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Reflections- Artificial Sweetener

Sometimes we know in our bones what we really need to do, but we're afraid to do it.

Taking a chance, and stepping beyond the safety of the world we've always known is the only way to grow, though, and without risk there is no reward.

Thoughts like this have weighed heavily on me for the last year or so, as I look around and reassess my life.

This past year has involved more self-discovery and more change than any so far in my life. It's been tumultuous, scary, exhilarating, depressing, thrilling, joyful.

I've realized recently that I have changed dramatically since I started this website. When it began just over a year ago, I was very adrift, terrified that the Internet would tear me apart.

Well, it did, and it turns out that was a great thing. The Internet kicked my ass, and it forced me to find strength within myself, and to not derive my sense of self-worth from the opinions of others.

This website has introduced me to amazing people, weird people, scary people. This website, and many people who read it, has also helped me figure out what is important to me in my life, what makes me happy.

I guess the feeling has been building for a long time, and I knew it was there, but I wasn't willing to acknowledge it. It was --is-- scary. It's a major change in my life, but I can't ignore it, and to ignore it is to ignore myself, and cheat myself out of what I think my real potential is.

Back in the middle of May, I was asked to do this commercial. Well, not just a commercial, more of an infomercial, really. My first reaction was, "No way. Infomercials are death to an actor's career."

But then I thought about the last few years of my life as an actor. The daily frustrations. Losing jobs for stupid, capricious, unfair reasons.

I looked back and saw that it really started when my friend Roger promised me a role in Rules of Attraction, then yanked it away from me without so much as a phonecall or email or anything. Then there was the roller coaster of Win Ben Stein's Money, and missing family vacations so I could stay home and go on auditions that all ended up being a huge waste of my time.

Throughout this time, this painful, frustrating Trial, I began to write more and more. It's all here on WWDN. I can see my writing style change, as I find my voice, and figure out what I want to say, and how I want to say it.

The emails changed, too. People stopped asking me to do interviews for them about Star Trek, and started asking me if I'd conrtibute to their magazines, or weblogs, or books.

When this phonecall came for the infomercial, I took a long walk, and assessed my life.

The bottom line was: They were offering to pay me enough to support my family for the rest of this year. I wouldn't have to worry about bills anymore. I wouldn't have to view each audition as This One Big Chance That I Can't Screw Up.

Accepting it would mean some security for me and my family. It was also a really cool computer-oriented product (which I'll get to later, don't worry). It's not like I would be hawking "The Ab-Master 5000" or "Miracle Stain Transmogrifier X!"

It would also mean, to me at least, the end of any chance I had of ever being a really major actor again. That elusive chance to do a film as good as, or better than Stand By Me or a TV series as widely-watched as TNG would finally fall away.

I thought of all these things, walking Ferris through my neighborhood.

It was a long walk.

I thought of Donald Crowhurst.

I thought about why actors --and by actors I mean working, struggling actors like myself, not Big Time Celebrities like I was 15 years ago-- suffer the indignities of auditions and the whims of Hollywood.

I remembered something I said to a group of Drama students just before their graduation: "If you want to be a professional actor, you have to love the acting, the performing, the thrill of creating a character and giving it life. You have to love all of that more than you hate how unfair the industry is, more than the constant rejection --and it is constant-- hurts. You must have a passion within you that makes it worthwhile to struggle for years while pretty boys and pretty girls take your parts away from you again and again and again."

I listened to my words, echoing off the linoleum floor of that High School auditorium, and realized that those words, spoken long ago were as much for me as they were for them.

I listened to my words and I realized: I don't have that passion any more. I simply isn't there.

I am no longer willing to miss a family vacation, or a birthday, or a recital, for an audition.

I am no longer willing to humiliate myself for some casting director who refuses to accept the fact that I'm pretty good with comedy.

I am no longer willing to ignore what I'm best at, and what I love the most, because I've spent the bulk of my life trying to succeed at something else.

So I walked back to my house, picked up the phone, and accepted the offer.

It was tumultuous, scary, exhilarating, depressing, thrilling, joyful.

I would spend the next three weeks wondering if I'd made the right decision. I would question and doubt it over and over again.

Was it the right decision? I don't know.

Things have certainly changed for me, though. I have had 3 auditions since May. A year ago that would have killed me, but I'm really not bothered by it now.

I've made my family my top priority, and decided to focus on what I love: downloading porn.

Just kidding.

I've decided to focus on what I really love, what is fulfilling, maybe even what I am meant to do, in the great cosmic sense: I am writing.

I write every day, and I see the faint outlines of something really cool. I occasionally catch glimpses of an ability, unrefined, long-ignored, coming to life.

Sometimes we know in our bones what we really need to do, but we're afraid to do it.

Taking a chance, and stepping beyond the safety of the world we've always known is the only way to grow, though, and without risk there is no reward.

Risk was always one of my favorite games.

Tomorrow: Why Creation Cut Me From The 15th Anniversary of TNG Convention, and Why It's a Good Thing.

Comments

Sounds like a good choice. You get the money you need and the freedom to do what you want!

Wow! That was inspiring. Go for it!

WELL SAID, WIL!! I wish I was as brave as you to take that leap and "risk everything" (seeing here in NY there's NOTHING, but I'm just a coward) --- I'd really like to hear some of your "hobo" stories --- I read on your site you rode the rails for a while?

What the world needs is a really twisted set of changes... where's Q when you need him ;)


Wil,

Wow. Excellent thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.

You aren't the only one going through a reassessment and resettling of priorities right now. Thanks for putting into words some thoughts that have been sitting on MY mental back burner for some time now!

Wil, I've been reading this weblog for a couple of months now, and I've got to tell you that I have tremendous respect for you. The internet is an amazing thing - thanks for writing.
--sd

Wow, you've got me hooked. I need to see that informercial! How come you get all the cool, free stuff!

Argh...sounds like you have been doing a lot of self reflection. Can be depressing, but good.

Seems like life sometimes takes you in many directions. You just have to go with it & make the best decisions for you & your family.

I know this sounds extremely cliche but it does all work out in the end & I believe things happen for a reason.

Hope you find a lot of cool, super freaky porn. I think besides web journals that's the second most interesting thing.

wow, big stuff Wil. Stay centered. keep working on the spiritual Wil. He see you through it all. ALoha

Damn, I need an offer like that! Good luck, Wil!

Good luck to you Wil. I hated Wesley when you were on TNG, but you, Wil, are a beautiful person. Godspeed.

Being able to play someone else is called acting; being able to be yourself is an art.

PS - I, for one, am very interested in reading what you're going to write. Let 'er rip.
--sd

Wil,

It seems like you've found what is truly important. As we all grow older, our lives change as do our perspectives.

Remember, you'll always have your talents. The door is never closed. It is never disgraceful to find work to support yourself and your family.

The key word is integrity. It defines the measure of a man. You have it.

That was a very inspiring piece.I just let my cigarette burn that whole time I was reading it!(I know bad for my health)When will I see a Novel that you will write? Yes I know you are an wonderful actor but when will I see your beautiful words come out in an inspiring book! Most people form there books on other books EVERYONE has seen before...but you have that ability to do MORE from that! You are inspiring! I am not saying to write a book from your life(which is quite interesting) I am saying to write a BOOK period about anything! Good luck to you!

Holy crap! Wil's life is beginning to parallel the life of the writer at the end of Stand by Me.

Will, whenever your first published work comes out, I am buying ten copies. Guaranteed.

Your web site is a great testament to your talent, and a welcome read to me everyday. My wife thinks I am weird, but poopy on her.

Peace and love from the Philadelphia Contigent,

Leo Romero

I've been reading your site since you were on Weakest Link. I think I've seen your writing change as well, and I like it very much recently. More than once I've told friends and family members to read your latest entry.

I lauged out loud at the downloading porn joke, and the last line is perfect. Good luck.

Wil, sounds like you are on your way. As for never having a big acting job again, I say Bull. As an example look at John Travolta.

And I am dying to know why Creation turfed you. I was quite excited for you when I saw you listed.

I am going through exactly what you have gone through with regards to career choices. The only difference is I don't have a dog. But I have a family and they are the number one priority too, but before I do anything rash I want to make sure they are taken care of.

So, best of luck Wil. Success is what you want it to be.

well, good luck wil. Hope it all works out well.

You can still do comedy (downloading porn! lol, i really thought you meant it!)

i take it there is some more news to come (hence the counting down in the forum).

good luck wil.

J

I like the post.

Business is like dating, if you go for it with the feeling that 'this is that Big One that my life hangs on' it has that smell of deperation that turns people off.

I've had worse problems, than not getting work - getting it and getting scewed because I was too deperate and I only got work with people who were looking to for someone they could mess with..

At times, I've been forced to find work outside my chosen profession so I could be more objective and less suseptable to those sorts.

You seem to be finding your strength, which means the future will always be wide open.

I still say, I hope to see someday:

Wil Wheaton's Politics Zone (or some other name for a PI knock off)

Your pilot show could have Michael Moore, Tom Tomorrow, a Buckley and Ann Coulter and the audience would be stacked with your posse.
Hour long is a must - PI was way too short to follow a thread!

:-)

Honey, it hurts to hear you say you are no longer interested in acting since you are so fucking GOOD at it. I've always maintained that you were one of the best actors I'd ever seen, and I haven't even SEEN "Stand By Me."

But I'm at a similar place in my life where I'm really wondering why I continue to do things that are hard. Okay, that's not the right way to put it, but it's complicated.

When you are reading and doing math at the high school level in first grade, you sort of are expected to do science. I've got an MS in Physics that I wish I didn't have. Oh, it's fun, but I would have been a lot happier in archaeology or something "softer" like that.

But when you're Smart™, you do Science™. Hence, I got stuck doing something I didn't like for a long time. Doesn't matter that I'm good at it -- I DON'T FUCKING LIKE IT.

And here I am learning how to read hieroglyphs out of the Gardiner Grammar and the deBuck reader at 36.

You're a fantastic actor -- but go do what you love. Do what you want to do. Be what you are, honey, and live a wonderful life while you do it.

Good for you! I have been visiting you website for the past year. I have enjoyed not only you stories and insight, buy I have enjoyed watching you grow as a writer. You have evolved from a "today I will do..." type of entry, to an insightful glimpse into you soul. Very brave. And making any carreer change takes alot of guts too. I am currently an an art director, but am in the process of starting my own business. Check out my website and let me know if you would like me to illustrate anything for you.
I wish you nothing but the best of luck!

Amazing piece today. Your take is that an infommercial is the death of your acting career; most of us are sitting here thinking "Yay! We get to see Wil on TV!"

Transitions are wonderful things; scary as hell, but wonderful. Priorities shift. Important things come into focus. Family, life, love... So maybe you won't be That Actor again. Maybe you will, at some point. But there's all those possibilities out there - your comedy, your growing tech skills, and dammit, if you don't write a book, you're depriving the world of a truly wonderful writing voice.

Who knows, buy the time you write it maybe I'll have my publishing company up and running. I'll give ya top royalties. Honest I will ;)

Ayo,
first time commenter, long time reader here. yes, I am my father's son. Just wanted to say that, while I have spent the last 26 years valiantly fighting watching infomercials which didn't feature cheezy romantic music and bountiful, beautiful, bikini-clad, buxom babes, I will be on the lookout for your infomercial. Sadly they don't get listed in the telly guide...

