So I was planning this whole other blog….

It was one of those end-of-year things. I was going to muse about 2013, share some photos and pieces of news I never got around to posting. Maybe talk about a few books I liked….

I even had a title for the blog, I was going to call it “New Year’s Resignations.” Which is probably the best title I’ve come up with all year.

I’ll write that blog eventually. Probably. I had some things to say, and until I write them down they won’t leave me alone.

But I’m not going to write that blog today. I can’t.

I was going through my backlog of fanmail today. Trying to play catch-up, as always. And a reader had sent me…

Ah, I’ll just show you:

Mr. Rothfuss,

There is a song by a woman named Dar Williams that always makes me think of you and Worldbuilders. I thought I would share it with you, if you have time to listen to it – just in case you haven’t come across her before. Every time I hear it, it makes me think of things you have said about Worldbuilders, and your most recent blog post about First Book made me think of the last verse, so I had to finally send the link. If you have 3 minutes for it, I think you will really like it.


Generally speaking, if someone sends me an interesting link, I’ll follow it.

So I did. And I listened to the song. And I was doing pretty well until the last verse, which hit me so hard that I felt like there’s been a hole blown straight through me.

It’s a good song, I’ll link it here for you:

After listening to that, I don’t really feel much like writing a pensive blog, the main theme of which is that I wish I were a better father, a more reliable friend, a more  professional writer…. Overall, I wish I was… well… I wish I was the sort of person had his shit together.  Because, generally speaking, I really don’t.

No. After listening to that song, I decided to forgo a vaguely emo retrospective blog.

Instead, I’d just like to thank all of you.

I’d like to thank you for reading what I write. I’d like to thank you for tuning into the blog. I’d like to thank you for being graceful and kind.

I’d like to thank you for making Worldbuilders awesome. For helping out with First Book.

Thank you for making the world a better place. You make me hopeful for humanity.

That’s better than what I’d planned to write today.

That’s how I’d like to end the year.



This entry was posted in blogging, the man behind the curtain. By Pat47 Responses


  1. Sandhya
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    You really don’t know how amazing you are, do you? I think that is the case with all of us. But you, you have created amazing books, 2 beautiful children and have a hoard of loving followers. Your way with words, your love for your children, your humor. I would give anything to be able to sit across the kitchen table and just visit with you.
    I really like you, can you tell?

    • Ravekin
      Posted January 6, 2014 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

      I keep trying to find a release date for day 3. All i find is ambiguous dates from now until 2050. And I read complaints from the author… Who intentionally set out to write a trilogy in the genre of fantasy… about people being anxious to see the next book. Who the hell do you think you are dealing with?

      And the little bitch wants to be pissy about our desires to see it…. Interrupting him! How dare we expect a completion to his desire to gain money and free time with his family. If only i could tell my clients that… Yes you paid the first two installments… But i don’t feel the need to explain to you why i am not finishing the public contract i started with you…. Hell! I am working on a tv deal… So screw all of you who got me here.

      I don’t give a damn about when it will be here… I just want a date.

      And how in the hell is the damn publisher ignorant if this date. Spineless bitches at DAW. Did he threaten you with going somewhere else. Evidently they did not have a great contract signed at the beginning.

      Good thing you have the money to spend so much time with family… Hmm where did you get it? Could it have been those fans… The same fans that he intentionally set out to make a trilogy for. I am sorry… You have to work !

      Am I the only one who is angry about this… Feel like I am at the DMV… Only they care more for their ‘customers’ then you do!

  2. Holmelund
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    Sandhya summed up very well how I fell.

    I wish you and your family A very happy new year.

  3. Boneman
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    Pat, thanks for giving us the voice and the vehicle to do it. Without you, we might be doing bits, mostly without focus, but you give us direction and more importantly, the right reasons to help others.

    Have a great New Year. Everyone.

  4. ali rahemtulla
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

    Have a happy New Year.

