There’s this classic commercial with Orson Welles where he’s struggling with the whole thing, and makes this primal, existential expression of frustration that sounds like sort of like MMMMMARRAAAHHH. People look at the video and laugh at an old guy who may be drunk, but I see one of the greatest creative minds of his generation struggling like crazy to  make it through something he knows he needs to do. It’s not that hard, it shouldn’t be that hard, but still, when staring into the abyss that only he can see, MMMMMARRAAAHHH.

Today, I heavily identify with the MMMMMARRAAAHHH. I’ve spent hours trying to customize my blog, only to end up where I was, visually, about a year ago. I gave up, decided to write something instead, and just found my brain refusing to cooperate. I get out a couple of paragraphs, declare, “this is fucking stupid” and then … MMMMMARRAAAHHH.

So I’m caught in this MMMMMARRAAAHHH cycle, and this is my attempt to get out of it.

Last night, I blocked a dickhead on Twitter. I noticed that this particular dickhead declared that he was “proudly blocked by” a couple of people in his bio, and I said: These people on Twitter who proclaim that they are “proudly blocked by” people may want to reconsider their priorities in life … speaking only for myself, I block people who are dicks, and people who are obnoxious. So if that makes someone proud … um … good job?

My friend Nika observed, “@wilw Everyone wants a reason to feel important in life. Being unpleasant is one of the easiest ways to assert power.”

That made me think about how different things are now than they were


Jesus Shit Cock. Let me try again.

While I worked on the backend (hurr hurrr hurr) of my blog today, I thought about that exchange last night. I thought about the years I spent playing whack-a-mole with dickheads, dealing with trolls and griefers, and keeping my blog running as smoothly as I could. I thought about how much has changed since then, from a technology standpoint, a cultural standpoint, and how different my life is.

While I was having my coffee this morning, I responded to a comment on Reddit about the reasons I left Star Trek. I’ve covered this in books, so I’m not going to go into it again, but I wanted to share this part of it:

Me: The tl;dr from me is that I was treated quite badly by the producers, and they were actively sabotaging my career outside of Star Trek, preventing me from working in movies that would have been a huge boost to my standing in the industry.

Redditor: Do you think their sabotage has affected you to this day or do you think as a celebrity you have moved past it?

Me: I’ve moved past it. I have learned a lot in the years since that happened (among them the fact that all producers aren’t automatically jerks) and coming to grips with my experience back then allowed me to let it go, focus on what was important to me now, and …. [sunglasses] plot my own course in life.

Now, I’m sure that I would have a very different life if I’d been able to work in the movies they prevented me from working on. For example, I wouldn’t have wanted out of my contract, and I probably would have stayed with the show as long as they would have had me, through all the movies. I probably would have worked on other serious films, and would be in a very different place right now.

But if that had happened, I probably would have grown up to be a douchebag, because I would have been stupidly rich, stupidly famous, and I never would have grown up.

I love my life right now, and I’m grateful for the pain and the struggles that I went through to get to where I am today.

tl;dr Yeah, I’m fine.

Redditor: You’re an amazing, down-to-earth guy. I’m impressed that you’ve moved past everything as well as you have, and I’m glad that you’re doing well. I’m also glad that you appreciate what you have, because so many people don’t.

I appreciate the response and wish you nothing but happiness.


I’m not going to give up and delete this. I’m going to keep going.

My life is awesome, and I’m so grateful for all the great stuff that I get to do with it. I really, really am.

But today? Today, I just can’t shake the MMMMMARRAAAHHH.

48 thoughts on “MMMMMARRAAAHHH”

  1. I second the Redditor’s comments. I’m also totally with you on the MMMMMARRAAAHHH. I write for a living, so MMMMMARRAAAHHH is a regular part of my day.

    Also: It makes an awesome battle cry. MMMMMARRAAAHHH!!

  2. Sometimes we all have the MMMMMARRAAAHHH. It’s just part of the process of living, writing, working, sleeping, not knowing what to fix for supper, not knowing which college to pick, or movie script 😉 … “this too shall pass”.

    1. Im so sick of that kind of crap bratty rude under achieving student goes home and whines to bratty rude self absorbed open headed mother father who dont disciple their own children send their bad excuses to school hoping the school system will correct it but when they try to care about a kid… wham self righteous clueless parents jump the teacher who tried with their children bcuz they just cant do right or not do wrong… what gives?

