Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Learning to fail

I see many people around me becoming successes at SL. London is going to be a success.

I know at this point that I am not going to be one of them, instead, it seems that SL failure is coming soon to me. That's simply the way it is. I can't make gadgets that everyone has to have, I can't promote the shapes I do well enough, even though many of them are far better than shapes sold for much more. People over pay for bad work so that they can find it in a camper ladden search. That is what they want, and what LL wants to provide.

As failure creeps up on me, it seems useful to think about it.

The one thing I am any good at in SL, for money, is being an escort. Part pixel prostitute, part ear to lean on, part whore. There is a difference between being a prostitute and being whore, and it is important to keep in mind the difference. But to make a living at this requires going cam. I don't begrudge cam girls, in fact, because they have taken such a huge piece of their identity and fixed it in video, I hope that they do well. Having paid the price for entry into that world to the patriarchy, or whatever you choose to call a system that pays very smart women lots of money to play with their clit in front of a video camera, I hope in a desperate way that it works out for them. The alternative is so much worse.

I don't feel jealous of London, she is both a wonderful person, and has a gift for doing what people need. A gift I don't have.

Many of the people who have been sl successes are truly nasty people. They are like normal people, only much worse. More hate filled, more control oriented, more vicious. I won't name any names, because it is pointless. Their viciousness as people is part of their success, they know weakness, and they exploit it mercilessly. I can only have respect for people that build empires and work them, because that is their karma.

But I am neither a good sl cog, nor a good gadgeteer, nor a good land lady. In fact, I am much better at being a cog rl. However, it was the point to come her and not be a cog. I can be a cog elsewhere, and be paid well for it.

Failure hurts. I cry about this, dry tears and wet sobs. But it is also the result of the personna I chose and the reasons for being. Instead, I am product. Knowing interesting people like me is what Linden Labs sells. But they are going to squeeze you of all the money, since they control the bridges that you have to pay, and leave none. Since I'm not enough of a whore to be profitable, but too much of one to be invisible, it is me you buy when you pay tier or your membership to LL. And when I go away, there will be someone else to replace me.

There are still hopes for Lillie, I'm writing two novels, and I think I can sell one. There is still hope for my rl, a great deal of it I think.

No, I'm not leaving SL, far from it. This is not a good-bye post by any stretch of the imagination. But from here on in, I am not going to try and be a success, or make an institution. It seems a good time to finish building Yedo, and then see if someone else will run it, or just sell it off. Why pay alot for something I can do in a 30x30 skybox? I can rent space on some island for that, and have my play pay for itself.

I'm sorry to all the people who placed faith in me. I'm not strong enough, or some other things. It is my fault and my own choices, I know.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

Or for those that prefer it in rhyme here.


  1. "Fail" is such a harsh word. A suitcase packed with assumptions, expectations, judgments and comparisons. Best to get on the train and let that luggage behind you.

    You are still this one's hero.

    I have flattened my club before I opened it. I bought my sim with no expectation of "success" and every intention of just paying the Lab.

    Orcas will *always* have a place for you. Come and point to where you want your house.

  2. Funny, I was just thinking the other day that I was jealous of London, too... I had been fussing with color-change scripts and she not only made one that did just what I needed, she suggested -- and then made -- an improvement. Scripting is so not my thing, but I almost wish it was, to have such control over your ideas like that.

    I understand your frustration in one particular aspect; the marketing angle is by and large a mystery to me. It's a big reason for why I got bored and left SL after I first registered and made an outfit, actually. I'm shy, easily distracted and so not into self-promotion: I had to sit down, read everything I could find on "how to market on SL" and write up a plan for what to do, in what order, when. Even now there's a whole lot I have no idea how to handle, and I've made some pretty dumb mistakes. Right now I plan on making four or five things and releasing them all at once, as a collection -- and then we shall see how well I've studied self-promotion, I guess ;) But it is frustrating, as you say, seeing successes and feeling like a failure for the wrong reasons. (Funny: I'm not at all jealous of the successes whose work I like, but someone successful selling things I think are ugly, well, that makes me a little touchy.) I'm proud of my work, and I love what I've done... as do the two people, so far, that have bought my only available outfit.

