October 2, 2006

It’s the end of the line for Runestone. I’ve spent the last year and a half writing plotlines, characters, and backstory for the company’s first title. Seed was intended as a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) focusing on storylines and social interaction rather than monster-bashing and treasure-hunting. And the game actually did launch, and it even had an energetic though small community of players and supporters.

But in the end it just wasn’t good enough. A lot of the story content and story structuring we had in mind for making the game one of its kind was never properly realized. We struggled to the very last, but with the economy spiralling downwards I guess nothing could have prevented this final curtain call.

So, now I’m a free man, as they say. Free to do whatever I chose as long as it doesn’t involve spending any real money. Different projects have cropped up in the back of my head over these last one and a half years, and the time has come to wrestle some of them to see if they will yield to my ambitions and capabilities. Wrestling, however, is going pretty slow at the moment. I’m still dazed at the prospect of going from a full-time job to nothing at all. Especially since it stopped being a prospect, and became naked, relentless reality.

Still, I feel somehow back on track. A run-down yet functioning cottage house is waiting for me in Copenhagen, I’ve already turned down my first job offer, and the Danish storytelling society BestTellers has contacted me with an as yet undisclosed proposal. What I really want to do is of course start typing some words, and have them come together into some kind of a text. Over summer my blog has satisfied some of this need for writing about the world, its inhabitants, and the curious lives they lead. I intend to keep on blogging, but I also intend to take my writing further. To be honest, I can’t really see any other way to go. I’ve travelled, I’ve studied, I’ve worked – but without the writing to tie it all together it just doesn’t seem to add up to anything much.

”How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?” Bob Dylan once asked. What I want to ask is this: How many roads must I walk down before I can justify putting pen to paper? Sometimes I find myself wishing I was a very old man looking back on a long life of toil and trouble, only then to let my cauldron boil and bubble. But the truth probably is that I’ll never get old enough to be certain about anything. As long as the road continues ahead in front of me there will always be one more turn to take, one more experience to be had, before I’ve seen it all. It never stops. And then one day you file for bankruptcy, and it’s all over.

I’m right here, at this particular point in space and time, and this will always be the point from which I observe, from which I write. All I can do is comment on the trip while it lasts. When it’s over, I’m over, and then it picks up again with a new paying customer. As someone just told me the other day French writer and enfant terrible Michel Houellebecq says that ”in the midst of time there is the possiblity of an island”. It sounds cool and promising, but I’m not so sure. At least not in any concrete sense of the term. If there is an island, I’m on it right now, and no matter what I do it’ll keep drifting down the river of time until it ends at the shore, and blends in with the rest of the landscape.

It’s time to start writing. It always was, is, and will be. The time to not start writing doesn’t exist. There is a place and there is a time, and there is no other place and there is no other time. This is it. Let’s do our worst.