were everywhere. When I was an insecure 29 year-old, struggling to make ends meet, that stuff really got to me.

***Thanks to a reader, who I'll keep anonymous, for reminding me. I'd completely forgotten.

76 thoughts on “3652 days later…”

  1. Oh, I remember the old blog, and I loved the old Soapbox. It was the best online community bar none as far as I was concerned, even if I never did get elected Humour Moderator.

  2. The internet ‘pack’ behaviour can be really depressing. I’m glad you stuck it out, though. This is one of my favourite places to visit. So happy blogiversary toooooo youuuuuuu *sings badly off-key*

  3. Ten years.. holy frak! Nice job :)
    I have only been reading your stuff for a year or two, but I’ll be following you for at least the next ten! So keep up the writing of the words and stuff and the telling of the jokes and funnies!

  4. And it wasn’t much later that I first swung over to read it, and streamed RFB over our ISDN connection*. Hearing you talk about your favorite music, and what was going on, and how hard Shoutcast sucked, made me a reader for life. Occasionally I’d send you mail, and you replied to some small percentage, always politely, and then you started talking about maybe writing a book . . . and the rest is history.
    Go ten more years**!
    * Please don’t invent a time machine and go back to tell our IT department back then. It was way misusing company bandwidth and I could have been in big trouble.
    ** Or more.

  5. That long? I’ve been reading for about 7 or 8, then. I’m glad you stuck with it, though, and I’m glad I’ve kept reading. As for MetaFilter, their webdesign hurts my eyes. So there.

  6. Wow…ten years. I’m about six months shy of that myself, and I discovered you sometime in that first year, so I’ve been reading you from about, oh, your one-to-one-and-a-half year mark. Congrats and keep on going! (Although, when you think about it, it’s probably your blogging that most directly resulted in a certain velvet painting.)

  7. You got my attention when you did your first slashdot interview*. I learned that you weren’t just a guy who played a guy all my friends laughed at me for liking. You were also a real person who, unsurprisingly in retospect, liked a lot of the same things that I liked.
    I have always expected your acting career would come back to life. I had no idea you would also build a writing career and become a spokesman for gamers everywhere.
    It has been a long, strange, wonderful trip and I can’t wait to see what comes next. Onward and upward!
    * I responded to one of your comments on slashdot before you came out over there. I don’t remember what I said, but I am pretty sure it was a joke.

  8. Aw dude. So glad you toughed it out. You’ve given me and mine a lot of laughs, joy and useful info over the last 9 years or so and my life would be measurably poorer if you weren’t writing.
    Man, I’m writing fanmail aren’t I?
    Anyway, thanks a ton Wil.

  9. I appreciate your perseverance. I’ve particularly enjoyed your entries on the writing process. Of course, I can’t help but like the gaming and beer ones too. Perhaps evidence that stubborn dulling of spears with one’s own body pays off somehow.

  10. Dude, METAFILTER could also be kinda lame ten years ago. (And I say that as a MEMBER; although, only a recent one.)
    Still, not cool, but someone linked you to the thread above in which the MeFites are realizing we sort of blew it.

  11. Yeah for hanging in there! AND trying different things – I found you through your podcast and you hooked me with a reading from The Happiest Days of Our Lives. Now I’m thinking I will have to go to a Con just so I can get one of those “complete works” DVD/flash drive packages you tease us with. ;oD

  12. Congrats on the ten year mark!
    I did a quick scan of my own (now dormant) blog and realized I’d found you a mere four days later! ::puts on Early Adopter badge::
    So as an example of the love that was out there when you started, here’s what I wrote at the time…
    From the Out of Left Field file: I ran across Wil Wheaton’s blog at his new site today.
    I was never in the “I hate Wesley” camp (if anything, I was jealous; *I* wanted to be that kid), nor did [I] have anything but positive views of Wil Wheaton himself. Nonetheless, I really didn’t know what to expect from the site of a former Trek actor about whom I’ve heard very little for the better part of a decade. After spending about half an hour reading over it, I have to say, I like it. A lot.
    What I like most is that he built the thing with his own two hands. No “Identity Management” company posting thinly-disguised press releases and digital glossies here. It’s just a guy, his computer, and his thoughts. Which is exactly what a personal site ought to be, no matter what your day job.

