Book Review - Just A Geek by Wil Wheaton
Yesterday I had a package from O'Reilly awaiting me on the porch. It was Wil Wheaton's Just A Geek. Since I've been doing little but reading and reviewing tech books of late, I decided to take a break and dive into this one. I am so glad I did. It's quite the read...
Wheaton, as many probably know, played Wesley Crusher in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation and starred in the movie Stand By Me. He was a teen actor at that time, and decided that TNG was holding him back from moving on to feature films. When he left the series, little did he know that his acting career would never be the same. He resented and hated how people defined him as Wesley, not as Wil, and struggled hard with what role TNG should have in his life. During that angst-ridden time, he got married, became a father to two stepchildren, struggled to find acting jobs, and most importantly, started a blog before blogs were all the rage. His site, www.wilwheaton.net, became a hit and attracted a loyal following. While many readers were trekkies, there was also a large audience of people who visited due to his writing, his comedy, and his ability to open up his life and share his feelings and struggles with others. This book tells the story, through blog entries and vignettes, of his transformation from child actor to budding writer.
The style is raw, comedic, emotional... While most of us don't come from his background, all of us can relate to the constant companions of Doubt and Self-Loathing, two creatures who question our every move and live to make sure they're having more fun than we are. I'm not a big Star Trek fan, and mostly got this book due to having some fellow colleagues who know Wil. After reading the book, I've added his site to my list of must-read blogs and look forward to reading his other book.
Wheaton has found his life's calling... he's a writer. And those of us who are his readers are better because of it.