  3. I had my own personal MMMMMARRAAAHHH today with a student who just refuses to give my elective math class a shot. Instead of stepping up and using it as an opportunity to improve (in an area that she needs major improvement), she turns sarcastic, bratty, whiny, and incredibly rude. Her solution? Go home, tell parents i yelled at her so that they, in turn, come storming in to rage at me. Fortunately, the front office was able to deal with mom while i was in class and i didn’t have to. But still, MMMMMARRAAAHHH!

    1. So feel this. My 25 period 3 students, half of whom bombed a review quiz last week, upon given an activity today to help them learn the material they so obviously haven’t, spent the period giggling and goofing off. MMMMMARRAAAAHHHH! Doing this for you you goofballs! Take advantage of this opportunity!

      1. It’s so unfortunate, I’ve wanted to teach for over 10 years now. I finally got my teacher’s credential and Master’s and now I’m so disgusted by the system that I’m only looking at community colleges. I love teaching but between the kids and the parents and the administrators….MMMMMARRAAAAHHHH!!

    2. As a junior in public high school I see this crap all the time – kids in ELECTIVES not doing the work or getting angry with their teachers and it makes no sense to me. Why sign up for a class you don’t want to participate in/do the work/be challenged/etc.? There are certain electives that fulfill graduation requirements at my high school but there are often several options for that requirement, so you’re not forced into a class that you don’t want to take (unless it’s a core academic class). Having been in AP/Honors classes all my life this just enrages me – if you don’t want to give it your all in a class then you obviously don’t want to be in it, so switch out so so the people who do want to be in it can enjoy the class. I’ve been in classes that I ordinarily would love, but a couple of people who just don’t care end up ruining it for me and I end up dreading it every day.

  4. I am also glad you are happy with your life now. You have a beautiful, loving, funny wife, great children, and you make all of us that follow you smile, sometimes ponder our own lives, and generally think. Thanks for that.

  5. We saw Billy Crystal’s show “700 Sundays” earlier this week, and one of the themes he explored is that life deals you a certain hand of cards, but it’s up to you to decide how to play them. Maybe it’s a lousy hand, and maybe it’s four aces… but maybe the exact cards you get isn’t as important as what you do with them. Seems to me that you have developed a LOT of skill at finding joy in playing the game of life! I love reading your blog (whatever the web interface happens to look like) because I like being reminded how important it is to appreciate where we are and what we have, even when we’re in the midst of a struggle to improve our game. Keep writing, please – even on those days when you feel MMMMMMARRAAAHHH!

  6. I agree that you are awesome and kind. I’m having my own never ending MMMMMARRAAAHHH for completely different reasons. I’m growing two humans and I don’t want to anymore. I have 21 days to go. I didn’t get THIS pregnant last time. Every joint in my body hurts. Everything is hard. Everything is uncomfortable. My clothes don’t fit. I’m literally borrowing other peoples clothing. My three year old doesn’t understand why I am not the patient mommy I was a few months ago, and why I fall asleep in the middle of the day all the time. I call them narcoleptic naps. MMMMMARRAAAHHH.
    But, I shouldn’t complain.
    I am doing great for twins.
    Hundreds, perhaps thousands of women would happily trade place with me for the chance to have children.
    I KNOW they are easier in there than out here. I KNOW it will be very hard taking care of them. I know this.
    But I can’t sleep. When you are pregnant your blood volume increases by as much as 50% and it puffs up everything. I literally stop breathing and wake myself up half a dozen times a night because my face closes on the inside.
    Feeling a human (or two) moving around inside of you is neat. Feeling them move constantly is just a little insanity inducing and uncomfortable. Getting kicked in the lady parts from the inside is downright PAINFUL.
    But. I shouldn’t complain.
    I am doing great for twins.
    I have the skin of a teenager. (That’s not a good thing)
    I get winded from talking.
    My shoes don’t fit. (WTF is this?)
    I’m getting kicked in the ribs right. this. second.
    21 days.