  5. sparkyr1234
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Pat. Some words from the late, great John D. MacDonald (The Scarlet Ruse):
    “Always I have seen around me all the games and parades of life and have always envied the players and the marchers. I watch the cards they play and feel in my belly the hollowness as the big drums go by, and I smile and shrug and say, Who needs games? Who wants parades. The world seems to be masses of smiling people who hug each other and sway back and forth in front of a fire and sign old songs and laugh into each others faces, all truth and trust. And I kneel at the edge of the woods, too far to feel the heat of the fire. Everything seems to come to me in some kind of secondhand way which I cannot describe. Am I not meat and tears, bone and fears, just as they? Yet when most deeply touched, I seem, too often, to respond with smirk or sneer, another page in my immense catalog of remorses. I seem forever on the edge of expressing the inexpressible, touching what has never been touched, but I cannot reach through the veil of apartness. I am living without being truly alive. I can love without loving. When I am in the midst of friends, when there is laughter, closeness, empathy, warmth, sometimes I can look at myself from a little way off and think that they do not really know who is with them there, what strangness is there beside them, trying to be something else.
    Once, just deep enough into the cup to be articulate about subjective things, I tried to tell Meyer all this. I shall never forget the strange expression on his face. “But we are *all* like that!” he said. “That’s the way it *is*. For everyone in the world. Didn’t you know?”
    I tried to believe him. But belief is a very difficult feat when you crouch out here in the night, too far from the fire to feel its heat, too far from the people to hear the words of their songs.”

    With love for your many gifts you give to world, just by being you,

    • Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

      Those are some pretty good words.

    • Nicky
      Posted January 1, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

      Sparky1234, I love these words, thanks for sharing, will now have to go read The Scarlet Ruse :)

  6. Redwulf
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    +1, much feels. :-)

  7. PHXDale
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Your imagination has brought about more wonders and good than you could possibly… imagine? Thank you for your giving and loving soul – and you are welcome.
    -Dale Triplett

  8. firebird
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    I agree. I also need to get my shit together in my life in much the same areas as you.

  9. anchiel
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    For someone who isn’t quite sure how their life should be laid out, like all of us, I think you’re a pretty fantastic inspiration .

  10. James
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Made my morning, Happy New Year

  11. Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Permalink


    I have found in my crazy life of ups and downs and travels to places near and far… the best kind of people are the ones who always wish they could be better people. You are doing it, Pat. You are being better people.

    Someone told me once that I should focus on progress, not perfection and they were wise words, but what I told him was that I think progress *is* perfection. I think the only perfection is in moving forward towards the best we can be. Taking the next right action.

    As a single-ish mom, full time worker, and full time online student (BA – Creative Writing – Fiction!) I *never* feel like I have it together. My house is a mess. My kids don’t get to see me enough. I never get to cook dinner. I haven’t written anything in a long, long time. I just don’t have time to do it and it kills me. But… I am progressing. What is good enough, I wonder?

    Even with so little time, I had to take a minute to say this: you are a good person, a great person, I think. I mean – I don’t know you personally, but everything I see you do is positive and that counts for a LOT. You make me smile and I don’t even know you! You do the same for so many people.

    So, you’re welcome. And you are most deserving. I love your work and your attitude! I honestly believe, just from my vast experience in peoples… that you are one of the good ones, and becoming better every day.


    • Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

      Also – is it wrong if I find some comfort in a writer who I admire having many of the same feelings/struggles as I do?

      Then I don’t want to be right!

  12. killyourdarlings
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    I’m getting in on this inspirational quotes locomotive—here goes:

    “My heart wants roots. My mind wants wings. I cannot bear their bickerings.”

    — E. Y. Harburg

    Please disregard if irrelevant. Keep chugging, Pat!


  13. OpenSourceMe
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    I look up to you for the ideas you publicly champion. I enjoyed your books immensely, but your activism speaks volumes to me. I really appreciated your facebook post on Feminism – it straightforwardly conveyed ideas that I had been tenuously grappling with. It was firm but critical and came off as pleasantly unassailable. Also, I admire the work you have done with worldbuilders. Seeing how folks utilize their social capital for good works reminds me to stay diligent.

    Of all of the public figures that I keep my eye on, I see the most positive momentum coming from your sector. Knowing that you don’t think that you have your act together is reassuring. I wish you and yours a story-shaped New Year!

    With much gratitude,

  14. Sokol
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Terri Windling wrote this little bit in the introductions to “Dreams Underfoot”, a collection of Newford stories by Charles de Lint. If you have not discovered the Newford stories, you should. Anyway, this little bit has always stayed with me.

    “Creation is the supreme act of magic, whether that creation be a painting, a fiddle tune, or a poem, an AIDS clinic, or a battered children’s shelter, or one’s own family and a harmonious way of life. By these acts we create magic in our own lives; by these acts, large and small we reinvent the world.”

    Anyway, have a Happy New Year, Pat, and to all that read and follow this blog.