  13. Wow.
    I missed the Internet dikkery completely… I suppose I’m in the minority when I say that I prefer your work in Star Trek to Stand By Me…
    I was an awkward precocious child who didn’t identify at all with kids my own age, and struggled to interact with adults, who were on my intellectual level, but not dealing well with that usually.
    It was AWESOME to see a character going through the same struggles as I was. Yes, I knew it was fiction… But that meant that other people were out there that understood my frustration… And that made it better. It showed that in the future, there could be a world where people like me could have a place. Just as much as it showed me a future where girls could be tough, and girls could be smart.
    I found your blog a good while ago… It popped up in a search for something nerdy I was looking into, and I went a bit fangirl, and had a squee over the fact that this guy who had like, played me, in ST was also a huge Geek in real life, and ISN’T THIS KENAWESOME!!! *breathes* and this is why I lurk, until now… To say –
    Thank you for being awesome, and please know that there are people out here that are apalled that anyone would treat a fellow Geek like that!
    Thank you for sharing these other aspects of your life with us… The gaming, the con-going, the home brewing*, the geekgasms.- These are not posts about your professional Life, but fabulous private moments that you share with us.
    (as for the 80s jumpers… well I had a grandma that made me jumpers too. And I wore them because I cared making her happy more than I cared about being teased. And it was obviously Beverly’s Mum that made them for you, cos she had to be an awesome woman to raise a daughter like that!)
    * OMG Been there! Allergic to preservatives, so brewed my own without… Very soon, you will become bored with ‘normal’ fermentation, and decide to experiment with other things… My brewing foray ended when I turned a box of commercial Blue Powerade soda syrup into ‘Romulan Ale’… Family made me eBay my equipment after that.

  14. Wil, I’ve been reading your blog for almost 10 years (probably more like 9 and a 1/2) and it goes without saying that I have appreciated reading it virtually every time I checked in.
    There are ALL kinds of people in this world that will be negative and shoot you down, no matter what kind of venture you’re in, or what kind of opinion you may have.
    All of us who have been here with you for the last 10 years or so have enjoyed sharing your stories. Keep them coming.

  15. Happy anniversary, sir. Coincidentally (OR IS IT?!), it’s also Sluggy Freelance’s anniv, and it shall henceforth be the -10 anniversary of Commander Taco leaving Slashdot.
    Myself, I started blogging about 8 years ago, 7 years on LJ this last April.

  16. Happy birthday, blog! Thanks for writing an entertaining distraction. As a stay at home mom I like to pop in and check on teh intarwebz to see what other people are doing all day. When I see a post from you it brightens my day a bit more. I’ve always said as long as I’ve been reading your stuff, that you’re an inspiration to me, and it’s no lie. Keep up the good work, and ignore those dudes in the past. They were jerks.

  17. Wow. I guess I must have happened along sometime that year, too. Happy Anniversary from one of the monkeys!
    And thanks for linking to the Ira Glass thing. I really needed to hear that, and thinking about it from your perspective (and seeing your growth as a writer) has given me some hope and confidence as I’ve been trying to return to what I used to love doing but gave up when I hit that gap full-on and couldn’t see the end.

  18. I’ve been reading your blog for a handful of months and all I knew about you was that I loved your writing and you’re a nerd/actor/dad/husband/writer. Then I finished “Just a Geek” last week and altogether I feel like I know you, face to face, and I also feel absolutely proud of you. You’ve grown and really become your own person, forged your own identity past that of “weren’t you a kid actor?”. Good on ya, Wil, good on ya.
    And it is killing me that PAX is in my backyard and I can’t go. Augh!