      1. Jeeze, I’m sorry for writing a blog on your blog.
        Thanks. I am coping. I am just short tempered from the pain, discomfort and and exhaustion that doesn’t end. It’s a new thing I’m not used to. Hello, Tylenol. 20 days. : )

        1. Being pregnant with twins was so hard–I felt cheated out of the lovely glowing first-time-mom experience I thought so many other people were having. But my twins are 11 years old now, and really, twins are pretty wonderful–wishing lots of luck and love for you as you start this new adventure!

  7. Yeah, this is one of those days when my stupid goddamn depression and anxiety make me want to just crawl back into bed and hide from the world.

    The really frustrating thing is, there’s no good reason for it to be like this. It’s been a great week, it’s going to be a wonderful weekend, and we’re FINALLY getting some work done on the house we’ve wanted to have done since March. Everything is awesome, but my brain is still MMMMMARRAAAHHH today.

    I guess I’m posting this as a reminder to my fellow depression havers: even when there’s no good reason for our brains to make us have a MMMMMARRAAAHHH day, sometimes it happens. It will get better. It will pass. Depression lies, and sometimes it just screams MMMMMARRAAAHHH at us because it’s a dick.

    1. As someone else who knows depression and anxiety and the both positive and negative effect of creativity… I *nod* because I get it.

      I’ve always tried to describe this feeling as “my soul it itchy” – from the inside out and I just can’t get to it. But MMMMMARRAAAHHH is soooo much more satisfying to type.

      Thank you for sharing. Truly. I mean – the MMMMMARRAAAHHH times suck big time and I hate that anyone else knows them, but I’m comforted too knowing that I’m not the only one.

    2. I was thinking about what I could add to the conversation but you summed it up here in the comments: Depression says MMMMMARRAAAHHH because it’s a dick.

      …I will be sad if that isn’t on a t-shirt next week.

    3. Wil, I just want to thank you for sharing this bit on FB. As someone who’s been battling depression and anxiety for most of my life, I shared your status. My boyfriend’s mother saw it and shared it with her teen daughter (my BF’s half-sister) because she’s going through some serious depression/anxiety right now, exacerbated by applying for college.

      I hope that she realizes that she’s not alone and that “even celebrities” deal with the dick that is depression/anxiety.

      Hugs to you, Will, and a crowbar to the knees to your (and everyone’s) MMMMMARRAAAHHHing depression.

    4. I kind of envision being invaded by orcs and try to keep in mind that that thinking isn’t actually me. Still orcs are definitely dicks and probly shout mmmmmarraaaahh a lot so it all works. :)

  8. I’d love to be able to say that I’m not that dick you blocked once in a while – just got a comment deleted on “The Atlantic” which basically said they didn’t do their homework writing about racism during and after WWII in Austria (I’m German).

    Sometimes I sit in front of my computer having to fight with this inner troll, this dick, this deamon that makes me want to go MMMMMARRAAAHHH at an author who (to me) clearly is trolling me with writing on a 6th grader’s level about something I have a clear and deep knowledge about. It is so extremely hard not to be a dick, not to tell people “This sucks. You suck. You are bad and you should feel bad”.

    I’m currently sitting here trying to imagine how it would be if you blocked me. If I would embrace it like that dick or if I would feel ashamed. It makes me remember the time when I ranted at A certain Baldwin that time people tried to “voice their opinion” about a certain chicken filet place by going there and ordering. Maybe he went MMMMMARRAAAHHH as well when I questioned god’s role in creating the US and a man’s right to bear arms. I thought I was reasonable, but most likely to this certain A, I was being a troll.

    If A had blocked me, would I wear that badge proudly? Should I?

    And does my enthusiasm for things that are fun and good, like @midnight, me sending @dougbenson and @nerdist “break a leg” tweets before Talking Dead and the first @midnight show, even out those times I criticize people? Or does that make me a special kind of bipolar?

    I don’t know. Not being a dick on the Internet is really really HARD (hur hur), especially when you feel very strongly about things, and the worst times are when you try to be supportive and the recipient is so ruined by interactions with dicks that they get you wrong and think you were criticizing as well.

    That said: Wil, remember a couple of months ago when you were still “In Exile”? Just load up that page and hold it next to this one. Trust me: this is better. It works great. You did a great job with this website and sometimes you just have to tear improvements back down and remind yourself that during the work you did (and reverted) today, your brain worked on the task the whole time – and it will keep working on it. Most likely tonight when you go to bed it will work on it some more. Just like you now know more about producers, you will know more about your page and what you want to do with it tomorrow.