More power to ya, buddy.

Welcome to thirty, Wheaton!

That glorious age of life reassessment, questions and the search for answers.

It's called growing up. =o)

It sounds to me like you've gone through what about 95% of artists of any kind go through, the big "realization" that you've peaked.

(Now, I say this sincerely hoping that you HAVEN'T and that Wesley Crusher, Borg Queen will one day be a major motion picture for you)

It's that realization that ballplayers have that they're never gonna be Derek Jeter or Terry Bradshaw or Larry Bird or Wayne Gretzsky.

Or the artist who realizes that they are never gonna be Andy Warhol, or the writer who will never be Poe or even Stephen King, the musician who will never be Bob Dylan or Public Enemy.

Or the actor who realizes he will never be Tom Cruise.

Then it all boils down to one thing. How much do you love it?

And in most cases, I think you'll find people making the same decisions you did.

Family matters more. Friends.

So you look to be able to make money, ANY amount of money doing something you love. Just to justify it.

Ball players go to the minors, or coach.

Artists teach art. Writers freelance articles, or maybe write just for themselves and their friends.

Or, perhaps, like a friend of ours, they become a playwright.

Me, I'm a musician. I gave up on the dream of "making it" about three years ago.

But, now I play almost every weekend in a mostly cover band. I make pretty decent money doing this. It is helping to support my family while my wife is interning this year.

You (quite rightly) took an acting gig to help support your family. You're making money doing something you love.

Now, some people (mostly, those who haven't gotten to 30 yet, I assume) might say, "Hey Wheaton, you sold out, you bitch!"

Hell, I've had people say that to me about being in a cover band.

But you know what?

Fuck'em.

If they don't want you to sell out, tell THEM to paying your frikkin' bills.

You're doing something you enjoy and you're getting PAID to do it. This is a dream to most people! Anyone with a problem with you doing so, is probably jealous.

And real quick, I've noticed something about the big "realization..."

It has an odd way of making things happen.

In the last two years, my band has recorded two cds (one covers and one all original), gotten gigs in Hoboken (the hottest town for bands to play in in Jersey), AND been played on the radio.

I decided to "grow up" and stop chasing the brass ring, and oddly enough, in a small way, it instead rolled right on up to me.

I may never be a big rock star, but I am already further along than I ever dreamed.

Maybe, in making the same decision, the same will happen to you, Wil.

Anyway you slice it, you got a pretty loyal bunch of us who will come on out and see whatever you DO appear in.

Peace, dude!

Whatever happens, YOU finally made a choice. You grabbed life by the balls and that takes courage. It's not about letting yourself float with the whims of anyone else's expectations. Your writing voice has been maturating more and more with each post you make. It's as if you are growing up. You "Get It". You Fucking "GET IT"!! Man that is worth so much. Some people NEVER "GET IT". You are a wonderful writer with a voice that is intelligent, reasonable and funny. I can't wait to see what you continue to create.

The path that is before you is being decided everyday by these choices you make. I'm glad to see you are ready to handle it.

I'm glad you "get it".

Don't lose it, YOU OWN IT!!

FUCKING RAWK ON WIL!!!!!!!!

You should watch Cher: Behind the Music. She did that one infomercial and people made fun of her for awhile but now she is back and cool again or something! So it may not necessarily be the Kiss of Death (tm).

However, it sounds like even if it is, you have found something awesome to do instead so who cares about Cher.

Oh but if you watched the Suzanne Sommers biography, you should learn from her that even if people will make fun of you, if you get the infomercial people to make you a partial owner of the product like she did with ThighMaster, you can get all rich if it gets huge like she did.

I watch too much TV.

Way to go, Wil!

With age comes wisdom, someone once wrote. And everyone eventually must be forced to review their life; where they've been and where are they going. I've been reading this site on and off for the last few months, though I've only recently added my voice to this site. And Wil you appear to have discovered that the key to life is not money and parties. Life is, and always, has been family. Do WHAT you want to do, but never give up your soul to get it. Hollywood has a history of using people, and the only ones who've stayed on top, are the ones who know how to say yes (which explains Brannon Braga's career as a writer for Trek. Yes, master Viacom). Wil, you have proven to us -your fans and friends -that you have more humanity and compassion than most who entertain us. Please continue to shine. Please continue to love your family. Please continue to write and above all, please continue to act when you want too. But don't ever do something that will take your soul away. The 30's will be better for you than the 20's.

Peace,

EM

WIL!!! You don't have to change your entire life direction because you are doing an infomercial. look at some of the schtick travolta has done and he made a huge comeback. you can't keep walking on eggshells afraid to destroy your career at every turn. i think writing is great, but what makes your writing so interesting is your pop-culture-icon status and your ability to twist that into something so real and honest people are compelled to listen to you. i hope you continue to audition and pursue acting because you have so much invested in it, and it's such a big part of who you are. nothing that comes easy is ever worth having (and other trite-yet-true cliches). and, i saw you on tech tv and you were really funny. by the way that picture of you on the walk a thon page, is that supposed to be a joke? it's kind of a wil-wheaton-caricature-photo. you looked way WAY better on tech tv with your hair kinda spikey.
take care!
--redbirdfan

Wil becomes the next Cher: The New Wil Wheaton Grill! It is great that you took the job; just dont give up on your comedy or Arena; if its not seducing Faye Dunaway, fine.

Is it the George Foreman Grill? Do tell...

Wil,

Congrats on getting a gig that will not only support your family, but your healty writing habit. I suspect your best stuff is gonna come out of you this year.

Change is difficult, yet necessary.
Without change, there is no growth, nor fulfillment.
To take the first steps toward the new, and away from the old requires significant courage and sometimes, no little discomfort, but is, in the fullness of time, rewarded.

Good to see you've found Wil Wheaton 3.0. I'll bet it's a significant improvement over 1.5 and even 2.0.

:-)

Wil,

"It's all here on WWDN. I can see my writing style change, as I find my voice, and figure out what I want to say, and how I want to say it. The emails changed, too."

Yeah. But back when you started WWDN, you actually responded to them.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I understand that you do get so much email that you literally don't have the time to answer even a fraction of the ones you receive. At least not if you want to have a life away from the computer.

But if someone offers you something, and you take the time to go look at it on their Web site, would it kill you just to write back a "No thanks" if you weren't interested? Instead of leaving the person hanging there, KNOWING (thanks to referrer logs) that you read the email and looked at what was being offered, but getting no reply? Wondering if perhaps you thought you were too good to send a measly two-word answer?

What Would Darin Say?

Upon reflection, I don't see why an infomercial means the end of the Big Time. Infomercials have helped re-ignite a lot of once-great careers. What about Suzanne Somm.. err, Chuck Nor... no wait... Christie Brink... umm, there's gotta be somebody. Victoria Principle? No, that's not it... Victoria Jackson! That's the one.

What was the question again?

Oh, shit.

I better start sending out stories, huh?

Damn, Wil, you should get some gigs as an inspirational speaker.

Do you think you can get some of that honesty in there?
Hmm can't wait to see the infomertial:

"Hi! I'm Wil Wheaton and I'm here to tell you about this great new product because they pay me well!"

"When I tried the product I thought: Hey this is great! Now it's gathering dust in the closet. Only used it once!"

Just kidding! What even balences the checkbook.
Don't forget to smile! (the cheesiest simle you can muster up! ;) )

I'm one of those quiet ones who comes and reads and goes about the day without commenting on much around here, but I have to add something to this.

The first thing that came to me when I read this was Why be an actor, forced to play someone else's creation with someone else's words when you have so much to say on your own. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but it's what I thought. You have experienced things that most people will never have the oportunity to do, and dealt with the good and bad as a result. It's those combined actions and reactions that have made you who you are now. Personally, I would rather read about what you did on your time off because I know the words and the feelings behind them are yours, and they mean alot more in the long run.

You have a great gift in your writing, and yes I've been around long enough to see it change. The beauty of it is that it is yours totally. You have created something that no one else could have, and captured a unique view that is all your own.

Go with it, enjoy family time and doing what you love, because it is the most important part of life.

When I first started reading this entry, I thought that perhaps the Big Decision was going to be to take down the website. I was a little worried there for a few.

Not only was I glad to see you're *not* taking down your site, but you're following your true passion for your family. Thirty-ish is that Saturn Return time and we all go through that period of reassessment. Change is scary but good.

Best of luck to you.

Congratulations Wil on the way you came to your choice.

When I was young,a very old and wise lady gave a very precious piece of wisdom,which I have held onto to this day.

The wisdom is this...

"NEVER MAKE A LIFE CHANGING [ALTERING] DECISION
IN THE FIT'S OF RAGE,NOR IN THE HEAT OF PASSIONS"

Im glad to see you take a season of time to decide whats best for your family and you.

Fine piece o' writing today.
WFS has got that autographed mutant frog give away thing going on over at SCIFI. Do the same with whatever fine product you may be introducing the world to.
Remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity ((fatal car crashes, OD's, STD's (sheep related), and emergency room visits involving cucumbers are always excluded)).

Do what makes you happy. You harm no one, and help the ones who mean the world to you.
There can be no fault in that.

(If DTG ever gets back to me, we wouldn't be discussing auditions, we could be discussing working around your schedule)

Whatever you do, you'll do it with your whole heart, and that is always it's own reward.

Enjoy it.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation). There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too, all sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occured. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


IN OTHER WORDS - The right decision is the one you make. That is my mantra. Let it be yours.

avoiding doing this infomercial out of actors pride would benifit no one...especially you...you having a comics mind have no doubt lampooned...at least in your mind, informercials...(set it and forget it!)...but somebody's gotta do it...and it may as well be you...and alot of the major stars outh there now have done commercials...who knows what might happen if you deliver results with your informercial!...but if you wanna be a writer...write on!...today's as good a day as any to really commit yourself to this course.

Like many others who have commented today, I have been reading your site for quite a while now - arrived at it by one of those internet coincidences and decided to stay.

It has been interesting to see the changes in Wil Wheaton, at least those reflected in his writing, but it seems that today's post reflects the feelings that many people refuse to acknowledge - we are not here forever and need to make the most of what we've got, without wondering whether the grass really is greener. I spent many of my formative years [dim and distant memory now] thinking 'Next time I'll ...'; but had a sudden realisation that this is it - 'Life is not a rehearsal' as they say. I haven't needed to make any major changes to my life [tedious but steady employment] simply a change of attitude. So what if I didn't do it right - at least I did it.

Keep smiling Wil - you've just reached the Undiscovered Country.

So you've finally figured out that you're a damn good writer eh? It is not possible to write as well as you do without loving it. We've known it for quite awhile - good luck with your future endeavors.

-Rook

I don't know why exactly (of course I do, but I can't find the words), but I've been reduced to tears with this one.

Good luck, Wil.

Christy

Hello

I live in Italy. Here such stars as Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro usually do commercials as long as they are not broadcast outside good old Europe.
At least you are brave enought to act openly.
Keep up the good work.

It's a risk you will have to take. You do need to support you and your family, and that is the main thing. So what if it stalls your career. You have other skills besides acting (downloading porn). Hell Cher did those hair spray comercials, and she came back. You will to. SAG President M Gilbert has done them, why cant you. Maybe you will become king of the movies of the week.

