Last night, my wife and I watched Ready Player One again, one of our favorite movies, and at the very end, there’s a line of dialogue that has always caught my attention:
“Goodbye, Parzival. Thanks. Thanks for playing my game.” -James Halliday.
Being a creator of, well, anything is special. But why do we create? Why do crafters make things, why do artists make art, why do writers write? I’m sure most people have different answers to those questions, everyone comes to the table with different life experiences and expectations.
But for me, a big part of it is sharing the story. While there might be exceptions, I’m willing to bet this is a common reason, or at least desire, for most people. Jewelcrafters want people to wear their jewelry. Artists want to show their art so others can see them and enjoy them. Engineers want people to use their things.
And writers want people to read and enjoy their stories. Or at least, I do.
If by some strange coincidence I was able to write full time for the rest of my life, but no one ever read my work, and no one ever talked about it or felt anything about it, I would never be happy. It would never be enough.
I suspect James Halliday, and many other game designers in real life, have much the same thought. Why make a video game if no one is going to play it?
Maybe I’m wrong, but the look on Halliday’s face when he delivered that final line instantly made me think that. He had built the most elaborate game in the history of games, and Parzival played it passionately and vigorously. It meant something to Parzival. It meant everything to him.
And Halliday, whether he was an elaborate AI or some sort of mind-uploaded copy of the real Halliday, couldn’t have been happier about it.
That’s something I hope I have achieved, even if only for a few people – passion. I hope there’s someone out there who has enjoyed my stories, and eagerly awaits my next one. I hope that there are people out there talking about them with each other, discussing their views on the characters, their favorites and least favorites, and why.
I’ve been a little despondent about it lately – Over a year since I published the 2nd editions of books 1 and 2 and not a single review on Amazon. Not even a negative one. Is it because my stories are ‘meh’ and no one feels passionately enough about them to even click a star or 5?
It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying, and it tells me I need to hone my craft and come up with truly engaging stories. But it really does make it hard sometimes.
Which is why I say to all of you, if you have enjoyed an author’s work, or even hated it, please do them a favor and let them know. We crave input from our readers, good and bad! It lets us know that we’ve made an impact, even if a minimal one. It also lets us know what we’ve done right, and what we’ve done wrong, so that ultimately, we can write better stories for you in the future :)
Stories are meant to be shared. Especially your own.
Thanks for reading!