Still Just A Geek is released today. It’s available everywhere books are sold. Holy crap it’s actually happening.
I’m going to be signal boosting a lot of press today on the socials. It’s challenging to find that balance between sharing cool stuff and making a ton of noise that most people just tune out. It’s going to be challenging. Telling stories is one thing, and promoting myself is something entirely different that I’m still trying to get comfortable with.
Months ago, I wrote myself a note (well, recorded myself a voice note) where I reminded future me that it’s okay to feel a little stressed out and overwhelmed by everything that’s happening today and this week. I implored myself to make space to enjoy this. Here’s some of it:
Publicity and attention and press stresses you out, because it was always imposed on you. But this time, it’s all supporting and celebrating you. Enjoy it, and know that after about three or four weeks, everything will go back to normal.
Please, please, please, dude, I beg you, for me, for you (who is future me) and for future you, don’t get distracted by someone else’s definition of success. Writing this book, all the work you did on this book, healed a TON of your trauma and helped you get closer to whole than you have ever been. That is the thing that matters. That is the thing you get to take home no matter what anyone else says or does. If this book’s sales exceed expectations, if it gets good reviews, if it gets noticed beyond the people who already love you and want to read your story, that’s a bonus. BUT NOT GETTING THERE DOES NOT MEAN YOU OR YOUR BOOK ARE A FAILURE.
I’m going to say it again: Whatever happens today and in the future (“today” for you is in my far future, but it’s your present. How are we doing, by the way? Did we finish The Big Idea? That’s just kicking our ass right now. I hope we did.) Uh, whatever happens today and in the future is entirely out of our hands, and I know you’re probably going to forget that, because you spent your whole life hearing that anything less than first place was the same as last place.
None of that matters, and letting that old thinking into your space is just going to give you stress and anxiety about stuff that you can do absolutely nothing about.
You did The Thing, dude. You did it. You. I know you’re like “I had a lot of help” and that’s true. But you’re the one who had to relive all that stuff and process it. I’m proud of you, and I hope you can find space to enjoy this.
I am so grateful to me from however long ago that was for thinking of me from today. He knew EVERY fear and anxiety I would have today, and he did me a real solid with this advice.
I always tell people that I do my best, every day, to be the person I need in the world. I don’t know how I knew that today I would need these reminders from myself, but I’m real grateful that me from the past was looking out for me from today.
I’m going to share a couple links to some interviews I’ve recently done, because I think some of it may be interesting to anyone who has read this far:
On Episode 222 of You, Me, Empathy, Wil Wheaton and I explore how being a geek intersects with empathy, the childhood trauma Will faced in a mother that treated him as a commodity and a father who simply didn’t care, on being the person we need in the world, and Wil’s beautiful new book, Still Just a Geek, which is like the Inception of inner child work.
We start the show talking about how narrating Still Just a Geek as an audiobook was way more emotionally charged than Wil anticipated, how Still Just a Geek is a stunning reflection on self and a deeply compassionate journey into accepting and loving the past versions of ourselves, and how that inner child work has impacted Wil’s relationships with his kids and partner, Anne.
Wil opens up about his experience as a kid, and the trauma he experienced through a mother who seemed to only value him as an actor, and a father who had no capacity for love or care—and the deep grief and heartache he’s been through because of it all. He just wanted to be seen, and heard, something so universally needed on a human level that when it isn’t present it feels so paralyzing and awful.
Wil Wheaton talks with me about his fatherhood journey. We chat about being a step-dad and the relationship he has with his sons. Wil shares some of the values he looked to instill into his sons as they were growing up. He also talks about how he wanted to make sure he didn’t act like his parents and not make the same mistakes they did. After that we talk about his book, Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir and how recording the audiobook version was life-changing for him. We even talk about on comic-con moment that stuck with me for years on the advice he gave someone about being a geek. Lastly, we finish the interview off with the Fatherhood Quick Five.
Keeping Up With The Kardassians
Rob, Joe, and Nick had the incredible honor of sitting down and talking with Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher-STNG). In an interview spanning a variety of subjects from mental health, pop culture, pizza, and everything in between.
The Big Idea (yes, me from the past, we did finish it!)
I never talk about how much I was abused when I worked on this movie called The Curse, after Stand By Me. It was such a traumatic experience, I’ve done everything I can to forget it. But it’s a big part of who I am, and when I did Still Just A Geek, it was part of my story that I needed to tell.
Okay, finally, an answer to the single most frequently asked question about Still Just A Geek:
Q: Where do you want me to buy it, so you get the most money or whatever?