I trust you - do what you have to do for your family and the rest will take care of itself.

Donald Crowhurst!!! Yess!!! Voyage for Madmen was a great book and the reference actually applies. Good Luck, I think you are more a Bernard Moitessier type guy myself.

"This above all; to thine own self be true."
-William Shakespeare


Looks you are doing just that! ;)

When we walk to the edge
of all the light we have
and take the step into the
darkness of the unknown,
we must believe that
one of two things will happen....

There will be something
solid for us to stand on
or we will be taught to fly.

-Patrick Overton

That's exciting news! I'm just at the rumbly beginnings of that kind of change (just a smell in the wind, but persistent), so I understand the fear and the elation. As always, I wish you the absolute very best in your endeavours.

Screw Shatner; you're a farkin' hero. :)

(P.S. But let's not be hasty and stop downloading pr0n. One step at a time 'n whatnot.)

Do you like this infomercial product? If so, take a look at what's happening here:

Somebody wants to give you a LOT OF MONEY to be HONEST on TELEVISION.

Breaking it down:

Making money = good
Being honest = good
Being on television = better than bad

DOING INFOMERCIAL = Danged good.

When I see Tony Little at 3 a.m., he always looks like he's having the time of his life, and damn the torpedoes. Tally ho infomercial!

Wil,
You have worked with some great scripts and great people. This can never be taken away from you. You are also not a fortune teller, so you never know what opportunities are waiting for you down the road. Yes and I'm sure this will be the last TNG aniversary convention.

F.G.

Wil,

Re writing: Go for it! and whatever you come up with count me amoung those who will buy multiple copies.

Re life change: I hope that I have as much guts as you do when I make my own choice.

Re Infomercial: That's a great opportunity, do want to need to do to be able to enjoy life and relax with your family.

Re Acting: I will be sad if you don't do it anymore, but hey it's your life and you've already shared so much of yourself with us by your previous roles and by creating this site.
So either way thanks for the memories.

p.s. Please tell us you'll keep up the comedy, it sounds like you are really good at it.

You should totally put a book together (if you're not already). Look at all these people who are dying to read it! And look at Ethan Hawke. He's got two books out, and you're way funnier than he is ....

Wow. I applaud you Wil Wheaton. I love you as an actor, but the past 7 months or so, I've come to enjoy you even more as a writer. You have an amazing talent, whether you're writing seriously or writing satirically. I look forward to seeing more and more from you.

As for the infomercial - good for you. As long as they don't make you wear one of those Cosby sweaters and act all excited like the Orange Glo guy.

Again, congrats on this decision. I think it's been a long time coming (well, from what I've been reading on your site). I'm a firm believer in the idea that things happen for a reason and that the universe doesn't give us more than we can handle. And when you're ready for it, watch out world, here comes Wil Wheaton!

Wil,
It's so refreshing to hear someone be so open and honest. When I was a teenager I bought into all the hipe (all good) that the teen mags published about you. Now that I'm older (30 eek!) I realize that I didn't know "you" at all -- that Hollywood is all smoke and bullshit.

To be able to come here and learn about the real you and know that you have fears, doubts, and joys just like the rest of us is so cool. The real deal is so much better than glossy Hollywood.

Good luck with your commericals. They don't have to signal the end of your acting career. So many people have made comebacks that I never thought would and they don't have half your talent. I hope your writing career takes off. You definitely have a gift.

I've been reading your weblog for a couple of months, and I have really enjoyed it. I seem to have many of the same opinions and tastes as you, so that helps keep me interested. You seem to be a person of integrity; a person who really tries to do the right thing, and I respect that. I also think you're a realist - you aren't afraid of the truth.

No great artist ever became great without struggle. I have to tell you - the infomercial is going to kill your legitimate acting career. It's not a sure thing, but it's pretty likely. But that's NO REASON TO QUIT. Keep trying. Keep going to the auditions. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of actors or writers being rejected time and time again, only to FINALLY get their break. I'm sure you've heard the same.

Keep fighting the good fight. You have a lot of people who like you and are willing to support you. For now, you've done what you had to do, and that's understandable. Maybe you've hit bottom in your career. But there's only one way to go when you're on the bottom. And the harder you work, the faster it will go. Best of luck.

John B said:

"Donald Crowhurst!!! Yess!!! Voyage for Madmen was a great book and the reference actually applies. Good Luck, I think you are more a Bernard Moitessier type guy myself."

When I started reading that book, I wanted to be Robin Knox-Johnston. As the book unfolded, I realized that I was at a crossroads in my life, and I could be Donald Crowhurst, or Bernard Moitessier.

Hence, the decision was made.

My heart aches for Donald Crowhurst. I *know* him.

Wil,

As a Trekkie (and damnit I can't help but be one) I am reminded of the episode The Measure Of A Man
where that Dr. wants to take Data apart to make more of him and Picard calls for a hearing to prove that Data is more than a just a machine. I think that you have found out you are more than just an actor. You are an actor yes but moreso you are a father,husband, a provider and a friend to so many. You have to do what is important to your family, they do come first. This infomercial does not spell death to an actor. It is no different to me than William Shatner doing priceline adds. I mean he still is in movies to. Take a look at Brent Spiner for a moment, a very talented actor on TNG and all TNG movies but when he acts outside those movies I personally do not think it is very good especially in his latest movie The Master of Disguise,but William Shatner is pretty much consistent no matter what he is in. What I am getting at is this, your acting career is over only if you let it be and stop trying to find jobs. If there is something you like doing more, like comedy, then go that route, and by all means Wil write a book. You have a great talent that should not be wasted. I think no matter what, you have your priorities in order and they are "family" and there is nothing better than a strong supportive wife by your side. I should know because I have one.

Take care Wil, and do not get discouraged you will be just fine.

Until your next post......

Matt......

A very brave, but wise choice!
You never quite know what life holds in store for you or what the next day can bring.
I have always believed that everything happens for a purpose and I think you will find that this decision will set into action a chain of events that you will someday realize was necessary to have gotten to that place in your life.
I am probably making no sense here to anyone but myself, but rest assured, it made perfect sense to me! ;)

*Good Luck with this new direction you have chosen*

Sounds like you made a good choice. You've done pretty well - you're happy, you enjoy what you're doing, and you're not starving or struggling. It beats being dead like River Phoenix or burned out like Corey Feldman.

If you like doing comedy, maybe you should work on a stand-up routine. If it does well, it could be your way back to a TV series :)

I now have a little tear in my eye from reading that last post. It's so nice to see you finally acknowledging what a wonderful writer you are.

You ever write a book, Wil, and I swear, I'll be first in line at the local Borders to buy five or six hundred copies.

Wil,

I don't think that doing an informercial will be the end of your acting career.

I mean CHER even did one ... and look where SHE is today, STILL a Mega star.

You NEVER know what life will bring you around the very next corner.

It COULD be a movie like the one that restarted John Travolta's career a few years back, and it COULD be because someone SAW you in the Informercial that you get that part in a turn around movie.


Personally, I can't wait until tomorrow ... to find out what DUNCE at Creatino, decided to cancel you from the Trek 15 year anniversary convention!

I mean you were part of the show for at least 4 years!

Sheesh!

I've been reading WWDN for several months now, and I too have seen the change or evolution of your thinking and this post really hit home. I, at the age of 32 and nearing a crossroad of my career, have been asking similar questions. Priorities need re-evaluation from time to time. Family, spirituality, self, job, money, all these things need to fall into the proper order. I believe that God is with me in my search for answers as long as I don't exclude Him, and everything will work out according to His plan.
Good luck in your decision. I hope I will have the courage to make mine.

Wil,
I've just recently started reading your online diary, I'm not even sure how I came across your websight to be honest. After reading your post today, I can honestly say I can't remember being prouder of someone I don't know!
Coming from someone who lives paycheck to paycheck and whose husband and child have to live with my parents because rent it too F**king expensive in NY, I can totally respect what you did. If I could get paid enough in one afternoon to cover my years expensives, without having to sleep with someone, I'd do the same thing as you.
Kim

YOU GO GIRL^H^H^H^H WIL!

"...decided to focus on what I love: downloading porn.
Just kidding."

Anyone else think he wasn't kidding? We know you too well now, Wil. ;)

But seriously, you're not the only one who's noticed and been impressed by the changes your blog has documented.

I'm glad we've all been able to do our little bit here to encourage you. You've had some *amazing* experiences and there are loads of people out there who are really interested in seeing how they've affected your view of the world.

The people who come to realise what you've realised are by far the happiest. Okay, they'll never become multi-millionaires, but who said money buys you happiness?

Attaboy, Wil!

Good for you! I'm happy for you that you've reached that pointin your life where you can re-assess... realize that something needs to change... and go for the change without really looking back.

Change can be a scary thing, especially if it involves letting go of something that's been a part of your life for a very long time.

Take it and run with it!

Right there with you man. I went through a similar period a couple of years ago in my own life when trying to determine whether I should take an offer leading to BIG TIME CAREER in software R&D. I ended up moving to the country in small town USA, took a job option that balanced personal time and set out to becoming my family's hero.

Best choice I ever made. Because when you come down to it, who are you really trying to prove yourself to?

I really wish I could do what your doing. It's not out of lack of trying but I jut can not find the sort of job I want to do in the location I want, I'll keep on trying though.

As long as I breathe in my body I won't give up.

Well done on being able to follow your heart, there should be more people like you in the world.

Note to self: Take more risks. I know that personally I have never put myself out there as much as you have. I'm very happy for you!

Wil;(I'm sorry this is so long but I just had to share this with you.)

I have so been there done that. When I was 28 I had a major wake up call. I had been living in L.A. for about 8 months (this time around anyway...) trying to make the whole acting thing happen (again...) when I knew I was facing The Big Decision i.e. what do I want to be when (if) I grow up? Anyway, I was living in some crap apartment in West Hollywood and working at The Argyle hotel on Sunset and the whole thing was making me miserable. I made some ludicrous salary of ten bucks an hour, had no couch, a T.V. that sat on the living room floor and slept on a box spring while my roommate and I took turns sleeping on the mattress. Things were sucking big time. All day long at work I catered to people like Matt Dillon, Cameron Diaz or even the illustrious Scott Baio (no comment) and I was starting to resent them. There they were asking me to make them reservations to House of Blues when I was too poor to see a movie. I couldn't even think of acting because I was too busy making pennies to pay for my crap apartment. I never had time to audition for anything. Such is the rat race of a struggling actor in L.A.

I was really having a crisis. I was so far away from who and where I wanted to be and I wasn't getting any younger. Then it hit me. I wasn't getting any younger!! I had a friend who was 45 at the time. She was still living in a Beverly Hills studio apartment, taking a bus to work production jobs and getting stabbed in the back by younger, prettier versions of herself. She was still struggling after 27 years in L.A. But she would never leave , never quit acting. Man, she loved it! Anytime a role, or production job came her way this woman lit up like a Christmas tree. God, she become so happy. I knew she loved it more than couches, or T.V. stands, or vacations to see family back home. And I knew I didn't. I wanted a damn bed with a mattress AND box spring more than I wanted to stay and struggle for what might never happen. I knew I couldn’t guarantee I’d "make it" as an actress or even a stupid P.A. but I could guarantee I'd be 45 years old someday. I also knew I didn't want to be 45 and live the life my friend was living. It wasn't enough for me. It just wasn't in my blood anymore and whatever love I’d had for the craft was not enough to keep me in that life.