    I know it sounds silly but I just tore down two years of work on my model railroad – the fun thing was I knew it was a first try when I went in. So I am not really frustrated, but know that this was a step towards the “better thing”.

    Think about Nick Offerman – most likely he did dozens of canoes before he made the first one he was truly content with. I am sure your perfect website is somewhere in your head, you just have to chiseling :-)

  9. I very much appreciate the layers of “Jesus Shit Cock. Let Me Try Again” and its placement in this post. :) *High Demolition-Man Style Five*

    Seriously though…you’ve built something amazing out of what many others would have allowed to remain a mess. It’s inspiring.

  10. It’s funny. I started gearing up for NaNoWriMo last night, and was thinking about the MMMMMARRAAAHHH days that come along, and how to keep writing, even though it feels like crap and sounds worse. How to keep plugging away when it gets hard and “I don’t wanna” gets in the way. It’s weird how your post resonates with me. That everyone deals with the MMMMMARRAAAHHH and I’m not the only one.
    Thanks for that.

    1. LOL, I was trying to gear up for Nano too and was actually worried that I am so mmmaaarrraaaahh that I don’t even want to do it this year. :) The good thing about Nano is you can not do anything till the day it starts, and still fall over the line at the end so maybe I’ll just do it that way this year. Good luck!

  11. I have to say you have turned out great. Having grown up watching TNG with my father, it was fun to find out later in life you are as much of a dork, gamer nerd, beer snob as I am, as well as the all around cool guy that you have become.

    I like to think that we all go through things in life that make us who we are. Us over-thinkers, we either follow a path of destruction (self-destruction) or fight our destructive chaotic tendencies constantly to follow a path of creation, life and art.

    I applaud you becoming better than most childhood actors. Not losing sight of reality. Perhaps it was the leaving TNG that did it for you, perhaps it was self preservation. Maybe you saw two paths and you chose one (consciously or subconsciously) that led to a more enlightened self.

    You have been able to work alongside some of the Generations (pun intended) most famous Science Fiction creators, Actors, dramatists, thespians, techies, makeup artists, etc.; for it you have a very well rounded portfolio (BBT, Eureka!). You haven’t stopped creating and that’s whats great, you home-brew, you make people laugh, you bring it when it shall be brought! (cock-blocking the dicks on Social media).

    You know that list people have of whom they would invite to dinner, you are on mine. I know I’m just some guy, but that list isn’t very long. I’v met the depressive state, with my family genetics, my ADHD, overthinking life nuances, well we all battle it. I know its a MMMMMARRAAAHHH day for you and hopefully it will pass soon. Cheer up ole’ chap!

    Here’s another upside, at least you aren’t a zombie, in which case every day would be MMMMMARRAAAHHH or BRRRAAINNNNS!

  12. i’ve had a lot of those mmmmmarraaahhh moments lately, too. most of mine are named after the six-going-on-two-year-old. *deep cleansing breath* as i am reminded by celebrating eldest’s 12th birthday yesterday (avogadro day!), this too shall pass. if i’m lucky youngest will make it up to me by avoiding the teenage angst in a few years. he owes me.

  13. So: all donors from my tri? They get a short story written by me, and I [apparently stupidly] took requests. So, this one donor’s story? I have sat down to write it at least six times over several days/moods/levels of sleep/whatever, and just…nothing. All the rest are done, and ready to be mailed. This one? No. Just…no. My brain will not do it. It gives me a paragraph, then shuts down.


  14. I just super appreciate your very real, very human blog entries discussing your depression. I’ve been dealing with it and a lot of times feel stupid any time I ever try to open up about it even a little bit.

    “It gets better.” — I have heard people say that to each other forever, but the first time it was directed to me in the middle of MRRAAAAHHHH it ended up meaning the world. And hearing it from you has the same effect. So thank you, for saying it will get better..but also thank you for being honest about how shitty it is when it’s happening. It’s just always nice to know you’re not alone, ya know?

