Jim Ward posted some wisdom about writing, and I had to share it. Jim, if you ever see this, I hope you do not mind that I post all this…but its so good I need to share it far and wide.
Without further ado…
Keep Writing No Matter What
In 1974 when I started game designing and I was a terrible speller and it was a time before spell correction programs. All of my editors gave me tons of heat and most suggested I really didn’t have a career in game design. That didn’t stop me. Like Gary Gygax I could always tell a good story which in my mind is 80% of the work of game design.
So I took the editorial hits and kept on trying to improve my craft. One time the author of a Conan pick-a-path book vanished without a trace. I was the only one available to write the book. Pick-a-path books are tough to write because of the many paths in the story. I did it quickly and if I do say so myself the story was right on in the Conan style. The editor came to me after I was done and told me I had done a terrible job and really shouldn’t write any more TSR projects. I was unusually angry at her words. I asked her, “are the characters true to the Conan universe?” She didn’t know because she had never read a Conan novel. “Did I get any of the complex pathing wrong? No she said. “Was the general plots, and there were several, interesting?” Yes you did that okay. “Then what was so bad about the book you asked me to complete in three weeks when every one else took months and months?” She told me I spelled too many words wrong to be an author. Lucky for me I was her boss. I told her to quit belly aching and do her job. I worked much harder on my spelling in future projects.
I’m happy to report that as I worked with many full time game designers I discover that 100% of them were poor spellers.
Thanks again Mr. Ward.