I went home within a week. I remember driving over the Rocky Mountains almost back to Denver thinking about the choice I had made. To be honest I freaked a bit. I started thinking "Oh, my God, I'm not an actor anymore. What am I now?" Then I remembered my first love; writing, and I felt safe again. The panic attack stopped immediately and I no longer thought of the dream I was leaving behind. I focused only on writing. The dream I was coming home to.

It was a tough decision but I have a couch, and a few small writing successes here and there. And an art form I love enough to keep practicing. One that doesn't require sacrificing my entire life like acting did and I'm happy and you will be too.

There is nothing wrong with your decision. If you don't have the love and commitment anymore you'd just end up soulless and miserable. Acting demands all or nothing and allows no room for those of us who want families, vacations or even couches. Congratulations, Wil and best of luck.

wil,
actually, I was wondering if you'd thought about it. Your skill with the genre of memoir is pretty amazing, considering it wasn't your primary focus. Have you read 'all over but the shoutin'' by Rick Bragg? I think, maybe, it's time for you to consider telling your story, just like the character from 'Stand By Me'. Have you read Stephen King's book 'On Writing'? I highly suggest you check these two out and get your own book out soon. I'm pretty sure it'll be a helluva lot more fulfilling for you than acting has been.

Wow, EVERYBODY on the WHOLE INTERNET is behind you in this! Infomercials are frikkin' AWESOME! I can't WAIT to see your face at 2 AM talking EXUBERANTLY for half an hour about some overpriced doohickey!

Yay! People are comparing you to CHER! Career high!

I'm proud to be the sole negative comment in this touchy-feely craptasticon. You sold out for money. If you're ok with it, I'm ok with it, but wrapping it in sentimentality and introspection just adds another flavor of reek to the stink of maudlinity that all-too-often infests your writing.

I dig your stuff on Arena, and loved Stand By Me, and you got to make out with Ashley Judd so good for you, but this post and the comments above are making me nauseous.

For a select few, as they grow old, they gain wisdom. I would have to say your are in that group. For an even more select few, life is more than just going to work, making money, taking out the trash and making decisions about what bill's get paid. Its an adventure and an experience not to be taken for granted. I think you are starting to see life for what it really is. Decisions we make sometimes lead to either success,or education, not failure.

Mr Wheaton:

My post is going to be way way way down the list, but here goes:

You've hit a patch of illumination, congrats. 23.

Could be the right move - look what giving up acting did for Ron Howard. You write well, so maybe you should incorporate it into your profession.

Write a part YOU want to play and then just do it yourself. That's how musicians get out of gawdawful cover bands and away from playing weddings, bar mitzvahs, bris' (how do you pluralize THAT word), frat parties (although the free beer is kinda kool) and biker bars. This one I know personally. Well, sort of, but I'm older and have already made that leap myself (and don't you just LOOOOOOVE advice from older schmucks - egads, I'm going to be 40 in a few years!)....

Once you make that decision (which it seems you have) jump in with both feet and leave the life preserver for Kate Winslet. And don't look back, baby, never look back.

And informercials aren't so bad really. And quite frankly, as the days go by I'd rather look at you than Suzanne Sommers.

But most of all, do what almost everyone up there has said - do what you want to do, for whom it matters, and screw everyone else (let's put THAT at the end of the Pledge of Allegience). Majority rule telling you to be yourself - I like that.

By the way, love the pimp suit (posting from a while ago with a photo. very cool). If you really don't give a damn anymore wear that to your next audition that you know is between you "and one other" guy. End result might still be the same but you might have more fun.

Okay, I'm an ass for writing that previous paragraph, but I've adjusted to it. Enjoy life Wil! That's job number one. Everything else is just background noise.

Heya Wil,

Long time reader, infrequent poster.

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but by seeing the bits of yourself you've seen fit to share with us, I can say that I at least do not find this at all surprising.

I mean, your posts have moved from "damnit, I need this part!" to "I've just started this writing gig--ain't that rich?" to "I just finished some killer writing--I can't wait to show it off". And all the while expounding of the joys of your increased family time.

I mean, really--it's fantastic! My advice to the dear reader--do what you love. Don't get stuck doing things you hate. You have control over your life, and if you're doing something that's no fun because you always have, you should probably take another look. Hey--you only live once and you have an astonishing amount of control over your destiny.

Thanks for the read, Wil.

-Rich

It is disturbing to read these posts and find so many people saying "Gee, Wil, I'm at the same crossroads you are." I don't think you people really are. I think that most of you are kissing Wil's ass.

When was the last time any of you were invited to be part of an informercial? Or, what was the last major movie your were in? And, who kicked Barney's ass at an event hundreds of people tuned into? Wil's life is still about being a celebrity, about people being more interested in what happens to him than paying attention to their own lives. Wil is very fortunate to be living this life, true, but I for one am proud to be living my own life without a posse of well-wishers.

It is enough to just be. If you have people that love you for being who you honestly are, you will be envied by those of us without true friends. If you have a roof over your head and food on the table, you will be loved by your spouse and children for being a good provider. If you stay true to your instincts, you will not have guilt.

Enjoy life, like Wil, but do it like yourself.

wil- i'm only 13 and all i could ever want is to be an actress. you have been one of few to inspire me to want to do so. however, i do know how hard it is to be something like an actor/tress no matter how good looking or talented you may be. so i wanted to congratulate you on your successes, which many of us may never be able to experience, and although your career may not be, now, as up-beat as it has been, you should be proud of what you have accomplished in your life, so far, and also know that you have much more you have yet to accomplish.
-k e d

Can I kick wills ass? He made a tear come to my eye. Not because his story was sad or anything, but because it touched something in me. A realisation if you like. One we all probably had after reading that x

Wow Wil! That was fantastic, you have really good thoughts! It was something what I cant write down in this moment (and maybe I can not sleep for long becouse this)...it's really touches me.
Write Wil!

Screw em'. Do what "feels" right. More than anything I have to give you a pat on the back for putting family first. After all, that is what's really important. Also, if you are meant to make another great piece of work in the acting department, it WILL happen. Lastly, while reading this, I was hoping you were going to say you were focusing on writing. I like your style. I like the flow you have when you really get going. Please, nobody smack me too hard, but have you considered writing a Star Trek story? And will you be writing fiction, scripts, piece work newspapers and magazines? Whatever it is, use your built in audience. Those that care will support you. Hey! How about you grab one of your artsy friends and do an indie comic. You can do a thousand copies of a 22 page black and white for $1500.00 bucks. Shit! You could sell a thousand copies through your website for $2.00-$2.50 a pop in a week! Not much profit I know, but it would get your name out there in the writing circles and be cool for me...uhh, I mean us, to own a Wil Wheaton comic.

Wil,
Last week your blog was listed #1 on some other site. I checked out #2, RuPaul.com, and found his site to have it's hidden gems. This is my favorite:

"WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF ME...

...is none of my business. if i had really considered all of the praise or all of the criticism that i?ve received throughout my life, i wouldn?t have been able to maneuver myself to this point. what guides and sustains me is an inner voice that becomes more clear everyday, fuck all that other static. "

I find a lot of comfort in this. Granted, he's no Wil Wheaton. But the love is all the same.

I'm so honored to visit your site everyday and even though we don't know each other, I love rooting for you.

Cheers,
Patti

Its cool to see all the response wil's blog gets. It is also fun to read about the actor who having the same problems as anyone in our age. (30) It feels like I know wil after reading his website. He is almost a friend :c)

Stop making epiphanies. They're catching. :)

Little Wil is growing up before our eyes. ::sniff::

Somebody needs to write "Wil Wheaton: the Opera." Seriously.

The whole "Succumbs to the Temptation of Infomercial" would make a kick-ass musical extravaganza to end Act II.

In Act III, TVsWW builds a laser beam which he uses to blackmail the nations of the world from his impregnable off-shore fortress near Easter Island.

This shit is just getting good.

I can't turn away!

Hey Wil,
I think that you did make the right desition, family is more imporetent, and I agree with just about everything that you said in that last message. Cangradulations on the informercial!! Take care!!!!

This infomercial gig is like a prison sentence where you enter as Malcolm Little, but emerge as Malcolm X.

As Potch said (somewhere WAY up there) ... welcome to 30. I'm less than two months away from it and I've already had the most life-changing year yet (including the years my kids were born).

Must be something about the age that makes you change your priorities.

I don't have the same dilemma you do ... but we DID move across the country (from CA to VA) to try to make a change for the better. You always have to take a step back in order to move forward, eh?

Also as Potch said, you have a loyal group of readers and cyber-friends who will watch whatever you're on!

OK, here we go...

I have never been able to comprehend the actor/actress mentality. (Odd since I am happily married to a theatre major) What i can't see is only finding worth in yourself if your convincingly being someone else. The ability to portray a character does not define you. For example: I hated Wesley. He was the wimpiest little crap in space. I was glad to see him go. That same sentiment carried over to you until I read your postings from this site. Develop who you are and to hell with the world.

Take WFS as an example, here is a cult hero bordering on god-like status who could probably get large sums of people to drink tainted Kool-aid just by telling them to. This is the same crappy actor who spoke words to "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". The same guy who did everything from lounge-lizard Priceline stuff to horrid B movies to the Iron Chef USA. (This guy could even get away with selling pool cleaning products) Why? Because he never feels he needs a "come-back" from anything. He is always him, not a part, not a character. He is as durable and eternal as his Rayon hairpiece. He loves who he is and no other opinion matters.

Write if you enjoy it more, but write for yourself and your family. Do an infomercial if you want. Hell, sell serated knives at a both at the state fair if you want.

As long as your wife and children can look at you with respect and love, you have success.

Good for you. And I don't think you're over yet. Not by a longshot.

Donald Crowhurst? You are not going to think you are Christ and drown yourself in the Atlantic are you?

Good luck to you. I feel you have made the right decision. Fame is fleeting but family is love and life.

It amazes me, as life goes along, how each member of the Stand By Me gang becomes like the character he played.
Think about it.
Chris dies young. River died young.
Teddy is in and out of prison. Corey is in and out of prison.
Vern lives a normal life. Jerry lives a normal life (for a "movie star" that is.)
And last and certainly in no way least,
Gordie becomes a writer. Wil becomes a writer.
Pretty spooky, huh?
Well, good luck with writing.If you find that your passion for acting comes back, that would be ok too. If it doesn't, c'est la vie and we'll enjoy your literary works.

this would be inspiring if it wasnt the same thing that wil says every month or so.
how many times do we have to hear him go on about how famous he used to be and how he used to be a celebrity and hes not now but he doesnt care,.. if being a washout didnt bother him at all, hed probally stop trying to convince us that being a wash out doesnt bother him.

Hey Wil,

I think you should ABSOLUTELY go for it. Do your best, grab the dough, and make a run for the door and don't look back! -- unless they call you back for another session, in which case, REPEAT AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY!

If you gotta do any kind of product testing (applying flame, smacking with a sledgehammer, dropping from a 30-story building), make sure you got your safety glasses on... and remember, everything in life is THEATRE.