  15. Tubusy
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    And thank you. Pat, it’s not just your wonderful stories, or the charity stuff. Everything I’ve heard you say, write about, think and feel and share with the world via many channels; every piece of it makes the world and my world a better, beautiful, enlightened place. I fell for that before I even read your books. You are loved and appreciated so deeply. I’m glad to hear that along with the busyness and the bother, all the pressures and demands, that you do feel that love and gratitude we feel – at least on some days.

    I can anticipate some of the things you have resignations about, but I hope you feel enough support from the majority of us that whatever 2014 brings, we have your back, overwhelming support, understanding, compassion and love. We want you to be happy, and healthy. Don’t break the Rothfuss, Rothfuss. Be kind to him, okay?

  16. Viola
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    I am looking forward to traversing 2014 with you through your wonderful words. (And looking forward to possibly meeting you at Vericon in March.)

    Speaking of which, if you were to receive your favoritest baked good from someone at an event, what would it be?

  17. Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    It is a great feeling to learn that one of my favorite artists loves something by another of my favorite artists. It feels like community.

    Thanks, Pat, for another great year of love, honor, and respect.

  18. twogo
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Life is both complex and simple. Deep and light. Our moods are a mysterious brew of thought crossed with time with a pinch of the unknowable. We are all connected though our connections are not always in phase. Introspection is good and inevitable but in the end letting the good inner spirits control one’s day to day real world interpersonal actions is the best one can do. Whether in judging ourselves we pass or fail, it is of no matter,a lagging indicator. We keep moving forward in the unwritten story of life and that is where all possibility resides.

  19. M.Fenwick
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    More professional writier?
    I’m an artist of a different sort, but I am constantly being told one thing:

    “Artists are their own worst critic.”

    Remember that since you are so close to the project, you are intimate with any errors or problems with details or even the time table. But also remember that there are so many that can forgive those minor issues, or may never ever see them. Embrace that knowledge and things get much easier.

    • M.Fenwick
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      And for the record, NO ONE has their shit together. There is always a problem somewhere. Flaws are part of life…some of them are the BEST memories you’ll have 50 years down the line.

      Embrace the flaws, embrace your life, because it is an inspiring one to the rest of us.

  20. Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Pat, thank you for writing this blog and many other wonderful things that changed my life and perspective.

    Thank you for being a wonderful person who cares about others, who talks to his fans, and goes out of his way to make us feel included in his life.

    Thanks for being so awesome even your smallest actions make myself and others want to reach for something more and be better people.

    Happy 2014 my friend. You deserve thanks as well.
    (However, for the sake of politeness, you’re welcome. Thanks for being so gracious.)

  21. cynrtst
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    I wanted to let you know something in case you didn’t. I participated in this years’ Guinness World Record breaking Reddit Secret Santa exchange. In perusing the Gift Gallery, I noticed a (not) surprising trend. Many people sent copies of The Name of the Wind to total strangers. They felt your words were so important they were compelled to share them with others. I just wanted you to know how we feel about your books, your thoughts. They are important to us. (Don’t freak out) But I feel honored to support your causes, since they are important ones. Have a fantastic New Year with your family.

  22. chobindue
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for showing us the man behind the books.
    Thank you for working hard to make the world a better place.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us.
    Happy New Year Pat!

  23. DoctorAvenue
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    Is there a place where you can nominate theme songs for books? Because I swear this is the theme song for The Book Thief.

    In other news, you are amazing and we love you. One thousand internet hugs for you and all of your Rothfi.

  24. Kelly
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Pat, does anyone really truly have their shit together? We’re all doing our best. Love those children, hold on to that gal, keep up the awesome work for WorldBuilders, write when you can, read some Curious George” and be thankful that you can. No one can ask for more.

  25. iburnbrass
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    “Overall, I wish I was… well… I wish I was the sort of person had his shit together. Because, generally speaking, I really don’t.”

    Nobody really does, man. Like you, we just try to recognize where we can do better, and juggle the rest. From my perspective: You’re doing alright; keep at it!

  26. Ktheah
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Wow. Listened to the song. Cried a little. Felt a little more human, and small. Now I feel some comfort in being a part of this tenuous community with a chance to do some good in the world. Thank you, Pat.

  27. RousseauTiffany
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Same thing happened to me today. Driving. Had the craving to write a blog. Realized my thoughts were not as significant as my thanks. Chose thanks over thoughts. Or rather, wrote how they coincided.

