Let me guess. You like video games, and you hate your day job?
You’re not alone. I think everyone would rather get paid to play big-time titles all day than do anything else.
A dangerous misconception exists regarding these dream jobs, however. They're not an excuse to play all day. They're work.
And life is about doing something meaningful.
Does that make sense?
Work makes life worthwhile. To throw your body, mind, and soul at a meaningful task is a human being's source of satisfaction.
To be utterly spent, exhausted, and bloodied while knowing that you’ve accomplished something great is the sweetest feeling.
Now let’s examine the dream of being a games journalist.
Like me, you want to make a living enjoying your favorite digital experiences. OK, let’s find a way. But first, I need to know that you’re willing to sweat, bleed, and persevere when things seem impossible.
Still with me?
Good. Because games journalism takes dedication. It’s not always “fun." It’s better than that. It’s satisfying.
And sometimes you'll have to:
Stay up late to finish that last article.
Wake up early to answer that email full of tweaks from your editor.
Stare at a blank screen for two hours while waiting for inspiration to strike, eventually just pushing through and doing the work.
That’s more like it.
Here's the bottom line. Writing about electronic entertainment is hard work.
But that’s what makes it worthwhile.
The biggest rookie game writer mistake is not coming prepared to grind.
If you approach this field to avoid work and maximize fun, you’re going to burn out. If you show up ready to play all day, you’re going to become disillusioned and frustrated.
The old adage is right. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. And games journalism is definitely worth doing.
So, are you ready to play or work?
This post originally appeared in A Game Writer's Guide, my ongoing personal mission to help aspiring game journalists find their voice.