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  • Kathryn Patterson

Wil Wheaton, My Hero

I recently finished rereading the book "Steal Like An Artist" by Austin Kleon.  I love this book because of the simplicity of his ideas, the thoughtful nature of the chapters, and his wonderful, practical suggestions.  One of his suggestions is to write public fan letters to people who you admire, who inspire you, who you think are just extremely cool. My first public fan letter is to Wil Wheaton, geek, writer, nerd, gamer, musician, blogger, and I think he acts. ;-) Dear Wil Wheaton, I have been watching you and your life since either the movie "Stand by Me" or the show "Star Trek: Next Generation" - it's been so long now that the exact dates get blurry.  I know that you hear this all the time, but you are my inspiration. I too am a geek, a nerd lost in the wilds of suburbia, surrounded by soccer moms and mom entrepreneurs.  I have a few, treasured geek friends, people who understand when I gush over the discovery of life created with arsenic instead of phosphorus (That's not completely accurate but this is a fan letter and not a scientific treatise).  People who love Jonathan Coulton, who sing "Skull Crusher Mountain" with me in public doing three part harmony. But I would never have continued on writing or blogging if not for you.  I read your blog, the cause of me never looking at closet doors the same way again. I read your books, and I watch interviews with you.  I love how you are so honest and open, how you talk about the struggles of trying to create and wanting to be better.  You posted an image that speaks of the gap between when someone starts creating and when someone starts creating well.  I look at that image regularly, and think of you and how hard you try. I find inspiration in you, Wil.  I find the ability to continue even when I'm sure I just wrote the worst drivel in the history of drivel writing.  Because I know I am just in The Gap, and it will get better. I also find material in what has happened in your life.  I have a small draft for my blog almost ready to publish, in which I discuss the problem of Internet piracy and how the big producers have it wrong.  I refer to your exploration in the world of online books, releasing a PDF of "Sunken Treasure" and having sales for the print edition take off as people decide they want a hard copy of your work. In fact, I think I will follow in your footsteps, and release my first novel as a PDF on Amazon.  Maybe it will work, maybe not.  But because of you, I will try. Thank you for being Wesley Crusher.  I had a crush on you back then, and I instantly forgave you for the crappy writing.  Thank you for making Star Trek friendlier for your own age group.  Thank you for going on to write such amazing books.  Thank you for continuing to act - I try to watch anything and everything that you are in because I know I will be entertained.  Thank you for being friends with Paul and Storm, and joining them onstage occasionally.  (You'll note the conjunction in the previous sentence.) Thank you for sharing your dogs, your amazing wife, your sons, and your thoughts with the world.  It would be a bit lonelier without you. Sincerely, A Geeky Fan

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