For the past three years, I've been one of a privileged number of folks that gets to see what the future holds for RPGs, well ahead of time. Last Friday afternoon, I was sitting in a room filled with other freelance writers, many of their names well-known to you, listening to secrets that I am not at liberty to discuss.
At some point during this seminar (if you can call it that), it occurred to me quite succinctly where I was, who I was with, and what we were talking about. I reflected on how I'd gotten there, as compared to where I'd been four years previous. I'd gone from approaching these people on convention floors with stars in my eyes, to mingling with them like I bloody well belonged.
On Saturday, there was a smaller meeting. It was no less important. Many other things were talked about. Looking at the assembled crew, it was obvious that I was standing on the shoulders of industry giants.
I think that it's important that I occasionally dwell on these things. I need to keep my own role in this funny little business in some kind of perspective. It's not unlike the Great Oz's schtick: there is a man behind the curtain. The vast majority of the Emerald City's residents don't know that he is there. A smaller percentage do as they are told, and they ignore him. The few that remain are either in league with him, or they resist his machinations.
Who am I, exactly? How do I fit in? I'm still not sure, sometimes. I went to Gen Con this year, unsure if I really wanted to keep plugging away or not. I was without current business cards, and I promised myself that I wouldn't try to pimp myself out to publishers. Damn the ENnies, and damn the multitude of good opportunities that came my way, because there's no getting out alive between now and August of 2008.
This is what getting up to feed the baby at 5am gets me. I'm going back to bed for an hour or so, then I'll get up and go to work. Will I sleep? Probably. Probably not.