    What I wonder is why I want to be a success in SL in the first place. It isn't as if it's going to bring me any real amount of money, and I don't have a lot of faith in LL as a company and the platform itself. I've decided it's just vanity: I like making things that I know to be well-made and beautiful, and I like for other people to appreciate them. The review one of my two buyers left of my outfit on SLExchange was worth more to me than the L$350 I got for it. I treat it as a hobby, and if there was no conversion of linden to dollars I would probably still do it for my own pleasure and to give things to my friends. If I was paying for the pleasure, as you are with Yedo? Well, in that case, I would go back to drawing paperdolls. :)

    It's a shame you're considering being done with Yedo; even unfinished, I thought it was a beautiful space, and I liked just taking a break from the prims and textures and going there just to look around. With few exceptions, I'm not interested in SL apart from my workshop under the sea, and it's sad to have one of those exceptions slip away...

  3. Lillie,

    Cries and hugs you....

    No one as kind hearted and nice as you could ever be anything but a success.

    You're still my hero too, because you have a great spirit and you fight for what you believe in. You have the soul of a poet and, from what I've seen, a very big heart.

    Someone once told me that when someone lives an interesting life, they are in a constant state of birth. And, with birth, comes pain, but also with birth comes renewal.

    One thing that life has taught me is that you should never limit your possibilities.

    You are capable of so many things.

    Anony Mouse
    "Great spirits never die."

  4. You'll manage! I was desperate at some point too, then out of the blue while listening to a live DJ in the Dublin sim, a chat with one of the visitors gave me a business idea and it gets momentum pretty fast.

    You'll manage!

  5. I saw your post yesterday but, what can I say?

    First thanks, of course, because you always have nice words for me, and second I want to join Peter and try to cheer you up; I hadn't tested your shapes but I like a lot your club.

    Of course the markets you've choosed are very competitive, but maybe you only need some marketing and events to make people come, and once the traffic grows your shops can be more successfull; SL Exchange helps a lot too, but maybe you tried that already.

    I am not as good at promotion as you say, mostly had the luck to try to fix something that annoyed me at SL and it happened that it annoyed a lot of people too, enough to spend money on it, but if I can be of any help (blog posts, cross sim events, etc.) please tell me.

    Lillie, I am not going to say you will be a success at SL, nor I am going to tell I will be; things change too quick here to be sure of anything... but knowing your writing, at least I am sure your RL novels will be a success, and that is better that a relative one at SL.

    Keep fighting or sell your club if it is what you want, but whatever you do, don't do it in despair; do it proudly, since you have created a beautifull thing, and no crazy market laws can take that from you.

  6. Lillie's player will be fine. Lillie will be fine. But some of the dreams, are not going to happen, at least not for now.

  7. Lillie,
    Success? Always difficult to define and try to measure. How do you set a standard?

    SL is hard work, those who are flourishing seem to have niche markets or got in early, or have a major novelty. This seems to be the key to the success of people who make a living from SL.

    Your words and writing are brilliant and touching. Your insights are illuminating, and now part of my daily reading.

    To my mind that's a success.

    *Hugs Lillie*

  8. The writing is going to stop dear, that's what happens when the player has to go back to her real life.

  9. What do you mean the writing's going to stop?

  10. Well, I'm not sure what's happening with you, but in my admittedly short experience I've always found that Yedo was the most interesting place at SL by far.

    I certainly have more to say, but not here.

    Anyhow, camworld is quite different than other worlds. In this context it's on the far other side of the erotica/porn borderline.

    As my dear friend Padmini would say, "Pfft! Follow your heart, my dear. As to the rest, I wouldn't give it a second thought!"