Saturday, September 1, 2012

Surfing the Big One

Your regrets aren't what you did, but what you didn't do."
- Cameron Diaz

OK, so I never figured Cameron Diaz for a philosopher I'd find inspiration from, but this quote honestly speaks to me at this particular crossroads of my life.

I came away from Gen Con 2012 with enormous, amazing opportunities, greater than anything I've had in front of me up to now. With my career, that is saying quite a lot; I've been gifted with some rather extraordinary opportunities over the last two-and-a-half decades. Like a surfer, I've had many waves come into my life, and I've ridden some successfully, and I've fallen off many others.

Sadly, I've also let far too many waves simply pass me by. Fear of change, of being uncomfortable and without security, kept me on the beach. My board was in hand, and the wave was inviting, but I stayed dry and warm and didn't risk falling off. Thus, I completely missed the wave and all that might have come from it.

Not this time.

This is, as the old trope goes, the Big One. If I get a solid hold and ride it all the way, the joy will be glorious and the end results will be exultant.

All right, enough about surfing (I don't even have a clue how). The meat of the message is this – I am relinquishing my position and my duties at DriveThruRPG in order to pursue a full-time career as a creator, writer, publisher, and consultant. I have a significant handful of projects I am signed to (or about to be) that will require my concentration and dedication to the fullest. I've consulted with my friends and colleagues at DriveThruRPG (and believe me, both of those terms apply) and we've mutually concluded that I cannot give them all that they need and deserve from me while also pursuing the many other opportunities that I have.

In that they believe completely in my ability to produce many successful products, they are sending me off with great moral support and encouragement. DriveThruRPG will continue to be a major part of my path and my plans, only now the folks still running the show will be my partners in getting my stuff out to the world. At long last, what I've been promising and preaching to would-be publishers and pros at conventions everywhere will now be mine as well – the chance to share my creativity and make a living doing it.

As John F. Kennedy once said, “When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” This is a terrifying prospect. I'm giving up a decent amount of security for the insane roller-coaster ride of an entertainment industry freelancer (and in the RPG niche market, no less). At the same time, were I to play it safe, I would either fail miserably at trying to manage everything at once or simply watch my wonderful, giant wave roll on by.

Fortunately, thanks to the enormous support of my family, friends, and fans, I'm going to paddle out there, grab it, and ride for the horizon.

I guess that means I'd better learn to surf...


1 comment:

  1. Hey man, good for you!

    Going through something similar in my own days.

    It IS scary to be contemplating such big changes at this house...benefits...but...something is missing (and it shouldn't be opportunity).

    Take the chance. Live as bravely as your heroes.

    Setbacks will be there, bad times too, but like the morning sun breaking the night into golden shards: there will be glorious rays of happiness and success too.

    It's only fear until it's been engaged. Once it hits you, you can hit it back and see that you are still standing--it won't.

    That's what I'm telling myself at least as I'm working up to a change.

    Good luck and good for you for going for it.