Just promise us one thing. Don't wear one of those funky colourful sweaters like that geek...

ps. RUN to the bank to cash the cheque.

pps. "Don't pay any attention to critics; don't even ignore them." --Samuel Goldwyn

Hey Wil,

Don't try to fit this decision into a matter of right or wrong. It's simply taking you down a path, perhaps one you didn't expect. Embrace that. If you find you don't like it, there are many others to try.
Anyhow, Carrie Fisher is so much cooler now that she's a writer.

Actors have come back from far worse. I think as long as you keep your integrity in regards to the product, you'll be fine. Good luck with your future endeavors.

Wil, I just wanted to say good luck with everything. Life is short and we should do what makes us happy. Good for you, Wil.

Great decision Wil! Although NO ONE's opinion of it ultimately matters, remember that the only people who will ridicule it are those so pathetic that they need to make "washed up" pronouncements as often as possible to keep their minds off their own lack of significance.

Wil, there is a point where we need to look at what we want to do with our life. To focus on things that are important to us and our family. My wife always says “Your born, you choose and you die. It’s the choices you make in life that will determine the quality of life.” Good words to think about.

PS: I always liked you in TNG. Im 56 and never having had kids, but if I did... I would have liked to have had a kid just like you. Keep your options open.

What thighmaster, cookware, Ron Popiel thing will you be selling Wil? Do tell we would love to know. I for one can't say I followed you whole career through STTNG, I pretty much quit watching when they killed of Tasha Yar.. how can you boot the woman with the biggist boobies off the show? -- Ludicrous.

I'm glad to see an actor finally taking his family before himself. Something I always believed is that if you were meant to do, or have, something, it didn't matter what happened between points A & B, you'd end up there anyways.

It may be scary (i know, i'm doing it myself right now), but making the choice that's best for your future is better than making the choice that's best for right now.

You kick ass Wil, and I love your site.

You go Wil! Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. More power to you!

Wil, your words moved me.

I know you'll do well in your future endeavors, whatever you choose that they are.

Wow. That entry was so good.
You really are a fabulous writer. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering, "Well?? What did you say, Wil??"
Ever think of writing screenplays?

As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "And this above all, to thine own self be true."

Keep listening to your intuition and taking those meditative walks and fate will continue to lead you where you're supposed to go.

Congratulations on your self-discovery. Enjoy the road ahead.

Nice one Wil.

Y'know, I have to wonder if Wil isn't suddenly going to get some acting jobs. Seriously. Now that he's not sweating it, he's going to take an occasional audition for shits and grins, go in with a "Hire me or not, I don't give a fuck," attitude, and he's going to find himself getting things. It's going to happen.

Just what I thought, Janis. Things tend to work out like that.

Wil,

I'm glad that you've found out what's really important to you in life. Good for you!

Can't wait to hear what happened with Creation. Those bastards.

btw, what was the infomercial for???

This may be a strange analogy, but this most recent post reminds me of Margaret Cho's "I'm the One that I Want." In a nutshell, it's about how Hollywood tried to turn her into someone else, and how she failed at being someone else.

But it's a triumphant tale. She took a good look at who she really is and came back swinging, better than ever. It seems to me that she's now at the top of her game --- with no apologies about who she is. And she's really, really funny.

Watching you "find your voice" here at WWDN is kinda like that. Exciting, triumphant and funny.

Go for it. You're an excellent writer with a great sense of humor and experiences beyond your years that you can draw from.

Speaking of San Francisco (Margaret Cho is a hometown girl), it was fun watching you whip the purple dinosaur at DNA last week. Keep fighting the good fight and you can go as far as you want.

(Please excuse my boxing metaphors. I was at a celebrity boxing match recently. Hee, hee.)

Wil,

I'm sorry to here that it hasn't been a good year and when the money's good you have to put your pride a side and take teh job that been offered even ifit's something you really don't want to do. Hopefully you can have a come back, it's possible. look at Cher of all people she did those terrible informercials but was able to come back from it. The worst that will happen will be that SNL will parody you and you have to have a sense of humor about such things. Good luck !

Matt J

Wil,

Have you ever heard the advice that if you really want something, you need to let go of your overwhelming desire for it and let it just come to you? I think that you will find that letting go of your attachment to being the "next-next big thing" and focusing on your wonderful family will open more doors to your success than you could ever imagine! :) Just let go...do what you have to do, do what you want to do, follow your head for awhile and let your heart follow a little behind and just see what happens.

You are making an awesome decision and you should be proud of yourself for doing it. I know it took a huge amount of soul-searching, but I know that I'm not the only one here who will tell you that your career is definitely NOT over! You are at the beginning....relax and enjoy it and do what you truely feel is the right thing to do.

Good luck, not that you need it! Good karma finds people like you, trust me.

Jen :)

It is never wrong to put family first. You truly have a gift for writing, not just because so many of us enjoy reading it, but because you enjoy doing it. I always look forward to your new entries because you make your everyday life sound so interesting. Good luck on your new endeavor.

Wil, no matter the results of your decision, you can be sure that it was made for the right reasons. You're way ahead of a lot of 30 year-olds who don't realize what's important to them in life. You may not have any more acting roles for your audience, but I'll bet you've got a book or two in you. If you ever choose to go whole hog as a writer, I'll be lining up at the bookstore to buy anything you write.

Yes!! More writing from Wil!

Wil, your style and sense of humour are such a pleasure to read that I am greedily looking forward
to reading your work, whatever form it may come in.

Wil, babe,

You've got balls! I thought that diving into a dream was one of the hardest things to do... until I read this. I admire your courage, and I admire that you can be honest with yourself about your changing lifestyle and priorities.

I think you're a good actor, but I like you more for your writing than you acting. :o)

I have been visiting your site for about three months now and I have to say your that your writtings have made me look at my own life in a different way. You are a very talented writer and a gifted actor. On more than one occasion you have made me laugh and even brought tears to my eyes. If you have decided that acting is not for you who am I to say otherwise. Life is too short spend it with the ones you love the most. Enjoy everyday to the fullest and above all be happy.

Yay, I respect you so much now. Being able to make and carryout the decision to concentrate on what is important to you (your family) over everything else. I think that just great.

Cookie

Well done Man!!
I am glad to hear that you have chosen a path that will benifit your family- we should all be so lucky to have these chances to be able to take care of our loved ones with out the added stress of money troubles.
- Besides as long as your endorsing something that you really believe in then you can do no wrong.

Now you'll have some free time to write that Book!!! *hint hint* ;)
Take care-

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*****
Hey!! Very well said. I admire you so much and I'm behind you 100%. Sry if you regret to hear this but ST:TNG brought the best out of you!!! Luv ya lots!!!! ~~*Gooniegirl*~~
*****
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

%&(*&O((_)_)*^%$#@@%&*(_)

Whoa, I'm so not furst d00D!

You know what I like? I like the fact that you've totally ignored giving me the public thrashing that I deserve from our night out.

Actually, now you know I'm taunting you to hear your side of the story.

And, finally, I'll tell you and everyone else this:

Your bowling shirts are mad-fly and you need to wear one on your damned show this Friday, because, Wil Wheaton, that fucking shirt is all about you.

Tell that wardrobe bitch to bite my primary-colored ass and wear a fucking bowling shirt. The one with the chicks that mostly sit on mudflaps--after all, it's a network for VIDEO GAMES. Fucking video games. How serious should you be taking yourself?

&*^*%^&(*&@(*&#&*#$(@)$&#$($*#@&$#(
Russ

it shouldn't matter if you're a big hollywood star or a two-bit actor. as long as you are doing what you love, whether it be for an infomercial or a block buster, thank your blessings because some people don't even get the opportunity to have a career.

Dude, I say this a lot when I read your site, but that's the greatest thing I've ever read. I'm really glad you're continuing in your writing. It really is amazing. And any product you hawk, I'd actually consider buying.

Wil,

My life has been shit lately. But reading your last column has inspired me. Be happy with the things you have: a wife, a family. Fuck Hollywood. You'll make a name for yourself yet.

Good for you Wil. I don't know what else to say,
and I'm not the greatest with words, but I sincerely hope that you do well, and am glad that your happy. Told you people that I'm not the greatest with words.

I wish the best for you, i'm know you will prevail any way you can. All those rejections and the star trek cut-out could just mean it's not the time right now. Good luck to you and your family

Wow, that was an amazing and insightful post. Soul searching, intimate. Wow.

Dude, you gonna write your pants off.

And you gonna act your pants off too.

That reason that you were in Stand By Me when Brent Spiner was a regular on Night Court: you damn fine actor.

Infomercial? I wonder if I'll buy one. Whatever it is. Don't let them make you say "set it and forget it." I'll have to drive to LA and smack you, and I can't afford that much gas right now.

Cheers, bud.

Wil,

I think its wonderful you are willing to take that leap of faith. Your writing is poignant, funny and honest and something I look forward to reading every few days. I may see you in a different light than the one I did when I was a teenager but I still respect you for the same reason. You are real and no matter how big you got you always were.

Actor or writer you wll always be an important person to those who give a damn.

Thumper wrote:

Your take is that an infommercial is the death of your acting career; most of us are sitting here thinking "Yay! We get to see Wil on TV!"

Oh goodness Wil, that is *so* true! Do what pleases you and your family, and know that you have a bunch of people cheering you on. (Because with your journal entries -- though you may not realize it -- you are cheering *us* on. It's give-and-take, my friend.) Best wishes always.

supporting your family is always good. And this may be the finest peice of writing you've done yet.

As for the infomercial? If there is a co-host make him say "act now"

"Taking a chance, and stepping beyond the safety of the world we've always known is the only way to grow, though, and without risk there is no reward."

I've found myself thinking similar thoughts a lot lately as I struggle through med school. I know in my heart that I want to be doing nothing but this, but it's so hard! The long hours, feeling like an idiot all of the time because the residents know more than I do (even though they're supposed to), the fact that I am shy and need to make an effort to assert myself to do well. But as tired as I am and as frustrated as I get sometimes, I have to remind myself that the gain is worth it. I will be doing what I love. I will learn things and make a difference in people's lives.

I need to go study, but I wanted to wish you good luck with your writing. And your infomercial for that matter. I guess I don't know enough about the film/television industry to understand why doing an infomercial makes you a less attractive casting choice, but I'll take your word for it and hope your wrong. Best of luck in achieving success in the things that really matter. :-)

wil: you've done good.

Wil,
I've been reading your blog for about half a year now, and I have tremendous respect for you. It is amazing how you take this new step in your life with dignity, while so many others cower in fear.

You are an awesome writer- I'll definetly buy anything that you write, for I'm sure that it'll be awesome. Your short stories and essays leave me spellbound, and making me wish that I could have some of your talent.

Don't worry- I am sure that everything will be a-ok (as cliche as that sounds).

Okay, reality check here. Everybody's saying "Look at Cher! She did an infomercial and she's doing okay!"

Yeah, but look at Robert Urich. He did an infomercial too, and look where HE'S at--dead! Rotting!

Despite that, I'm sure Wil will come out just fine. By the way, if anybody is in need of a director, I am a very fine director.

Congrats on finding what could very possibly be your true calling Wil. Ever since I first starting visiting you site months ago I thought that you would make a great writer. I'm so glad that you've realized that too. Yes you will be missed by your film and tv fans (and we are legion) but I truly believe that you have a talent that should be shared with the world.

Wil, you made the right choice. Informercial, schminfomercial, you are working and supporting your family. Ain't that what counts?

