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a few wise words for us all.

I copied this from Shenan's quitting post on Hoof Prince. It's addressed to the Princers, but I think all RPers need to be reminded of this every once in a while.

We were so, so happy, and we still can be happy! I mean, we did not have Tokens back then. And, the kingdoms and so many other features were not added until late 2007. Tokens! Ha! That came in late 2008! People were posting before that. People were plotting before that. You know why? Because we were roleplayers, not SIM players. Yes, I encourage you to keep gaining Tokens. After all, I earned my fair share. But...let your characters BREATHE....LIVE! If there is not Token opportunity, it should not stop you from posting. Do you know what it is called when you are rewarded something for performing a task? A JOB. Yes! This has become a job when writing is so much more than that. Writing is the expression of true human nature. You have no idea how powerful the written word can be. Ladies...gents...WRITERS CONTROL THE WORLD. Everything that you know about history, politics, economics, cultures...EVERYTHING! You know it because of writers. Pre-history? That existed before the written word and everything that we know about the pre-historic humans is based on animal-like behavior. They are 2D, emotionless...they only did what they needed to survive.

If your character only shows up to gain Tokens, does this not make him like a pre-historic man?

Love your writing again. LOVE it! And if you do not love it, perfect it. It is like any other craft and true mastery comes from repetition (repetition as in a repeated action, not repeated words!). Do you feel intimidated by the posts made by more experienced players? Do not avoid them! Post WITH them! And do not copy; be INSPIRED! See that post as a challenge. Your response must sound beautiful, but not exact. You must see a new dimension, must bring up a new insight. And older players, embrace these learning minds! Let them post with you! Everyone started out as a beginner and didn't you get better by channeling the creative vibe of a more experienced role-player or even your favorite author?!

My Princers, I urge you to do things here that have never been done before. Bring to life these wonderful creatures that we have created. They only have as much life as you give them. If your character tastes something sweet, let us feel it drip onto our tongues. Fear? Is that our heart racing or theirs? Is that our sorrow or one felt by a creature in another world?

My muse is named Tally and I have written as my muse many, many times (in private). Tally has an excellent quote about writing.

"You may take from me my friend, my home, my country, even my loyal horse, but by God, NEVER take my books. To take a mortal possession is one thing, but to steal from me an entire world is SIMPLY barbaric!"

This is your world, ladies. Hoof Prince has never really been about the Great Four, the scary Ronin, the Deities, Flame, Horatio, or anyone else from the myths and lore. It is about YOUR characters. Don't you understand? We gave you an entire world in which to explore...you can discover...you can create. We gave you the information, but now you must make it come to life. Only your characters can do this, only your writing.

Writing, my Princers, is a very, very powerful gift.

Ten years is a long time to spend in one place. Ten years is an incredibly long time to play the same family. Why, I cannot believe that I started out with Desert Sands and now, what?, Gobardon has grandchildren? SEVEN generations of characters created just because I joined Desert Sands on June 17th, 2000.

Your characters all have this kind of potential.

Shaman is not about Mallos and Aura. They are tools; they exist only to bring out YOUR creative spirit and to help develop YOUR characters. Shaman is about you.

Don't ever be afraid to plot because you think no one will like it/it won't get accepted; don't ever be afraid to post to someone who you think exceeds you in ability; don't ever lose confidence or be made to feel worthless. If you're here, it's because you have a passion. If you have a passion, you have a talent.

I think there's an important underlying message in Shenan's little speech which she didn't directly say, but it is something I bang on about quite a lot. This is a game. People come here to have fun. Absolutely the most important thing to me is that you are enjoying yourselves by being here - so next time you sit yourself down to write a post, do a little something for me. Smile when you type.

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