    Today, we were twinsies. This is good. And thank you, Pat-Pat Patty Patstersky Pattikins Bakers Man.

  28. Posted December 30, 2013 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Emo or not, gathered shit or not, you always make me want to be a better person than I am. You know that, right?

    • Posted December 31, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

      Ah hell, Mary. You just made me a little weepy….

  29. Jesss
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 12:40 AM | Permalink


    This post reminded me for some reason of a haiku by Issa.

    don’t go geese!
    everywhere it’s a floating world
    of sorrow

    Hug the babies and let the happy tears flow. When I count the things that give me hope for humanity, I count you and your blog and your fans twice.

    Happy New Year!


  30. edwardyvette
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Pat, I love how flawed your characters are, just like ‘real’ people. I like to think of how much more fun a child can have with a $2 water pistol than a $30 computer game, and your books are like the water pistol. Happy new years from ‘Down Under’.

  31. SporkTastic
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    Pat, no matter what anyone says (even the man inside your head), you are good people. You’re a beautiful man, and you’re making a positive impact on our culture.

  32. Edward Eldritch
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Even though the only contact I’ve had with you is reading your books and blog, the sheer amount of interesting books I’ve been exposed to through you is staggering.
    I’m still working my way through your “books you should read” list. If that were the only thing you had contributed to my life, I’d be grateful as is. But to top it off you’re working on Torment, writing your own amazing books and are pleasant to listen to in the few interviews/discussions I’ve seen you in.

    Hold on to wanting to be a better person than you are, because we all should strive to do just that, but know that you affect many lives in a positive way.

  33. ToddT
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Coming from someone who completely has ALL their shit together– it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

  34. zoepatra
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    Allow me to add another quote to cheer you. This is by Marianne Williamson and was quoted by Nelson Mandela in his inauguration speech. Many are familiar with it, but I know I need to hear it over and over again:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  35. jharper36
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Here’s to you Pat. Happy New year

  36. down1nit
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for thanking us! It’s like no one ever notices how much work we have to do. I mean you put a lot of words into your books. We have to read pretty much every single one of them. This takes HOURS.

  37. Prufrock
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    My son was talking to us in the car on our recent trip. He was listing the people who had started reading Name of the Wind on his recommendation. All of his close friends were through it. These are middle-schoolers. Some are readers, some not. Perhaps fifteen of them, in all. They have been passing it to their friends. It’s not in the school library, so they have to go out of their way to get a copy.

    I know that at least a couple have recommended it to their parents, who read it as well — and they talked to me about it, all full of wonder at the revelation it was.

    The teens all enjoy YA novels and suchlike (as I do myself). They read. Rarely, however, do they discuss and analyze and try to prognosticate. This is an exception.

    One of my son’s friends finished Wise Man’s Fear, and reported that for a while after, he simply didn’t enjoy reading. In his words, “all of the other books I had wanted to read seemed so shallow and boring by comparison”.

    I got NotW for Christmas a couple of years ago, courtesy of my excellent little brother. It is a treasure and a joy. I read it to my wife, and my 10-year-old daughter devoured it with glee.

    So while you pick at all of the things you legitimately wish to improve, please don’t forget the real value of the things you have contributed. We sure don’t — and there are generations of reader recommendations yet to come.

  38. Posted December 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    For someone who doesn’t have his shit together you sure do profoundly affect the people around you and the world. Besides creative people are often a mess.

  39. Posted December 31, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    You made me cry a little too. You’re amazing, and who says having all your shit together is really going to make you a better person? You’re the person you were meant to be, as hard as that can be to accept. As TMBG sing, “be what you’re like, be like yourself…”

  40. Stubbs
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

    Thank you. Thank you for helping others to try and make the world a better place. Your books are a thing of a beauty, but getting to know you from your blogs has helped me to know that you are a wonderful man. I cried when I listened to that song, but it was because it gave me hope. Hope for the people and the children of this world, and for the people like you who care for them. Hearing how it affected you makes my heart swell, and started healing a wound in my soul. Thank you, Mr. Rothfuss, for being you and letting us know you.

  41. Johansome
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    Even from the cold nothern Winds of Scandinavia we praise your Word and the magic you create. If we didn’t have Kvothe, Denna and Bast to keep us Company during the long Winter we would probably put on some horned helmets, pick up a battle axe and start raiding the British shores:-) So thank YOU Mr. Rothfuss for showing us that the pen is mightier than the battle axe!!

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