A: Short answer: wherever it’s easiest for you! That you read it is what matter, not how you get it. But thank you for asking!
Longer answer: I earned a nice advance with this book. It’s unlikely I’ll earn it out, and royalties will ever be a thing, so the specific place you get it makes no difference to me. That said, if you have a choice and all things are equal, consider buying from an indie bookshop. Indies always need support, no matter what, and I heard from my publisher that indie sales count 3X toward the NYT list (which I do not expect to make, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take).
Okay. I think I’m done. Whew. What a day. I feel strange, but also good.
27 thoughts on “Happy book birthday to me!”
I’m happy you feel good. This made me feel good, too.
Awesome, Wil! I’m reading your book now, as I write this!
Very happy for you. Congrats on doing the thing. I hope for all the happiness to come to you. Word of advice if I may – try not to get into a physical altercation with future you. He’s gonna know all your moves.
Every time I see you smile even if it under a mask it just makes me smile as well
Congratulations – I love that past you cared enough about future you to send encouragement and light out into the world for you to find. We should all be so kind to our future selves & the future selves of those within our own spheres of influence.
Awesome! Any tour happening or just virtual to avoid potential exposure?
PS. Kardassians with a K?
Congrats on the book release, and even more so on the work that has gone into it (both work work and emotional work!) I’ll be getting the audiobook version, and I’m greatly looking forward to listening
I bought the original Just a Geek when it came out and now I’m torn between buying the new book or the audiobook.. Guess I should buy both
Congrats, Wil,it’s been a hell of a ride between the original and now and I’m glad you are sharing it us.
Happy birthday! I’m looking forward to picking up my copy (from an indie bookstore)!
“I feel strange, but also good.” Well played, Wesley Crusher! Well played! And I’ll “see” you at the virtual book signing on Thursday!
Congrats Wil. I’m really happy for you.
Only a few chapters in, but in the best possible way – holy crap man. I’ve been following along for at least a decade (not quite from the early days) and I’ve always respected your honesty and transparency about mental health, your career and your family. Listening to the new book now is encouraging and heartbreaking in the best ways. I hope (or more strongly, I firmly believe) it will bring hope and a sense of not-aloneness, and with luck, a path to healing, to so many folks. Thanks for trusting us with your origin story, Wil.
And happy actual birthday to me! Bought it yesterday from a local indie bookshop as a treat for myself. Still can’t believe I did what I did in Chicago (and also, I’m sorry I never came by just to say hi – it was a weird, weird con for me and I had a lot of anxiety issues, so I…well, it was weird). But it’s all good. I’ll see you again sometime and get a happy belated birthday in there. How belated is the question. It’s a quest now. I’m good with that. I wish you all the success in the world, Wil, and I’ll see you out there some time, hopefully when I’m doing a little bit better. Hug.
Today I listened to the preview chapter while walking across my little town here in central Sicily. You’ve kept me company in these weeks, with Dancing Barefoot first and The Best Days of Our Lives then. I’ve preordered my copy of Still Just a Geek that will be ready to ship tomorrow, hopefully. Your memoirs are so meaningful to me that I don’t even know how to express my gratitude. I’m affected by depression and listening to your stories make me feel better and validated. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. From a huge fan of you and fellow geek, Marco.
Thank you for the work you have done on audio books. My employment keeps me busy driving long distances inspecting elevators and escalators. I suspect that the best is yet to come for you. I am currently listening to “Still a Geek”. Tuesday, I donated platelets at the American Red Cross in Woodland Hills CA. (In your honor.)
The lessons you teach about resiliency are valuable to the people who hear your words.
Take a moment to appreciate the differences you make in the lives of others by simply being yourself and your story telling. Do that for a moment each day and GET BACK TO WORK.
I hope to one day share stories in my own voice and style.
Robert L Krieger Jr.
Hey, Wil. I watched you on tonight’s Barnes & Noble event so I want to first thank you for the autographed book. Every time I hear your story it just reminds me of my life. At an early age (7 I believe) I said I wanted to act. My parents told me, “Nobody makes a living off acting. You have to be practical and study business. We won’t pay for college if you study acting.” Ok, fair enough, but then mom had a schizophrenic breakdown 3 years later, dad lost his new job that moved us to another state and got a new job in yet again another state. So while mom was hospitalized, dad was at his new job, my brother and I stayed with a neighbor until the weekend when dad was home. I was getting bullied at school, parents never liked any of my friends. Yeah, like you I felt nobody was listening. My brother started a pattern of gaslighting me that continued until last year when I finally accepted that he will never change, so I’ve ceased all contact with him. He will always see me as the f**k up of the family, even though I did 10 years in the Navy, something he couldn’t do because of a messed up knee (he was the military history buff, not me. I love sci-fi!). I did try to break into show biz in Hollywood but the lack of experience and training did not help. I went broke and totally messed up my credit score. Well, I left for home (St.Louis was where I was living when I joined the Navy in 1983) and been back here since 2018. Think I’ll contact the VA finally for some counseling and see if there’s anymore pieces of my life that I need to pick up. Thanks for sharing your story, I look forward to reading the new book when it gets here.
