An Open Letter to Mur Lafferty.
I’ve been a long time listener and reader of your work. I discovered you from your geek essays on Wingin’ It! O so many years ago. It seems like it’s only been a short time, but years have passed and I’ve only rarely reached out to you. I am poor at communication with others. This is a fault I’m working on.
Once I found your podcast I downloaded all your episodes and listened to them all and stayed caught up for a very long time. I listened to each episode and how you would give such great advice and you would admittedly say “It’s easy to give advice, but so very difficult to follow it”. This is human.
I watched as you morphed from writing essays for fun, to writing them for pay (Knights of the Dinner Table and Suicide Girls) and you would talk about your previous work on Role Playing games. I enjoyed listening to each of your podiobooks.
Sadly, as things happen, I ran out of steam and my enjoyment for podcasts has faded to where I only listen to very few these days, but I’m reading more blogs. I still read your blog posts and lately you said you’re suffering from depression and bouts of self-consciousness. I feel your pain. I’ve been there.
Being positive and upbeat is not an easy task. For me, I’m mostly an unknown person. When I do something I don’t have 1000 people looking at what I did. I’m lucky if 10 people a day see what I do. I have few comments on the work I’ve done and they’ve been mostly positive. So far I’ve managed to avoid any haters.
Then I see what you’ve done. I’m amazed at not only the quantity you’ve produced, but the number of people who consume your work. I could only hope for that at this point. I want you to know that I admire what you’ve done. I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished. It’s hard to see you down and I wish there was something I could do to pick you up.
I don’t know if you remember, but Mike Plested and I met you at WFC2011 in San Diego. Even though it was the briefest of moments, I was happy to shake your hand and make your acquaintance. You were busy with an interview so we didn’t talk much. I want you to know that you had an impact on me just by being there. I can now say I met Mur.
Because you’re so well known, I’m sure you’ve had your share of both positive and negative feedback. I know how much positive feedback can pick a person up. I also know how quickly one little piece of negative feedback can tear a person down. Pile on top of that all that life has to throw at us, and things can get quite gloomy quite quickly. I’m here to let you know that you’re not alone in having these feelings. I’m also here to let you know that I’m glad you share these feelings. I’m hoping that, even though I don’t comment much on what you do, that you know I’m here for you. I also know I’m not alone in saying that. Watching you struggle is something that many people do in silence and they let it over run their lives. Putting it out there for everyone to see is not an easy thing to do. I applaud you for doing so.
You are great at giving advice, but have a hard time taking your own advice and have said before you wish someone would give you some motivation for a change. Alright.
Suck it up, Mur! There are a lot of people who have remained silent for years and enjoyed what you’ve done. Please keep at it. Sit down, escape into the world of your creation and keep going. It’s not because we want something new from you, it’s because we need something new from you. We want to see you write and succeed! You’ve accomplished a lot over the years and better things are around the corner. Persevere and push forward. Don’t let negative thoughts get in the way of your work. Instead, put that negative energy to work for you and press on if for nothing else, just to spite those negative emotions. Write through and put it behind you.
Feedback will come and feedback will go. It’ll be both positive and negative. For the most part, readers and writers are introverts and the silent majority are enjoying what you’re doing and would love to see you continue until you’ve reached the top. You are motivation and inspiration for those of us who still want to get there.
Mur, thank you for all you have done, all you do, and all you will accomplish. I wish nothing but the best for you.