  15. Joy and suffering are really weirdly intertwined. The example I always use is, could the blues have every existed if the musicians who made it never knew sorrow? I feel like many people (I wont let myself say all) who have it too easy in life don’t have the contrast of the low points to realize how good the good stuff is. My life has certainly had some rough times thrown in that have sent me on an ENTIRELY different course from where I expected to be when I was fresh out of school. While the place I’m in certainly isn’t as glorious as my childhood self envisioned it, it is certainly richer, because the good in my life is real gold… not just the gilding that an easy path brings.

  16. Take 2 giant dumps on the crapper. Say 20 Hail MMMMMARRAAAHHH. Rage at X number of cliche’ statements made to make you feel better. And don’t forget to change your underwear.

    Seriously, thanks for the share. I can relate. I recently had a MMMMMARRAAAHHH day followed by a string of anti-MMMMMARRAAAHHH techniques which of course did absolutely nothing. Nothing worse, nothing better, just more low-grade MMMMMARRAAAHHH for another week. Annoying. I gave up trying to fight the MMMMMARRAAAHHH, put on some music one morning, laughed at a certain rationalization I had been using to justify why my MMMMMARRAAAHHH existed and slogged on. Left foot, right foot, breathe, , rinse repeat. I am now mmmmmarraaahhh. On the way back to “normal”.

    Best wishes on shedding the MMMMMARRAAAHHH.

    Yes, me too.
    Trying to live a creative life. Trying to make a career as an artist. Many days, especially TODAY end up one big bellowing MMAAARRAAHHHHH!
    Also a father to two amazing but oh-my-god-so-stubborn children. They are great, the joy of my life, but oh man do they make me want to scream MMMRRRAAAAHHHH sometimes.
    Glad to know I’m not alone.

  18. I had a long comment…then tech kicked my ass. So I’ll just say, as a fellow sometimes MRRAAHHHAHAHAAHHHHH’r…you’re rad. You bring a smile to my face often…and that’s just the bee’s knees.

  19. Wil, about 10 years ago I was one of the people u blocked. And to honest it did affect me. I check your blog every day to see what u r up to. I have played some of the games you have mentioned with my two boys. And to be honest… It’s nice to see one of the good guys win once in a while…. :)

  20. p.s. I do a lot of web development so I use “backend” a lot and I “hurr hurr” a lot too. #Immature #STFU #OkayYesImmature

  21. I’m glad to know that your trials have brought you a better understanding, acceptance, and growth. Knowing now why you left the show, I think back on your final episode, and can see the feelings you channeled. I always thought you were very convincingly angry and fed up in those scenes and can still picture your face. At times it made me uncomfortable because they were very familiar feelings concerning my own coming of age issues.

  22. I really admire you Wil and I am so glad that things have turned out well for you. I am grateful for your post, it gives me that little bit of hope and I feel a little bit less alone.

    Having suffered from a long time with both depression and anxiety, I then got hit by a car last year whilst cycling on my pushbike. I then had to move back home across the country. I thought people would at least be nice to me having had a serious accident, but the complete opposite happened. My uni wouldn’t let me continue my PhD until I’ve had all my operations (that could take years), my supervisor stopped talking to me when he said he would help, then tried to publish my work without my permission, my uni will not allow me to take my work to another uni, I cannot start a new PhD in the same country for at least 3 years after I withdraw from my current one, I feel that my supervisor is trying to sabotage my career and to top it all off, months after I had been away from the uni, a student fabricated evidence against me to try and get me expelled from the uni.

    I don’t understand why people bully others. I don’t understand why you would want to make another person miserable. I have spoken to a lot of people who have the power to help, but no-one in power appears to want to do anything.

    I really enjoy your Tabletop episodes, playing board games and watching many Star Trek episodes has been really helpful whilst I try and fight the uni bureaucracy, wait for ops and try and find employment.

    You are really amazing. Keep doing such an amazing job and being the fantastic inspirational person you are.

  23. I’m having a serious MMMMMARRAAAHHH stretch of life myself right now. I’m having major back surgery next week, and in the meantime I can barely walk, I hurt ALL the time, I can’t sleep, I have no appetite, I can only take about 10% of my normal pain meds and no ibuprofen and nothing for my constant hot flashes, and I’m just all-around miserable. It’s been incredibly frustrating to feel so helpless. MMMMMARRAAAHHH!! is definitely a good sentiment for my life right now!

