With that out of the way, I’m going to send you right to an ENnies acceptance speech. Unlike me (who did a godawful job of thanking folks for the Silver ENnie for Best Blog), Ryan Macklin used his time on stage to make an important point.
Stop being dicks to each other. [not a direct quote]
This seems fairly intuitive, but I’m not sure we all get it.
My favorite quote from this is: “make it a place where we do not squash the brightest of us.”
I am one of the brightest of us; this isn’t a declaration of my awesomeness (which in my head is still very suspect; see below), but it’s been proven to me to be true.
People ask me to sign their books.
I am officially in the “award winning writers and designers” gene pool.
My name is in several hardcover books (and for those not keeping count, I am on year 2 of writing) and a guy who designed most of the games I’ve played throughout my life is pressing out my world.
So why hasn’t it hit home yet?
Why do I still struggle with the concept that my ideas are worthwhile. That what I have to say is worth hearing.
Because of assholes. The answer is assholes.
There’s a field of “Mike doesn’t give a f$#%” that everything I hear or say goes through, but it’s a facade. I do give a f$#%, and I should be happy to give a f$#%!
We should all give a f$#%!
The thing is: after being told that I’m a fag, weirdo, gaywad, freak, and faggot about a million times, it has an effect. It isn’t the kind of thing you acknowledge, either—it is an insidious undertone to your entire life, softly played background music that ends up coloring everything you do (whether or not you realize it). Without even knowing exactly why, I hated myself as much as I did the world around me, largely because of people that couldn’t just keep their negative bullshit to themselves.
Before meeting Steph (mah baybehhhhh), I’d decided that it was fine for me to labor and die, cutting lawns and building retaining walls until the day that I couldn’t, which was sure to have an extremely violent and spectacular end.
Let’s all take a second to thank Stephanie for having a brain and decent disposition (and a sweet ass, but that’s a different post).
She took a good long look at me and said, “nope”. Then kidnapped me from the bar (not kidding) and has kept me on a tight leash since then, and for good reason—now instead of waiting tables and pushing mowers, I’m writing, editing, and managing the creation of incredible books, the kind I’d pour over as a youth. I’m living the dream because of Stephanie, and I’m doing it as myself, not this tired proletariat character I’d designed for playing out the rest of my sordid existence.
But not everybody has a Steph. Not everyone is going to get found and fixed by a person that truly cares for them.
So stop being assholes already.