Monday, September 10, 2012

rant 987

forgive my long rant. feel free to ignore.

by the way, this is not a cry for help. this is just an interesting observation about something today.

most of you know i don't reveal much about my personal life. i'm a gruff asshole. i hate a lot of stupid shit. and generally i don't tell people about my inner feelings. you're not my wives, i don't see the need to tell you when i feel like breaking an axe handle over my neighbor's head. but whatever.

this post is a little glimpse into me.

when i was a kid, my father was a world-class guitar player. fucking amazing actually. we haven't spoken in 16 years, so i couldn't tell you if he's any good anymore, but when i was kid, he was amazing.

i grew up in a house filled with classical music. so i know what the fuck i'm talking about here.

everyone told him he was great. everyone.

he should have been playing concert halls.

but he never believed he was any good and he never did anything with his talent. he always compared himself to los indio tabajaras and was never happy that he wasn't that good.

being a vietnam vet, he had a lot of issues.

over the last 14 years, i've worked in the game industry. mostly for one fucking asshole who knows exactly who he is. friends of mine during that era reflect back on it like people with stockholm syndrome or women who keep going back to an abusive boyfriend. i spent those years being reminded that i was a piece of shit and that i didn't deserve better than i got.

[for instance, recently i found out WOTC pays 3 times what this asshole paid for the same job, which i suspect requires a lot less manhours as well.]

i'm a grown man, so i have no right to expect any human to feed my ego for me. or my wallet. fight to survive and all that. and that's not the point here. but i spent a lot of years being reminded that i was a piece of shit. and so i grew to believe it.

this attitude often gets misunderstood by those who know me. but that's a story for another time.


recently, i made a logo for someone for free.

[doesn't matter who. i do that a lot for people.]

at gencon i got a copy of said work, with said logo. on the cover and inside.

today i cracked said product.

no fucking credit. no fucking thank you in the notes.


now. i should point out, this person is a great friend. a sweet guy. and i harbor no ill will over this. there is no fucking way he did it spitefully.

but every time someone overlooks my efforts, every time someone decides for me what my value to a project is, every time someone steals my work and doesn't even say thank you or put my name in their fucking book, every time i have to argue about whether my name is appearing inside or outside a project... i grow more resentful. more insular. more unforgiving.

today. someone i trusted shit on my work. i didn't get paid. i didn't get thanked. i didn't get credit. this wasn't the first time. after all, i told him my value when i said, "dude. it's free." clearly i'm to blame.

i know what all of my successful friends in the industry will say about this. and because they will tell me to shut the fuck up and be a man is exactly why i don't talk about myself or share anything of value with people.

"shut the fuck up, jim."

just another reminder that i get what i deserve.

sitting on my computer are a number of finished and unfinished games and projects. probably around 20 in all. some are ready for print. most i've never shared with anyone. some need polish. some are just notes. some have art and a few paragraphs.

i've written a novella, two screenplays, parts of a script. i have 9 ENnies, i'm in the guiness book of world records (2006), i've won a screenwriters award, two origins awards, and recently someone compared my most recent board game to el grande, saying i've invented a new genre of game.

and who the fuck cares?

i've been told a measureable amount of times that i am good at something, even if it's just writing a really long fucking book.

but i've been reminded an immeasureable amount of times why my work is shit. why i am shit. and why i deserve shit.

a dear friend forgot to thank me in a project. an action that would have taken six seconds. he didn't do it on purpose. but it happened.

and now i get to add it to the long list of times i was told i'm shit.

writing is an art form for me. for some it's a craft. they get up. crank out 5000 words. go to bed. repeat.

i am not that guy.

someone broke me a long time ago. broke my love of writing. told me i was shit one too many times. and now getting up to do it everyday is a struggle.

i don't love this anymore.

and when someone takes away something from you that you love, that really is nothing more unforgiveable.

i have less than a dozen really fucking important people left in my life. a lot of them i've moved away from or said goodbye too over the years as we drift apart. i'm not even sure they know their value to me. i never tell them. so. what i am writing here, they may or may not have heard in some version or another. but i can guarantee i've never made these feelings public before.

so, if you are wondering why i don't talk about myself and i come across as an asshole, i hope this was edifying.

knowing me, i won't keep this up long.