    But then I look back on all the crap I’ve gone through to get where I am today, all the pain and misery and heartache and on and on and on, and I realize that no matter how how much crap I may be going through right now, I’m having some pretty high-class problems compared to what my life used to be like.

    And so do you, honestly. Your depression lies — you’re who you are because you’ve been through what you’ve been through, and we wouldn’t love you half as much any other way! These days you’re a pretty awesome person, and I’m glad you ended up with your beautiful family and your wonderful dogs and cats and your good life as a genuinely nice person. Trust me, that can be hard to find sometimes!

  24. Thank you for this post! Today I was verbally attacked by a colleague (in the hallway outside of my classroom) who I know has quite a bit of stress in her personal life right now. I’m guessing she is feeling that a lot of things are out of control. The tweet from your friend, “Everyone wants a reason to feel important in life. Being unpleasant is one of the easiest ways to assert power,” made me realize that she was probably lashing out because she had no other way to assert power in her life. Although it’s not an excuse for that level of unprofessionalism, it at least makes me feel a little more at ease about myself and the job I am doing in my classroom. Thanks again for a little bit of perspective!

  25. Yesterday, I had a bit of that. I didn’t have enough sleep. I’m looking at a very long week of overtime with more not enough sleep. I got to my second job and yelled at someone I really like for something they had nothing to do with (a stereo too loud). “Why didn’t you just ask someone to turn it down?” he asked. “I TRIED. NO ONE COULD HEAR ME.” One symptom I can have with my depression is not being able to speak in a normal volume. I have two settings: Shy kid whispering behind mom’s skirt and IRRATIONALLY BITCHY LOUD. I apologized to my friend a few minutes later when I had adjusted my settings with a dose of my medication and getting some control of my situation. He said, “I figured it was just a thing,” and it was all better.

    I used to feel like those days would lose me all my friends and cast me out into the darkness. “Hearing” (reading) someone else describe those stupid, annoying, why-the-fuck-am-I-being-such-a-jerk days and surviving them is a lot of relief. A sense that I’m not screwed up beyond being allowed to participate in the human race. That it’s FUCKING WIL WHEATON is just a bonus.

  26. I work at a library and was informed I had to read a bio for an upcoming Battle of the Bios. I let my displeasure be known but my boss did not care haha. I came across your book Just A Geek while shelving and since I follow you on twitter and enjoy your posts…..I read your book and I am glad I did. It was a great read. I find myself having many MMMMMARRAAAHHH days (my youngest has Type 1 Diabetes & Celiac). The emotional highs & lows can wreak havoc. At any rate, it was a pleasure getting to know part of your story.

  27. Wil, thanks for your raw, honest, and wryly funny posts about depression. I am a fellow depression-sufferer (along with those around me sometimes), and it’s taken me years, but I’ve finally realized that despite all of the amazing advances on the part of modern science, despite all of the great things going on in my life, and despite all of the well-meaning people trying to cheer me up, there are just going to be days where all I can do is wait it out, and remind myself that I won’t always feel like this. And it sucks, but that’s the way it is.
    I really like the idea of calling them MMMMMARRAAAHHH days. It just captures the “shit! shit! motherfucking shit fuck christ that plate is hot and now I dropped my burrito in the cat litter and whacked my head on the cabinet door when I went to pick it up–WHO LEFT THAT OPEN??!! now I’m late for work, and my boss already hates me and everybody is looking at me weird and why can’t I fucking stop talking?! Oh my god–shut up, me! OH MY GOD IS THIS MY LIFE NOW!??” quality of those days perfectly. Keep being awesome.

  28. Wil,
    Last year I released my first book.
    It bombed.
    This year, in honor of my daughter’s first book, I launched a crusade to get Ellen DeGeneres’ attention.
    My crusade has failed miserably.
    I have two blogs.
    Neither has broken through to mainstream success.

    But I have a loving wife and a magnificent daughter. And a crazy dog.
    Life is good.

    But in my mind, whether its late at night or first thing in the morning, I’m screaming. My failures threaten to eclipse my successes, but I’ll never give up.
    And neither will you. Especially when you stop and consider how much you’ve already accomplished.

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