I feel like you're the modern day J.R.R Tolkien minus an anthology of fantasy books for your languages. However you do now have an anthology of TV shows you've helped with
Thing is the only difference between me and the literally thousands of other experienced conlangers is an opportunity. Consider the NBA. The NBA has about 450 players; the WNBA 144. There are probably another 450 at least around the world who are good enough to be in the NBA but aren’t, for one reason or another (maybe they just retired; maybe they’re good enough but are staying in college another year; maybe they play in a foreign league and aren’t interested; maybe they never got the right opportunity; maybe they just don’t want to play, etc.), and probably even more for the WNBA. There are a few thousand more who play in the NCAA who are really, really good at basketball. Then if you go to high school, there are thousands upon thousands who are really good at basketball. Then there are others who play for themselves and never played in high school or college but who are still pretty good. Then there’s who knows how many who would be good but never thought to play, or were never encouraged to. And that’s just in the States. You can do the same thing in every country in the world.
Now imagine one mid-level NBA player was transported to a planet where they have basketballs and hoops and courts, but for some reason no one really plays (maybe a couple people every twenty years or so). When that dude gets on the court he tears it up—best that planet has ever seen! That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a mid-level NBA player.
Now sports is a little more objective than art (i.e. if players are at about the same level, it’s hard to say which is better, but there’s no possible way to argue that someone like me is better than LeBron James. There are too many objective criteria to prove this false), so this analogy isn’t perfect. Because in art, you could maybe say one artist is “better” than another, but you can’t tell someone they like artist A more than artist B because artist A is “better” than artist B (you see people try to do this all the time when arguing about bands, movies, TV shows, actors, etc.). Bringing it back to conlanging, it may be the case that there are those who would prefer my conlang work even if there were better conlangers whose work was more visible (the last part being key). Even so, when the only comparison one can draw is to someone who died 43 years ago simply because there aren’t that many names to choose from, that suggests to me that the sample size is way too small.
Because there are fantastic conlangers out there—both in the past and active right now—who do amazing work. Many who do amazing work who have done more work than I have. There work is invisible to the majority of non-conlangers, though, because we generally don’t seek conlang work out, only paying attention to it when it’s attached to something else we engage with regularly (movies, TV shows, books, video games, etc.). That’s something I’d like to see change.
I know it’s tough to learn a language one needs to use for work or school or whatever, let alone learn one just for fun. I think conlangs, though, can occupy kind of a small space in a person’s life, rather like a video game. You take an hour or two (sometimes more, sometimes less) to play a game you like; you can do that with a conlang. You can do stuff with it: Tattoos, if that’s your thing; compose poems; translate quotes; draw something to put on the wall, etc. Something that you want to do with it. Like check this out:
This is a sign my friend @sopih made for me in honor of moving in to my new house. It’s written in Tepatic glyphs, and it basically means “Congrats on the new house!” I freaking LOVE this. It sits on my desk (where I spend most of my time), and I’m keeping it forever. It means more to because @sopih wrote it in his conlang and did the brushwork himself. That’s something you can do with your own conlang or someone else’s. And there are thousands out there, so there’s always something new to check out!
Anyway, I do appreciate the compliment, so thank you, but at all times, I feel the weight of the thousands of conlangers I came from—because if Dave and Dan had chosen a different Dothraki proposal, I would be another unknown conlanger who had a lot of incredible work to offer that might never be seen.