Holy shit.. what is this the Ironic Week in my life?
Now I encourage everybody in their right, left and center brain to laugh at me for this one.
For some damn reason I was in the shower thinking about the impending "next big thing" to affect my life- which is stressful so I made my brain switch channels- which made me think of cable channels- which somehow led to QVC- and how much I enjoyed the bliss of geekness of watching all those TNG people come on and hock TNG memoriablia when I was 13 and something years of age. Listening to all the excited fans eager to talk to their favorite star. Which then led to embarrassing memories of an Orgins Convention...

Ahem...

So.. now reading this.. and remembering that... well most of that.. cringe

you'll do just fine

Also I need a new underground band to be crazy over stat.
My favorite and well rediculed for "selling out" by being on a VH1 TV show just packed up their guitars for the last time- again sensing the ironicness- because they didn't have the passion or willingness to sacrifice what's needed to be big...sigh.

Soulcracker
1997-2002
-MKF

Like the blank page, the major choices in our lives are thrilling things, but there is no line between thrilling and frightening, only a subtle transition between shades of the same color.
Confusion follows naturally.
I've also come to find that writing is what I really love, and what I should be doing. I'm afraid, but I have a lot of hope. I have a lot of hope for you, too.

Hey honey...

Do you believe in life after love? How about life after an Informercial?

Gypsies, tramps, and informercial commercials, thieves.

But everynight all the men would come around & lay their money down.

hang in there....sound like the right choice...especially if family is being put first...i know this may sound wierd but...i'm proud of you!

:)

always go with your gut, wil. it'll never let you down, no matter what. good luck.

Wil, You seem to grow in wisdom every day...and we along with you through the interaction and sharing of the WWDN community. Through your own, sometimes painful growth, many of us re-evaluate where we're headed.

Clearly you know more about the TV/film business than most of the rest of us, but it's hard to imagine that any path you take now will ultimately limit your choices in the future. New doors always present themselves as others close. You may still have to put up with auditions, etc., but I would think your broadened horizon will end up making you more interesting to the powers that be.

I'm sure you know by now that those of us who support, admire and respect you do so because of the man you have become and not the TV character you were. Best, Rob

Howdy Wil:

Everyone needs to make choices: good or bad, right or
wrong. Do what your heart tells you to do. I know I do.
Boy did I make wrong calls many times, but you know,
at least "I" made my own choices. When someone else
makes the choice for me and I have no say, then I would
be very very horrified.

You made the choice of doing informatials; and that's cool.

Don't forget to write, though. You've got something special
there.

Ch'ers,

Bish

Wil:

You rock.

Wil, I've thought for quite a while now that you've got too much creative ability and potential to keep pigeon-holing yourself into the "I am an actor" paradigm. You're a terrific writer whose best works are ahead. You're a fun and funny guy. You're a geek destined for greatness. I'm elated to hear that you've chosen to break away from the conventional wisdom of the entertainment industry to toe your own course.

I want to see the ultra low budget indie movie sensation written/directed and starring Wil Wheaton. I want to buy the self published novel Wil Wheaton has had rattling around in the back of his head for the last 10 years, that couldn't break out until now. But despite all that I'd simply settle for the occasional, sublimely inspirational, tragicomic weblog entry if you'd rather do that. Keep doing what makes you happy and everything will fall into place.

Hey Wil:

I think you're doing the right thing. What you certainly don't want to happen is end up wondering. The dreaded "what if" weighs in heavy, trust me.

Recently I asked to be laid off from a very decent job (hey, a guy needs his severance package!) so I could spend some time assessing what I want to do and where I want to do it. The point you make about losing the passion for something is well understood here.

Eventually money will become tight, but in the meantime the freedom is uncomparable. I feel like the sky's the limit, and I'm sure you will, too.

Keep us all up to date. Nothing you do can't be reversed.

-d

Jonathan Frakes is the national spokesperson for Glacial Milk, a product he, according to the company's promotional video, "truly uses and believes in." Yet, his career seems to be doing OK.

I'm not surprised that these web logs have changed your life. They are filled with people giving you encouragement.
The world of auditions terrifies me. I think I'd rather make the projects myself and need to cast people to work on my ideas than be picked apart on a daily basis. So I'm not going there untill I'm ready.
I thank you for the effort you put into your speech. As one day it may be me that your speech is

p.s. its my birthday on Saturday. Wish me a happy one? :)

Ok, well, being this is some 150 comments down the list, no one will ever see it but I figure most of us are posting for ourselves anyway...

Like Most everyone here, I am really excited that Wil is going to concentrate on writing and can't wait to see what comes of this. I also don't count you out from acting. I have to laugh at the person who posted about being excited to see you in something even if it is an infomercial, Hell I made my husband tape Screensavers, and watched it TWICE, then saw it was being re-broadcast at 12:30am, and watched it AGAIN! How lame am I?? Since I've been reading this site I have been trying to get my hands on everything you've done in the past and see the things I missed before and watching the things I loved and seeing them in a new light. There are some things that I don't know if I can get my hands on (Mr Stitch) but I'm damn well gonna try. Its funny, one of the things that struck me as I was watching the Screensavers thing, you SO remind me of a friend I've known since high school, and you and he are SO alike it makes me wonder if you were separated at birth or something! I know I'm rambling, but its late and today was a long day. hey, we can't all be brilliant. I have to comment on what Shatnerslovechild wrote, about Tasha Yar having the biggest boobies, D00d! That is so WRONG! she is so flatchested she made the walls jealous! Wesley had bigger boobs! I thing the biggest ones were actually on Deanna Troi. Not that its bad that she's flat, she was perky and all, but get your facts straight!

Loveya, Meanit

Wil,

all this and only 30??

why don't you compete with Dr. Phil ?

I'll call Oprah... and tell her she needs
to sign you on...


"Cha-Ching!"

Cash in, buddy.

I'm not sure this the the best thing for your career, but ya gots to get paid

Wil,

"No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both,
he is twice blessed indeed."
-Harold MacMillan,

or,

"Enjoy life.
There's plenty of time to be dead."

and...

"I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is to try
and please everyone."
-Bill Cosby

and finaly...

"Live Long and Prosper."

I can only add that there are very few people who have lived, that so many have looked to for some
meaning or purpose to ones life.. some guide
to living...

ther are many who have taken on the "Vulcan"
teaching, some the Arthorian, still some who
live by the "Force" or Jedi creed...

then there are those who have taken on that of the
"Traveler" those looking for who they are and how they fit in this world...

I could break into a song by John Denver, but this
is not the place,nor time...

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon,
but that we wait so long to begin it."
-W.M. Lewis

later...

Jesus, Wil, you have a lot of friends :-)

Do infomercial? Good move! Write? GREAT move! Give up acting? Now let's not get carried away here... :-)

As far as infomercials being the death of an acting career, you know the business best.

But it has been my experience that success in any one domain leads to unexpected opportunities in other domains.

Wil,
Nobody can accurately predict their future..who knows...nothing is black or white in life. I look forward to seeing the infomercial. It has to be less creepy than watching Robert Yurick's infomercial since that guy is DEAD! They still play it on tv and it creeps me out to have a dead guy selling me a tooth brush. *Shivers*

hang in there Wil sound like the right choice to make especially for your family From Phil

Wil....

I was just thinking...
re-thinking ones life...
growing, changeing, learning
from ones past... successes
and failures...

is that with done with the
left or right hand?

or was that just Corey Feldmen
in Stand By Me???

FINALLY!!!!

Embrace your talent and you will be happy - you'll make others happy.

Love ya Wil!

There comes a certain point in everyone's life where you have to reassess your priorities. I'm also approaching my thirties, and like you I'm finally starting to find my own voice.

In a world where the increasing emphasis is on committment to career, rather than committment to family, I think your decision is the bravest and wisest one. At the end of our lives, the most important things that we'll ever have or ever leave behind is our family.

"It was also a really cool computer-oriented product (which I'll get to later, don't worry)."

Make sure it's supported by linux! Or you'll have to turn in your "#1 linux cheerleader" badge! :)

Forgive me if somebody already said this, but being in an infomercial isn't the kiss of death on an actor's career. Admittedly it's not considered the classiest thing to do, but look at Cher... or Robert Urich... they both did plenty of infomercials, and both worked a LOT afterwards. The truth is, most of the people in Hollywood probably won't even hear about the informercial. Leave it off the resume, and I don't imagine it will do you any damage at all.

Oh, and it totally sucks that you got cut from the next Trek picture! I think a lot of Trekkies (like me!) were really looking forward to this big scene that would reunite all the old Next Gen characters, it would have made the whole darn movie. And now it's gone. Harrumph!

Anthony is right. You should follow Jonathan Frakes' example.

Somebody asked Jonathan Frakes why he'd done a guest appearance in a sitcom, and he smiled his great getting-away-with-it grin and replied: "I will do ANYTHING for money!"

I'm looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night, turning on the TV and finding you on the air.

Thank you Wil, for all you have done.

Just started reading your site a few months ago...and soaking in this last entry, all I have to says is

WHOOOOO!!!!! You GO!

I saw this on E!Online.

Dear Marilyn: What has become of Wil Wheaton, the cute young boy who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation?
Patty, Brockton, Massachusetts

Dear Patty: Wheaton told People magazine back in February that he'd given up acting 10 years ago at the age of 19 because, "I had left Star Trek: The Next Generation to do more things, and I was actually worse off, doing this awful movie [The Liars' Club]."

He says he went on a soul-searching journey to Kansas, where he became a cybergeek and spent a year working with a Topeka computer company. He says he also made "a concerted effort" to be less "obnoxious and selfish."

Wheaton is back in Los Angeles and has been teaching improv at the Acme Comedy Theater. He's married to a hairdresser named Anne and has two stepsons, Ryan, 12, and Nolan, 10.

The actor, who landed his first TV spot at age 7, now says, "Being a child star was a pain, because I spent most of my childhood expected to act like an adult."

Wow, it's scary how much this resonates with me. I recently chose to stop trying to finish a dissertation for a PhD that had dragged over the last seven years. I kept getting interrupted by real life: meeting and marrying my husband, the regrettable need to earn money through jobs, and finally the birth of my child this year. As part of that regrettable need for cash, I got a job teaching at an elementary school, 180º from the career I thought I wanted as a university professor.

Know what? I love teaching the little ones. They have a thrill of discovery and thirst for learning that is well and thoroughly mashed out of the teenagers by the time they get to college. And my current position lets me spend more time with my little guy who just learned to crawl.

As for that dissertation topic that used to intrigue me, I couldn't care less now. It's just another bit of specialized commentary in an increasingly specialized world. So I'm pulling the plug, finally making the decision to stop and go for what I really want.

Kudos to you, Wil. I don't think you'll regret your choice.

Hey Wil. I just wanted to say that this post has really helped me a lot, so thanks. Also, you are so lucky that you have the talent to be both an actor *and* a writer. Not many people have the talent to do one really amazing thing, let alone two. And finally, you have touched countless thousands of people with what you have written on this site, and now so many people think of you as a great writer as well as an actor. You've connected with people now, so go for it.

porn!
wtf? kidding? no porn?
grr.
but wait, you're not going to be at the TNG con?
why?
karma says... you've been replaced by porn!

"...and sitting next to mr. frakes is a barely legal horny nympho..."