Congratulations, Wil! I can’t wait to read the book as soon as I get it. I’m going to take the difficulty filling my preorder as a sign of success for your book! I love reading your books and I’m sure I will love this one. Thank you for sharing!
My copy of your book arrived today, looking forward to starting it this weekend. Thank you.
I was one of the people who listened to you and Felicia talk last night. It was fun and easy. It was insightful, brilliant, open, and wise. I am about your age and I am still trying to figure out how to be a better person despite being broken. My trauma is less than yours, but I have heard that each person’s trauma is valid and can’t be compared by weighing it against someone else’s. You being so vulnerable and candid: gives me ideas about how I might improve myself and/or heal; makes me admire you more; makes me love you more. Thank you! Your sharing is so generous and helpful. Thank you!
I have started listening to your book. I am impressed at your ability to use different voices (which are all genuine versions of you) to communicate the different fonts, contexts, and time frame. I already knew that you were great at performing audiobooks. (You accurate portray a Yherjak so that shows great skills and work.) I admit that first time through, I expect I won’t be able to hear all of this book and will need to fast-forward sections (at least now). It isn’t because I don’t care about your pain, just because I can’t cope with it right now. Thank you for managing to share this and know that I care.
Thanks also to your Anne for finding and connecting with you so that you were able to survive and flourish so that other people can benefit from you (and because you just plain deserves to be loved and appreciated even if you don’t give anything–your phrase ‘transactional relationship’ was very meaningful to me.).
Wishing you the very best and with gratitude.
I am listening to the audio version of SJAG and at every step I reaffirm that you are my fantasy little brother. I am too old to have crushed on Wesley but I was a TNG fan and Stand By Me fan and later, a Burrito fan especially as it morphed into Just a Guy/Geek. I am sorry about your shitty blood family (BTW I am “dead to,” my sister too,) but welcome to my heart and millions of others who have Imagined you into their most treasured circle of beloved friends. Be well, Wil!!
Still Just a Geek is turning out to be even more meaningful than the original.
I wanted to drop a favorite memory here. I just finished your story about Stepto. I still have a vivid memory from y’all’s performance in Dallas. As Stepto reads his selection, he slowly, dramatically lifts his … iPad where we can all see it. Gasps escape from the audience before changing to amused chuckles at this seeming blasphemy.
It was something so simple, but it stuck with me. Thanks for your story. It was nice to have that memory unearthed.
His memory IS a blessing.
I just started listening jng to you reading this book to me and man, I want to find teen will as a contemporary and give him a hug, tell him he does matter, he deserves love and affection . Can 50 year old me retroactively, with consent, hug 49 year old you in light of our mutual gen xperience
I purchased this book and I am about half way through it. Excellent. I also purchased a couple of audio books where you narrate. One of your earlier posts encouraged me to start to write. I now write articles on Medium dot com and I have written a book that is in review by my friends (fantasy, about 83,000 words). I cannot thank you enough. I will continue to support you via purchasing your books. Note: website is not up yet.
I’m enjoying this new version, but I want to make you aware of a problem I had with my Kindle purchase.
I ordered the Kindle version for $9.99. I started reading it and I noticed that nothing I tapped pulled up the annotations. I Googled for a fix and searched the book for the annotations that I could clearly see in a print edition. Goodreads confirmed that I should be able to tap the * denoting an annotation to pull up the annotation. I deleted the book from my devices. Restarted my devices and redownloaded the book. No luck.
I looked up the book again on Amazon and noticed the Kindle entry had subtle differences between my purchase and the current display. The not-so-subtle difference was the price difference (about $4.00 more), so I thought, “Well, maybe I got a bad version.”
So, I returned the original purchase and then repurchased the Kindle version at the current price. Viola! It worked. Everything is coming up dog butts for dogs. … or Roses for people.
Also, the chapter titles also now show when I view the “go to” menu. So, double bonus!
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