NEARly a Writer

Woodward Forest-Lich
5 min readJun 12, 2022


Why am I not allowed to choose to be happy? Why is it that I have to be this miserable for YOU people? - Batman Dobbins FTW

I never belonged anywhere, not really. You ever hear that adage about that depressed, introverted individual who seemed alone even in crowds? In my brain, boy did I batter myself in melancholy. It's the main reason I retreated into myself, my books, and hobbies. I tend to -in the moment- pin the blame on whatever convenient strawman I didn't like that year for not going out there and connecting more… but that's a cop-out. I learned early, no one likes a sourpuss. But it's not a mood if you're always in it, that's just a part of a person at a certain epoch in a their life barring massive effort to counter it. I do admit that I found peace in solitude and lack of social norms, while still admitting that I didn't have much of a social life to begin with.

I'm not entirely certain if the introverted chicken came before the cynical, information obsessed egg, but am well aware I've been this way for more than half my life. I did miss my friends when I'd have them, and the loneliness when it manifested was crippling. But more often than not, I'd be the one who liked his console and computer above almost all. I'm not ashamed to admit there was many-a-night I lost sleep choosing to grind Call of Duty with my point man, Zero. There have been times we shirked a night of hanging with others to make it rain on Destiny, or me by myself reading books I like. Yet every once in a while you have to go out there and talk to others, and answer questions…

"What do you do? What are you into? What's your specialty?"

um… D&D?

Street Fighter?

Nerd Culture?

Terrible answers notwithstanding, I could never answer the simple inquest people have because as much as I loved things and had passions, I was always employed as little more than manual labor. I'm not so foolish as to waste my energy using my degree that garnered me no employment as "my field". How could I, when I knew I never spent a single day in an office… ever? With this in mind, it is no wonder I didn't go out there… where I grew bored of the questions I was weary of evading. In my Google search, my endless supply of fiction, films, games… I missed nothing. I could spend years like this without integrating in society, trust me on that; I've done it. But the more time passes, the question does keep ringing in my ineffectual brain… who am I? Why am I? What do I really do? Am I just some guy who reads and learns things and avoids humanity in favor of print and A/V entertainment? I still don't know, but the Web3 world still demanded my attention during all this introspection…

OFP had me busy… doing a lot. A lot I can't really discuss now, by choice mind you. I'm becoming accustomed to the idea that soon enough -if not already-, I will be having a nigh painstaking ordeal trying to keep track of operations to my accustomed meticulous degree. Naturally I did have plans to put people I have faith in to do the things I cannot; scaling begins as they delegate their tasks to those they trust, in lieu of the larger portion of responsibility entrusted to them. Historically I have a problem with this, as when I've watched others try to run the ball to the end zone, I've been let down as they fumble 15 yards down field. I have been reminding myself this is no longer college creative writing, that those around me are just as hungry to provide high level results to a worthy purpose. My team (if I can call it mine…) has been truly acting on its own during the moments I was away, and I'd return surprised by the discourse and autonomous action they took despite my direction. I can't invest the 72 hours it'd take to be me, and also to be everyone else that was chosen to do what I did at the beginning of the year. This proved, even if only marginally, that I'd chosen those closest to me in the Green wisely. Team Hebi for life.

The thing about being in a publishing guild as a nerd with no real skills or proficiency, is you spend a lot of time watching others, chiming in with support or dissent, but little else. After all, what does an outcast with a propensity for solitude and reading have to offer, broadly speaking? Seriously I'm asking, cause I have no idea. What have I been doing? Drifting about like some anthropomorphic jellyfish, spreading my attention and screen name into every chat and project just to see where I could be of use. (See older journal entries regarding amassing allies) This process has landed me in some circles, though as of yet, I have not amassed enough concrete data to divulge to you what will become of it. But there is a gaming, reading, and writing component inherent in these groups. I suppose at least it'll play to my strengths; what is a Bard, anyway…?

Friendly Sea Creatures is one such project… Remember I mentioned something ocean based that I was floating about in? There was a posting in their chats, asking for original compositions regarding the ocean as its central topic; I naturally came off my horror story thinking maybe I'd do another. I have what I consider a healthy respect for the sea, unlike some who consider themselves half fish. Among my family I likewise encounter those who feel perfectly at home on the water, unlike myself who knows that anything I can't breathe or freely travel through is not to be trusted. With this cautious outlook in mind, I wanted to bring forth a Lovecraftian dread of the unknown coupled by a harrowing realization of our own insignificance in the grand scale of the universe. I call the Tale "Leviathan"... I haven't really done much else besides that and interact with the people in the project, but this is the second time I've written as my offering of value… and so far I can't explain why they love it. Why do they love it? I'm not talented or creative or original. I'm not a writer, I don't even have a degree in English Lit; I'm just a fraud with a dictionary and a search engine who has an overabundance of time to contemplate…

Am I though? I'm asking you, Nemo. I assure you I sure as hell don't know. I mean I have begun to accumulate evidence that me putting words into the inside covers of my Bible (certain that's the last place anyone would look for bitterness expressed in text) has grown into more than a manner to express the mute catharsis I'd endured so long. While I confess I only clung to the Medium(get it?) because it was the most constructive manner to make sense of a world that I'd ultimately grown to disagree with on a fundamental level, since I was about 11… not much has changed in my head. Except that now I can spin a phrase like Sonic the Hedgehog, and make someone see the bleak nothing in my biohazardous brain with a keyboard and some motivation. I don't know if I'm a writer… but I know I can fucking call myself one.


Woodward Forest-Lich