This holiday weekend, I am enjoying time with my family and reflecting on all the blessings I am thankful for this year. This has been another wonderful year as a freelancer in the game industry. These are my thoughts and reflections on what I am thankful for as a freelancer in 2016:
Publishers and Creators – I continue to be blessed to work on wonderful projects alongside some amazing creative teams and publishers. Such a joy to work with these teams on the games and accessories we all enjoy so much. Thanks to Chaosium, Fallen Dominion Studios, Fantasy Flight Games, Free League Publishing, Level3B, Modiphius Entertainment, Norwester Games, Onyx Path, Pandasaurus Games, Stronghold Games, and Total Party Kill Games for all the amazing projects I have been able to work on this year. Thanks also to the publishers and creators who are in talks with me currently about future projects we might work on together. I look forward to the blessings of working with you and your teams.
Mentors – Where would we be as freelancers without the people who mentor us, challenge us, teach us, and give us opportunities to be better at all we do? I again want to thank Lynne Hardy for her friendship and continued mentoring. She grew my early freelancing career and continues to challenge me with new opportunities. Lynne, I am a much better person and freelancer because of you, and my family has been so blessed to call you and your husband, Richard, friends. Continued thanks to Chris Birch, Modiphius, for the multitude of opportunities he offers me, the game and fiction projects, working Gen Con, and sharing with me insights into the publishing world. Chris, thanks for being my friend as well as my employer. I also want to thank Stephen Buonocore for talking to me at Gen Con 2015 and giving me an opportunity to freelance for Stronghold Games. That relationship has grown immensely this past year with so many amazing projects. Stephen has also mentored me on how the board and card game industry works as well as life as a tabletop publisher. Thanks, Stephen, for allowing me to join your creative team.
Game Industry Friends – The longer I freelance, the more people I get to know in the game industry. So many amazing people work in or alongside the game industry. I wish I could attend more gaming events throughout the year so we could spend more time together face-to-face. Thanks for being my friends and making the gaming community such a family. I look forward to seeing you online and hopefully at a game event again soon.
Writers’ Bloc – Each Friday, my wife and I gather with a small group of fellow writers and editors for lunch at Taylor University. We discuss our current projects, events we attend, and interests related to our creative works. We also share about our families and pray for each other. This gathering is a highlight of our week. My wife and I want to thank you for being our extended creative family. See you next Friday!
Gaming Group – Balancing family, work, freelancing, and hobbies is a challenge. Even more so when multiple people and families are involved. It is so special to have a group that is willing to prioritize their time in our chaotic schedules to be together as regularly as we can. The gaming might be the reason we gather, but it is friendship, food, and fellowship that really are the focus. Justin, Mark, and Shawn, I consider you brothers and am blessed by our growing friendships. Thanks for deep conversations, great food, shared prayers, crazy gaming stories, sharing life, and hours of fun.
Unique Opportunities – My freelancing in the game industry has opened up some very unique opportunities for me. Thanks to Linda Taylor of the Professional Writing Department at Taylor University. She asked me to guest lecture in her Editing Course last year on my experience as a freelancer in the Game Industry, which led to some amazing conversations with students after the class. Since that time, her students have continued to show interest, asking about possibly a class. Linda worked with the students and the registrar to create such a course for this Spring 2016 that I will be teaching entitled “Writing & Editing for Gaming.” Thanks to InnRoads Ministries for their friendship and opportunities to make gaming more than just a hobby. Mike Perna, after our first meeting at Gen Con 2015, put out a challenge for more articles to share our gaming wisdom, and now I am writing a monthly Cyclopaedia article. You also encouraged us to host Community Game Nights, which I have now done multiple times and plan for more soon. Thanks for challenging me that gaming should be shared beyond our gaming groups and used to build new relationships. Jeff Romo, thanks for the online gaming opportunities you hosted. Through those I have built new friendships around an entirely new platform for gaming. Daniel Fisher, thanks for the bear hugs at Gen Con 2016 and introducing me to your gaming friends. Face-to-face meetings help grow friendships so much quicker. Continued thanks to my friend, neighbor, and co-conspirator Jon Denning as we host GameJams at Taylor and look to teaching an improved Game Studies course next year.
My Daughters – Emily and Rachel continue to amaze me and bring joy to my heart. These young ladies are finishing up their senior year of high school and preparing to attend university next year. The past two years have been so much fun setting up and working the Modiphius booth at Gen Con alongside each other. To share the game convention experience with them and see them immerse themselves in the gaming community brings so much joy to my heart. Emily and Rachel, thank you for giving a little of daddy’s time so he can work on his freelance projects and sharing a passion for gaming with me. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures sharing gaming with your friends in college.
My Wife – The few words I can put on this blog cannot come close to thanking you for all that you mean to me. Your loving support and encouragement as I develop my freelancing and grow my game industry involvement have made this all possible. You challenged me to follow my dreams of working in the game industry and now support me as we follow that dream together. Thanks for being my greatest mentor, champion, and supporter as a freelancer. Thanks for enjoying games with me. Thanks for being there for me. Who knew that gaming could be such a powerful love language?
Whenever I take the time to reflect on my freelancing and game industry work, I come back in awe with a fear happy tears in my eyes. I encourage you to reflect upon the many blessings in your life and share your thanks.