  19. Thank you sir! Do Something Creative Everyday and Don’t Be A Dick have been permanently uploaded into our slang-wagons. Except they keep trying to steal my copy of the D&D Player’s Guide you graphed for me last year at Gen-Con. I look forward seeing you on WotC’s stream on the 27th.
    Thanks for keeping us entertained (and often giving us something to ponder)

  20. ya, haters are always present no matter what you do and who you are,they hate to see someone better than them so they crap on everything good, they are like mold and dust, you have to always clean it. And you had haters because you are a nice person, really nice and talented and had some interesting things going in your life, now you are much stronger, so haters don’t linger. You are awesome, Will, and I love Wesley in Star Trek, he really created an important balance. I found your blog only last year, and it is the only blog that I visit! Thank you, Wil.

  21. Wil,
    Thank you for all of this. The blog and Just a Geek have really helped me through some tough places. I’ve been teaching middle school for the last decade and am starting to want out. I start my own blog about cars (everymansauto.blogspot.com). I got tired of reading boring car reviews and figured I could do some with a little more comedy! Thank you for helping me find @nerdist and inspiring me to do more!

  22. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
    I haven’t been reading you blog long, but it always entertains me and introduces me to things I wouldn’t have seen without you. Thank you for that.

  23. Good Jorb!
    I found you via Fark three, maybe four years ago now, and stuck around for the good writing. I’m happy you love the Ira Glass bit. It just seemed like the most perfect explanation.
    Happy Blogiversary!

  24. Happy Blogiversary Wil! I’ve been a reader for several years, and always enjoy your writing, especially your childhood stories. Thanks for sharing with us! =)

  25. I have to be honest, I was totally one of those who wasn’t what you may call one of your biggest fans. All I knew you from was TNG and as I know now, for the most part Wesley was written really badly. So when I first read your blog it was out of a morbid curiosity more than anything as I’d never really read any sort of “celebrity” blog before that I had any interest in.
    Something about yours really grabbed me though. I had this sudden realization that if put into words would probably be “hey, this guy was on Star Trek but he’s really just a normal person and he’s interested in a lot of geeky stuff too and he really doesn’t seem like a dick at all!” That right there made me a reader for life, branching on to your podcasts and your books and your Twitter and Google+ feeds and now giving a mental cheer any time you appear on a TV show I like.
    I don’t know where I was going with this but thanks for that. I’m not really the type to go to conventions or shows or anything like that so I doubt we’ll ever actually meet but it’s really kind of cool to know that there’s this interesting guy out there on the other side of the country that could totally be one of my friends. And he was on Star Trek!

  26. Thank you for the last 10 years, Wil. I started reading around the time you were pondering your 30th birthday, so slightly less than a year after you started the blog. I have been a daily visitor and sometime commenter (you even replied to one of my comments once and it *totally* made my month/day/year).
    Your followers have “watched” your family grow up and felt the pride and love you have for them. We have seen you grow from a novice blogger to the accomplished writer you have become. And we have lived the excitement of seeing your acting career rise again, but on your terms and in roles you have carefully selected.
    I started reading this blog because I was a Star Trek fan, I kept reading because you wrote about interesting and engaging topics. I have been introduced to many books, games, television shows and films I would never have even considered sampling but for your recommendations. I would not have gotten excited and made stuff, even if it was just experimenting with new recipes while making dinner. Reading your blog has made me a better sci-fi fan and a more rounded person.
    TL;DR Thanks for being just this guy, you know.

  27. I think that, when all of your blog posts and the few excerpts of your books I’ve been able to snag up are considered (I’m not too “well off” financially, so buying stuff “just for me” *really* doesn’t happen very often), I think I have read more of the words you’ve written than any other author in my entire life… and it’s been an enjoyable experience. I first came across your blog when an IRC buddy of mine pointed out how hilarious many of your recollections are/were–specifically, the “Uncle Willy went to booty town” remark about Ashley Judd. Keep it up, Sir Wheaton!

