I’ve had tweets, Facebook messages, and emails to the Press A to Listen podcast, all asking what happened to me. I all but disappeared from social media, I haven’t updated this blog in nearly four months and, aside from that, it was only used as a window to my freelance work or to host a contest. There was never any real content that got published here. Essentially, I was pissing away money on a domain on the idea that “well, maybe it will get me some work!” It did, but not enough to justify having a blog. Shit, I haven’t even been blogging!
But that’s going to change.
First, no I’m not dead. To give you a bit of an update, in September 2014 I decided to venture into full-time freelance writing. The outpouring of support was absolutely wonderful. I never knew I had so many people who actually appreciated the work that I was doing. I understood that the content I covered was absolutely fucking ridiculous, but I think we need a little ridiculous now and again. If I’m the guy to bring it to you — great.
While I loved and appreciated the support you all gave me for that decision, I got one single message that I ended up asking myself a few times over these 15ish months, “Why the fuck did you quit your job to write? Have you lost your mind?”
I want to make sure I explain that freelance writing isn’t a bad way to make a living. There’s a helluva lot worse things I could be doing — I’ve done a lot of them at some point or another, I’m sure. The issue is that freelancing is a lot harder than I expected, not in terms of content, but rather the issue was that once you make something about money — anything — you’ve got to stop focusing on doing what you love and make sure you do whatever can get you paid.
Slow down, conspiracy theorists. I’m not talking about taking bribes for good reviews. Nobody is sitting in their a high-rise office screaming, “WHATEVER IT TAKES, YOU MAKE SURE SM1TTY GIVES US A GOOD REVIEW! OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT!” I like to think I have some influence, but I don’t have “bribery influence”.
What I mean is, while I’m able to be picky about what I request and review — because it doesn’t account for much of my income — the feature articles I write have to be of interest to the sites and magazines I work with. Suddenly, that 2,500 word feature I pitched about Call of Duty that had in-depth investigation and analysis isn’t as important as the Top-10 list I pitched talking about Dungeons & Dragons. I don’t hate top-10 lists, they’re good to get conversation going, but a writer wants to contribute things with a little more substance.
And it’s not the fault of the outlet that listicles and quick-hitting features are so popular. It’s what people generally read, respond to, and have interest in. Unless there’s a huge conspiracy that gets blown open, the general population wants something that doesn’t take up too much of their time and the outlets want something people will click on. I understand that, which is why I’m back here.
I recently took a part-time job to make sure I had consistent income throughout the year. Freelancing is feast or famine and there’s only so many times your wife can come home from a 12-hour shift, see you with a controller in your hands, and accept, “I’m working!” before she starts asking where the money is for “the work”. Because the new gig pays well and doesn’t take up a lot of time, that means I’ll be able to refocus myself on what I loved about what I do.
Along with the Press A to Listen podcast getting an overhaul, this blog is getting one, too. I’m still going to be doing my reviews and freelancing for the places that will have me, but I’m also going to make it a daily point to update this blog with something about gaming. Obviously, when I write it’s got to be professional and appeal to a site’s audience, but this blog is going to be a little bit more “no-holds barred”. I’m going to post news and regular updates to things I’m playing, but I’m going to be as honest and direct as I can be. I still want to be entertaining, so I hope my tone is conveyed accordingly, but it’s also a point that “entertaining” doesn’t necessarily mean gratuitous uses of the word “fuck”.
I’m also always willing to be wrong about something. I’ll post my views and opinions, but I hope that you will all keep me in check. I love having spirited debates with people, but if someone is able to make a point that I had overlooked or wasn’t aware of, I’ll definitely change my mind about something. If you have particular topics that you want covered, let me know.
This last year has been one of the greatest and one of the most difficult of my life. I took something I loved and *I* turned it into something that I began to resent. That lead to you seeing less and less of me, and me trying to figure out what the hell I was doing.
I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but at least now I’ll be updating the blog every day so we can all not know what the hell I’m doing together.