“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.”
– Winston Churchill
As Christmas quickly approaches and 2016 nears its end, I am reflecting upon another year as a freelancer. Three years and so much has happened in my life and my freelancing. As I look back, I want to focus on three areas that I feel really impacted me in 2016.
After three years, I can finally feel my work as a freelancer Maturing into a professional rhythm I am comfortable with. I no longer feel everything is new, everything is scary, or everything is a must. For one, I have a much better understanding of what I am capable of in a technical sense and in a time capacity. I can estimate project workloads and balance expectations when I speak with publishers, developers, and designers. I am no longer unsure and afraid I cannot complete a project in the time allotted. Early on and much of last year, nearly every project I worked on was a new type of project for me, so I had no previous experiences to base decisions upon. Now, with two years of experience going into this year, I feel much more comfortable when discussing project timelines with clients. These past few years, I have really focused on my relationship-building, along with establishing my credentials as a freelancer. With my name and quality of work being more familiar, more potential projects have come my way. In past years, I would have accepted them all and hoped for the best. As I have matured, I realize that is not best for me or the publisher. Not every project offered to me is a must. It was SO hard to decline my first project. In the back of my mind was this fear that perhaps I would not get any others once people heard I had declined that project. But that was part of the maturing process I have been working through this year. More projects did come, and I had to evaluate each one. Many I did accept, but there have been others I have declined as well after speaking with the client at length. Knowing what you are capable of and have the capacity to do is a maturing process as a freelancer, and ongoing one for all of us.
When I started freelancing, I never imagined the other opportunities that would become available. A series of opportunities I have enjoyed most this year have involved Sharing my passion for gaming and working in the industry. In the spring, I had an amazing opportunity to co-teach a course in Game Studies at Taylor University. Dr. Denning and I had a great group of students for that first course and really enjoyed sharing our passion for tabletop and computer games while preparing for and teaching the course. We are already developing an updated version of that course and a follow-up course we plan to teach in the 2017/2018 school year. Also in the spring semester, I had a wonderful opportunity to guest lecture on the topic of game proofreading and editing in an editing course in the Professional Writing department at Taylor University. That guest lecture session led to an ongoing discussion with the students and the head of the department, and now I have been asked to teach a course in the spring of 2017 entitled, “Writing & Editing for Gaming.” I have been busy these past couple of months developing the curriculum for the course and reaching out to game industry professionals to be guest speakers. The Roman philosopher and dramatist Seneca the Younger is quoted as saying, “While we teach, we learn.” I have found that to be so true. As I have been preparing for and teaching these courses on “game studies” and “writing & editing,” I have learned so much myself and become a much better freelancer and game industry professional myself. Sharing with others has been a joy to see their passion for games increase and has been a growing experience for me.
This year nearly overwhelmed me with amazing opportunities, and I am filled with so much Gratitude. I have had opportunities to work with so many new publishers this year and build relationships with them for ongoing freelance work. I am so thankful to all the publishers, designers, writers, developers, graphic artists, and fellow editors I have been able to work with on so many projects. I had the opportunity to co-teach a college course on a topic I am very passionate about and am now designing two new courses for next year. In all my years of gaming, I never thought I would be teaching courses about game development (digital and tabletop). And extra special to me, I have had so many opportunities to build new friendships in the game community this year through teaching the game courses, Gen Con meet-ups, freelance projects, podcasts, discussion groups, social networks, and online gaming. I have said and will continue to emphasize, it is all about relationships. Gaming is social and so should your involvement be in the gaming community and industry. My heart is so full of gratitude for all the people I have met through gaming.
Thanks for being a part of my journey as a freelancer. I have enjoyed your comments and questions throughout the year. 2017 will be a unique year as I balance freelancing with my twin daughters graduating high school and then starting college in the fall.
An overview of my freelance work in 2016 includes…
Publishers I worked with in 2016
- Fantasy Flight Games
- Free League Publishing
- Modiphius Entertainment
- Norwester Games
- Onyx Path
- Pandasaurus Games
- Son of Oak Game Studios
- Stronghold Games
- Total Party Kill Games
Projects Published in 2016
- Bear Valley
- The Dragon & Flagon
- Fabled Fruit
- The Fog of War
- La Granja: No Siesta
- Sola Fide: The Reformation
- Achtung! Cthulhu – Secrets of the Dust
- Chronicles of Darkness (Index)
- City of Mist Starter Set
- Exalted Third Edition (Index)
- Mage the Awakening Second Edition (Index)
- Mutant Chronicles (Cartel & Orbitals, Dark Legion, GM Screen, Luna & Freelancers, Venusian Apocalypse)
- Mutant Chronicles – Savage Worlds Edition
- Mutant: Genlab Alpha
- Mythic Iceland
- Promethean: The Created Second Edition (Index)
- Wardens of the Wild