  28. Like so many others here, I want to say Happy Blogiversary and thank you!
    I had planned to make it to PAX this year with my copy of Memories, even booked the time off work right at the beginning of the year, but we ended up buying a house instead. Damn growing up and being responsible πŸ˜›
    Anyhoo, I didn’t find your blog until maybe just a year or so ago, but like others I felt like I knew you after re-reading some of the older posts. Yours is also the only blog I follow, and also follow on Twitter, but not sure about this Google+ thing πŸ˜›
    Real Message after rambling: Thank you for all your hard work and for all the bursts of laughter and heart felt moments.
    Yours Truly,
    Coral D. now

  29. Congrats on 10 years. :)
    It has amazed me how much of your life you choose to share. I cannot speak for others, but I know that there are post that have helped me deal with misfortunes in my own life. Thanks for sharing the smiles as well as the hardships. Looking forward to another 10 15 20 … many years to come.

  30. I guess I’m a fairly recent reader. A friend saw your dancing in the rain post and passed it on to me.. and then I forgot about you as ‘just another celebrity’ until your 2007 PAX talk and I suddenly realised you were genuinely one of us. RSS things were subscribed to, twitter account created and it’s been an interesting, and enjoyable, time since.
    Thought I’d drop in: I’m an experienced Sysadmin with a several years experience in web services, both small and medium enterprise scale. If you need any help with returning to WWdN I’d be happy to volunteer my services.

  31. Glad you stuck with it. I’ve always enjoyed reading. I’m in my own “No one reads/cares” phase with my own artistic pursuits. Here’s hoping one day that changes for me.

  32. You are dead wrong, Wil.
    It wasn’t lame then. You did something that millions of people would never have done: you put yourself out there. You shared something, sought something and endured the shock of criticism to do it.
    I remember finding your blog because of the retarded snarkers and finding a post about how/why you liked baseball (I think when your blog was a burrito.) I was dumbstruck by the ridiculous bitterness towards a blogging guy, especially one who had made a few works of art that meant something to me. I got married later that week to spite them.
    Okay, I did get married that week, but I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t really in defense of you.
    I really hope you can silence that inner editor long enough to realize that what you did, way back when, was important and elegant and beautiful.
    You didn’t birth an ugly baby, or a sort of lame one, either. We’re all lucky to have you, and it was a good thing you made there. A very good thing. Right from the start.

  33. I remember you told me about it at SDCC a decade ago and I’ve been a regular reader ever since. I also remember turning into a total fanboy and, experiencing a brief inability to speak, I put my “Star Trek Companion” book in front of you to sign. After which you did graciously autograph (at no charge I might add)my book and broke the ice enough for me to ask what you have been working on lately. The rest in history, most of which is documented here. It’s been an awesome journey so far. Thank you for this Wil!

  34. Happy Anniversary! I’m a total n00b to following your blog, but I truly enjoy the sneak peek glimpses in to your world. It makes me feel less of a geek freak and reminds me that even uber leet folks like you are just as (ab)normal as I am!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  35. I have been reading you since I “yahoo-ed” you in 2001 and came across your blog. Thanks for the Laughs and sometimes the tears. There are not a lot of writers out there who can grab me with just a few sentences and you are one of them. I can’t believe Nolan and Ryan were in middle school when I started reading WWDN. you rock!

  36. Thanks for sticking with your blog, I really enjoy it. It’s one of my go-to places. It’s lots of fun following your shennanigans.
    As long as you’re going to PAX, you should check out the Calliope Games booth– if you have time. My wife and I licensed some really great game mechanics to them and they skinned it with John Kovalic’s artwork. If you’re ever looking for some light-hearted fun with the wife that isn’t too competitive, “Ugh!” is perfect.
    Ask Ray Wehrs, the publisher, if you could sign one of the cards for my wife, Lori, and she’ll absolutely freak out– she has a huge crush on you.
    Again, thanks for all the larfs!

  37. Congratulations, Wil! I love your blog and your tweets; your stories make me smile and sometimes cry (in a good way). I started reading your blog the year you had your sinus surgery (how is everything, by the way?) and then I went back in the archives to read all your previous posts.
    I hope you will continue to write for many years to come. ps: I love when you write on Twitter: Canada – I Am In You! Makes me laugh everytime. cheers and all the best.

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