A1phab3t spewed:

"Wow, EVERYBODY on the WHOLE INTERNET is behind you in this! Infomercials are frikkin' AWESOME! I can't WAIT to see your face at 2 AM talking EXUBERANTLY for half an hour about some overpriced doohickey!"

Alfie, does it give you some sort of perverse pleasure to mock people who are genuinely excited for the man? I may be four-hundred-and-forty-four shades of f*cked up on this, but I'd be willing to bet you'd quake like a li'l girl if you had to go before a tv camera and sell a set of Ginsu knives or a micro-Hibachi. No? Dickwad.

Your infantile sarcasm seems a mite shrill, seeing as how you're reading his web journal yourself. Must be satisfying to lurk in the anonymity of your mindless jag-off post while taking a grandiose dump on the enthusiasm of others. Do us all a favor though? For the love of Bob, stay right where you are, next to your Dr. Pepper-stained keyboard and your bag of Cheetos. Do NOT, for any reason, leave the house. I'm sure your neighbors dislike you more than I do. Just trying to spare them the horror.

"Yay! People are comparing you to CHER! Career high!"

She gave a stunning performance in MOONSTRUCK and many other films that you were likely too busy jorgin' off to TNG to actually see. Done anything as fulfilling in your own sad train-wreck of a life, Alfie? No? Well then, shoo now. I ordered that dopio espresso five minutes ago.

"I'm proud to be the sole negative comment in this touchy-feely craptasticon. You sold out for money."

Come again?

The man takes an acting gig that isn't up to your lofty standards, so he can support his family and pursue a vocation for which he's found real passion, and you call that selling out for money?

Me, I call that a job. Speaking of which, where in tarnation is that espresso, boy?

"If you're ok with it, I'm ok with it,"

Hm. Sounds like you're having a change of heart about that ol' infomercial gig. Sounds awfully like a Tony Robbins quote. Why am I not surprised. Do me a favor and die. But, dammit, can a guy get a ferchrissakes dopio espresso in this joint? Alfie?

"but wrapping it in sentimentality and introspection just adds another flavor of reek to the stink of maudlinity that all-too-often infests your writing."

Wow, hold the phone, coffee-grinder. Now here we find some mordant analysis. Another flavor of reek to the stink of maudlinity? I want to be clear on this nugget of syntactical buggery. Are you saying that a reek--or smell--has a flavor? Or is Wil's introspection another flavor of a smell--said smell comprising maudlinity? Or, maybe, Wil's sentimentality (which incidentally, is synonymous with maudlinness [not maudlinity]; yep, ya spelled that one wrong, sh*thead) is a flavor, and a reek (smell)? In any case, either you're a third-grader with a grotesquely innacurate thesaurus, or English isn't your primary language.

Oh, one other thing: To be maudlin is to be overly sentimental, so not only are you a festering green pus-wad on the Wil's ass, but you're a subliterate, redundant one. Prescription: A steady diet of DICK AND JANE books, or, barring that, suicide.

"I dig your stuff on Arena, and loved Stand By Me, and you got to make out with Ashley Judd so good for you, but this post and the comments above are making me nauseous."

I do hope it's fatal. But before you go the way of the dodo bird, please be a dear and fetch my frikkin' espresso before I get riled. Then go away.

Wil, I love the writing. And you are getting better. Take care of your family.

Ken Prock

Oh, I forgot something. I understand how hard it must be to always be looking for something to top Stand By Me. Very few actors are ever involved with a film that fantastic in their whole career, so having that at the age of 12 must be a mixed blessing, because its *so* hard to top. I guess you just have to take that pressure off yourself, and consider yourself lucky that you were ever involved in something like that, because so few are. Do what makes you happiest, and don't feel that you have to better Stand By Me, because thats setting your standards pretty incredibly high.

You're the man now, Wil. Though my initial interest in your blog was because your name had a single 'l', I've come to know a tad about you and you're quite the interesting individual. When I found out you were a celebritah I thought I'd be reading something with the same tone and voice of those 'band journals' you get on self-proclaimed rock star websites. But no, you write with a very human tone, keep it up. I went through a similar revelation about two years ago when I decided I wanted to become a writer rather than be a techy, which up until then I had trained to be.

I just hope they don't have lame "beam me up" FX in your infomercial, or team you up with Ron Jeremy.

I remember this guidance councilor type guy once said to a class of mine in highschool, that each of us could expect to have about 5 different careers in our lives....

3 of which hadn't even been invented yet.

this was back in the late 80's, and of course i thought the guy was a complete nut job.
not invented yet?
what the hell does that mean?

yet here i am, Art Director for a consulting firm, doing websites, and online design....

I originaly started out my career in advertising, doing magazine ads, and hoping to one day land a cool TV spot...

what i do now, while still ulta creative, is absolutely nothing like standard advertising...
but i love it.....completely love this job....

you're an actor wil....and a damn damn good one...
but that aint all you are....
ultimately, you're a creative guy....
whether or not you create by playing characters, writing, doing improve, or whatever....being creative is the key...

so try the writing thing out for a while....
you're obviously gifted at it....
we don't come to this site day after day to just stare at your little picture in the corner...
we came ta read, boy...and read we do!

other acting roles will come....they absolutely will....
but this move of yours is right on the money...

ever hear of Spalding Grey?
during his 'swimming to cambodia' show, he talked about why he created and performed one man shows and monologues....
"because i got tired of waiting for this big holywood machine to make up it's so-called mind"
instead of waiting for the machine...you're doing exactly the same thing that spalding did...
create his own space, his own work, in his own way....

has the hollywood machine forgotten about him?
hardly...
he still gets roles from time to time...and he's a damn fine actor too...

but in the meantime, he's gotten famous and had critical acclaim for his one man shows....

starting to remind you of anyone?

you're doing your own thing now wil, and you're excellent at it....

and we're allllllll behind you....

you're a tremendous success.
and an inspiration...

Wil -
I've been reading your log every day for about a year. And I've written with you. Having recently graduated with a Creative Writing degree, I understand the frustration (and joy) in finding just the right words to express your emotions. Your voice in the last post was passionate and strong. You have really grown as a writer, and I'm glad I was here to expereince it. Thanks.

Wil wrote:

'Tomorrow: Why Creation Cut Me From The 15th Anniversary of TNG Convention, and Why It's a Good Thing.'

Tomorrow is Today.

Let's have it Wheaton. Spill the beans on why Creation pulled a boner!

Thanks.

I had a similar journey in the year leading up to my 30th, too, and some major life changes in the year or so afterward. Tough, but I am happier, healthier and more self-aware than ever now. (35 - but I feel younger now than I did then!) Don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, but that was when I finally began, slowly, to come into my own.

Blessings on you, Wil.

did someone really say wil is selling out? the guy just made almost 15,000 for cancer research. and someone is questioning his integrity?
?

Here's to all the actors who do commercials in Japan.

http://www.japander.com/japander/index.htm

If you need a cattle prod to get going on your dreams, all you need do is ask yourself one simple question;

- Where will I be a hundred years from now? -

Before you laugh, seriously ask youself the question and think about the answer. It may surprise you.

I get so annoyed when I see some one with very average, or worse, with zero talent in movies, on TV and featured in magazines such as Entertainment Weekly. Each year I say I'm going to give up on award shows like the Oscars because I could not BELIEVE the award went to THAT actor, movie, director, producer or writer. I then say something like "When am I going to see Wil Wheaton in something that recieves lots of attention and [sincere] praise!"
These things will continue to annoy me. I await, eagerly, the day when its not Jimmy Kimmel's cousin, that person willing to do certain "favors" or the no-talent with a pedigree who gets the job. But instead the job goes to some one with skill and talent.
Until that time -a time that I realize may never come, I'll enjoy seeing that you are happy. I could wish to see you win an Oscar some day but there'd be no guarantee that you'd still be happy. Instead, I'll hope for the happiness & if an Oscar (for acting or writing) comes your way, then cool. I think though, that it is far better that you do what you really like in your professional life & enjoy the time you have with family and friends.
You are far better off not being Jimmy Kimmels cousin & having sold your soul to the WB. Its just my opinion, but that is a greater evil than doing an infomercial -specially for a product you actually like & getting paid enough to take care of the family you love.
But you already know this by coming to the realization yourself & seeing basically the same message in the above posts.

Hi Wil,

When I saw you on ScreenSavers I thought you were obnoxious. Now that I have had the chance to view your site I see that is not the complete picture.

The informercial is definately a good idea especially if you like the product. Have a great time making the commercial!

Spudnuts..did not you mean to say "Wil Wheaton
the SOAP Opera"??!!

YOU GO WIL!!!!

DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY..AND THE MONEY WILL FOLLOW

(At least that's what THAT book said!)

Grasshopper it IS time.

sounds like your in for a big change Wil. keep up the great work here though

i've realized that, on typing the line "wilwheaton.net" in my browser every day, i seek that sort of inspiration from a well-spoken person who's willing to be open and honest. people take risks displaying their innermost thoughts and life events here on the internet, and i don't know how much you've given up, but the fact that you've actually convinced at least me to open my eyes, appreciate the important things in my life and constantly improve myself.

THANKS WIL.

I applaud you in your decision. I'll look forward to seeing you on the infomercial. Let us know if you need "real customers" to give testimonials on the show. :) I also think that a book (novel or autobiography) from Wil Wheaton would be really cool...just turn those startrek conventions into book tours...

Just remember that you have so many more supporters and well-wishing fans out there than crusty casting directors and greedy producers.

Your words rang true. You really have to have a passion for this to be able to deal with all the crap. So i make my own stuff which makes no money. Still, it keeps me sane because I'm still creating.

I'm so glad a friend told me about this site. You're pretty cool.

When i had finished reading that last entry, the first thing that popped into my head was 'Wil is so cool'. I wish i had the strength of character to do and say what Wil has. His entr's are so profound and make u sit back and take a look at your own life and think.

Keep it up Wil, we love that you makes us all have to think, through your own experences

Kordith

Hey Wil,

I've really liked reading your site for the past several months.....a friend turned me onto it and thought my situation sounded a lot like yours (we're the same age, I'm married to an older woman who has two kids - a daughter age 12 and a son age 10).

In this update....you never identified the product you did the infomercial for (even though you said you'd mention it by the end of the post).

Keep up the posting Wil, it's always interesting to read.

You are so very likeable,and your situation is SO easy to identify with. At some point we all reach a vexing fork in the road that seems to lead to divergent paths, but your paths may not be as divergent as you think. You've decided to go ahead with courage, and clear thought, and you've chosen to see your situation - as it actually is, not with the twisting knots of multiple perspectives.
You've made an excellent decision, and identified what it is you REALLY want to be doing. Heck, some people aren't even sure if they should have gotten out of bed this morning!
Your sense of humor is great, and as a new visitor to your blog, I think that you are a far more human presence than we have come to expect of the acting community in general.
I'm going out to rent Stand By Me.
Now off you go, you're on your way! with a bibity bobbity, boo!

Change and Thrive.

Stagnate and Die.

Wow. You've inspired me to do more and to strive harder to do what I love and what I hope to achieve in my life. I've always been one to take that "safe road" because I was terrified of jumping into something unknown to me. I don't even think that I've enjoyed college as much as I should have, but now I think I'm ready to fully enjoy life and what it has to offer me.

Thanks for the push over the cliff. :-) You rock.

195 Comments! Here I am adding to the pile...

I learned a long time ago that you have got to do what makes you happy. The long term plans I put together for my career and life never worked. I had to learn to make myself happy first and things would fal into place.

Amazing;y things have worked out.

Very good article, Wil.

Speaking on the relation of ST:TNG, this weekend will also be the last time William Shatner will ever be in the role of Captain James T. Kirk.

Quoting from his website, "This will be the last opportunity for fans to see Shatner bringing the spirit of Captain Kirk back to life."

So, Shatner is shedding his image as well.

Good luck to you both!

Well, Wil, I've only recently been introduced to your site (like, within the last month or so) but I can honestly say I've enjoyed your writing at least as much as your acting.

So, in the opinion of this nobody from out of nowhere, you're good at both. If one makes you happier than the other, I say go for it.

But, please, amid all these decisions... don't ever stop writing this journal. I love reading it.

Joel P

You said the magic word, Wil. Family, that's what it's all about. It's too bad that some folks don't find that out until it's too late to enjoy, until it's a vague memory accompanied by regrets. Doing the family thing successfully has more rewards and is more noble than ANY professional endeavors. So carry on, brother man, you figured it out.

Everyone's said all the well-deserved encouraging words--but let me chime in anyways just to boost the number of comments:

1. You're a great actor
2. You're a great writer
3. You're a great family man

can't wait to see the infomercial -- but I still believe that you'll get some great roles when you're ready for them.

Way to go, Wil! I'm personally happy that you came to find what really makes you happy at this moment in time. Go on, do the infomercial! Rock on with your bad techni-geek self! We all - your fans - think it's a great idea. (not like you need our approval! :) )

You're still a better actor than most the people i see getting parts in today's hollywood. It's a popularity contest, and we all realize that. :)

You do realize that it will be the only infomercial that I will ever have watched or will ever watch in my life, don't you? :)

peace, love, and big smiles!

You really are brave Wil! You are willing to take that second leap, and I think that's one of the many things that your fans admire about you and I'm definitley one of them. I admire your braveness, because I want to be an actress but I'm too afraid to take that second leap for fear that i may screw up. What you said really made me think and i hope i find the courage inside myself to make that second leap!!!!! Thanks WIL!!!!

Wil,
I've read every word you've written on this site and I've been really moved by a lot of your entries. This entry may be your best yet. I'm really happy to have been along for the ride this past year and see the changes. This may be my favorite thing you've ever written.

Congratulations on realizing what's truly important in life.

I started visiting your site just a couple of weeks ago. I came to find out what you were up to. I have learnd that you have grown from that cute kid on Star Trek, into a thoughtful, funny, family loving man. I know you feel as if you are giving up on something you have given most of your life to. You are not doing that, what you are doing is giving to your family. In giving to them you are going to recieve the best gift of all their love. What award can compare to that? Give it some time you may end you in that movie or on that show that you have been waiting for. It still won't mean as much as the love you get from your family. I do think that your writing is a way to go. If you put into a book what you have put into your site I believe, you will find a new calling that will reward more then you could ever know. Now go kiss your wife and hug the kids!

Mfd

Wil,

That was cool, and Risk was always one of my favorite games as well.

Aw, Wil,

Still the same entry as yesterday. Read it again anyhoo, so now I'm envisioning Wil hawking the benefits of Ab-Master.

Everyone imagine with me skinny barechested Wil doing crunches on some pathetic plastic gadget. "Ab-Master made me a Man!" he hoots.

Haw!

Later.

Wil has anyone ever told you that you look like the guy from blues clues?

Just curious heh heh heh

Hey Wil,

I think you should host the first annual Wil Wheaton convention. And invite stars to join you that want to associate with you. Jonathan Frakes, maybe? Screw Creation, screw all of them -- you don't need them anyway. I bet if you just had a wilwheaton.net convention you'd have a huge turnout.

Just be sure to have a beer garden!

Chris

Word, Wil. I'm trying to write, too, but that doesn't mean I can't still be a musician. It ALSO means that I have to work with dirt during the week still, but that's a whole other thing.

Okay.

First you said you were gonna download porn. Then you said you're gonna write.

Why not combine the two? It's a floor wax, it's a dessert topping... write porn!

Lord knows the industry could use somebody with a flair for it. Tigger's a girl? Pooh did WHAT?

I hope I'm kidding.

Irony. Irony. Irony.

We are polar-opposties here, my brother.

I see there are 210 comments before mine, so it is likely you will never see this one. (Plus, this is like the 3rd time I've seen your site in the last 6 months - I rarely look at it, so I will most-likely forget to even check if you DO respond to this.)

But, anyway, I am a published novelist. And I love writing... but I really want to make movies. And I want to make a living doing it.

You were in the movie/TV business and want to write. I was into writing and want to be in movies.

The trush is, maybe karma leads us all to where we belong. If you are "meant" or "destined" to write, then you can do it and succeed. You have a good point there; maybe you have been struggling as an actor because you aren't supposed to be one anymore.

Maybe I was not supposed to be writing novels. I hope I'm supposed to do more... We shall see...

My anxiety could not take anymore as i awaited as the next time i would be able to get online was 3:00PM becaus that is when i get home. Then i do and i have to say it was brilliant! Anyway i sit here and i read this because i didn't get home until almost 9 and NOW i have to go to bed because it is 10:00 and i hae school tomorrow *sigh* school. So i leave you with saying goodnight and look forward to your next post.

My anxiety could not take anymore as i awaited as the next time i would be able to get online was 3:00PM becaus that is when i get home. Then i do and i have to say it was brilliant! Anyway i sit here and i read this because i didn't get home until almost 9 and NOW i have to go to bed because it is 10:00 and i hae school tomorrow *sigh* school. So i leave you with saying goodnight and look forward to your next post.

I was never a big shot tv and movie star and all that, but it may surprise you to learn that your Friendly Neighborhood Anarchist was an actor when he was younger. I was in a few local theater companies in my teens and had decided thats what I wanted to do with my life.

By the time I hit college I was sick of the industry and especially sick of most of my fellow actors egos. I also knew, because I'd been working in theater rather than just acting in my high school drama club, that almost none of us ever had a chance of making a living at acting, no matter how good we were.

I realized exactly what you said, you have to love acting more than you hate rejection.

I realized that I didn't. I walked away and never looked back.

That was about a decade ago. It's good to hear a big shot TV star basically affirm my decision.

You're a teriffic writer Wil. Whether you put your hand to screenplays, columns, or a book, I'm sure you'll put out some great work. The hardest part will probably be creating the artifical scarcity on which Capitalism depends, and not posting your writing on the internet for all of us to see.

honestly, you are one of the few people in this world i truly respect and if you were to do an infomercial, i wouldn't lose any of that respect. not that what i think really matters... but this isn't you-can-do-no-wrong-in-my-eyes fandom, it's just the fact that you make your decisions with grace and class.

i think you already are a damn good writer. you're inspiring.

My goodness, Ken Prock. Such anger! Such righteous derision! Such insightful analysis!

You really gave me what for! I have been flamed!

I weep. Tears stream down my Cheeto-dust-encrusted face, across my Dr. Pepper-stained lips!

People who criticize Wil Wheaton DO eat Cheetos and drink Dr. Pepper. People who eat Cheetos and Dr. Pepper are losers! I know all of them, those that are still living. For if one criticizes Wil Wheaton, then one must DIE!

Hara-kiri here I come!

Ken Prock, do you have a lot of time on your hands? Do you spend hours rebutting three-foot-long posts in alt.kibology? I predict you will respond, "I don't know what alt.kibology is! That makes me superior!"

But Wil Wheaton knows. Because he's just a geek like you and me. Go Wil Wheaton go!

Ken Prock:

Harold Bloom wrote:

"What matters in literature . . . is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or color of a particular human suffering.”

I assume that you would say, "Hey Harold Bloom, you festering green pus-wad. Are you trying to say that human suffering can have a flavor?"

Christopher Hitchens writes:

"This document . . . reeks of self-pity and self-deception."

I assume that you would say, "hey Hitchens, self-pity doesn't have a smell! Either you're a third-grader with a grotesquely innacurate thesaurus, or English isn't your primary language."

Both of those examples were taken from the American Heritage dictionary, where they make it pretty clear that you don't have much of a handle on what those words mean. Yes, the American Heritage Dictionary specifically mentioned you.

Glass houses, you [insert your favorite insult here]

P

Wil,

I've been reading your site for several months now. I love your writing. I mean of course, the first time I came to the site it was because you were Wil Wheaton--who used to act as one of my favorite characters on one of my favorite shows. But I've kept coming back because of the quality of your writing. I'm glad you seem to enjoy it. And I hope that you keep it up.

I can relate to the change in character that blogging brings about. I've been keeping my livejournal for about 11 months now. And I feel like I've evolved another level or something. I'm much clearer now on who I really am and what I really think and feel about things.

So anyway, blog on. I'll definitely be reading. :)

Yeah Wil, we love you too-even inspite of that porno joke :)

I was going to post a comment, but there is sex on my tv right now. Thanks for your thoughts Wil.

Wil,

Seriously, I think you need to take ANOTHER, another long look at yourself.

I see an obvious pattern here: with the convention, the infommercial and pretty much everything else.

You go through all this inner termoil which I think is total bullshit and in the end -- always in the end -- you take the money.

Just because you argue with yourself (quite neurotically i might add) does not make your decision to do a TNG convention or whore yourself out for infommercials any more valiant.

Every single time, the pattern is clear. It's the money. It's the attention -- even the slightest bit of it which drives you daily.

I work in Los Angeles. I see it everyday with friends. Once you get a taste of the fame part of celebrity, it's a drug. Acting, the craft or any obligation to your family and yourself is superceded by that need to be famous again.

You are acting no different than Darva Conger or anyone else from the reality TV drivel that would do anything to keep that lingering "I'm important" feeling.

You were a whiny little precocious brat when you were a kid actor. No different from Gary Coleman. No different from anyone.

Stop whining. Take the money and stop torturing yourself or your readers. Everyone KNOWS you're going to take the money. YOU KNOW you're going to take the money.

If your decision to do an informmercial is based on the fact that your passion for acting has waned, then that is really really sad.

What's waned is actually your integrity.

You are ordinary

Scott Howard
[email protected]

You will be getting paid money to be on T.V.
Yes, I realize it's "only" on an infomercial that will probably play 4 times a night at 2:39 A.M. on that one channel that nobody watches.
BUT- You will be on Television. Getting paid for it.
Anytime anyone gives you shit for doing an infomercial, just think about what people have done in the past 20 years just to get on TELEVISION for 15 seconds. From "America's [Un]Funniest Home Videos" to those idiots on pseudo-reality shows like "Survivor" et al.
Then photocopy the first royalty or whatever they call the check they send you, and frame that on your wall.
Whenever people give you shit, just look at that check, then laugh your happy ass all the way to the bank, man.

"Sometimes we know in our bones what we really need to do, but we're afraid to do it."

What a great truth, simply put.

DB

I am looking for any kind of role to act in I want so much to be on tv I am good looking funny,serious,sad,happy,suspensful,drama,whatever any kind of emotion in a role you can give I can act it out for you please help me get noticed thank you for your time
Sincerly
John Scott

i tivoed your infomercial.

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