“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” – Benjamin Franklin
As Christmas quickly approaches and 2017 nears its end, I am reflecting upon another year as a freelancer. Four 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 were the focus for me in 2017.
I have spoken of Change often this year, as it truly has been a major focus of my year. My wife and I have experienced the joys of seeing our daughters graduate from high school and head off to college. Neither of us really knew how it would feel nor how it would impact us having our daughters off to college. We are blessed that they are attending the college where I work, so we do get to see them rather often so this change was not as drastic as some parents experience. Yet, we did send our twin daughters off to college at the same time, so we experience twice the loss all at once. We are still getting into a new rhythm at home as partial “empty nesters.” About the time we are used to the quite and our new daily routine, the girls come home for a break and we get to learn it all anew. Now they are young adults used to the freedom of college life suddenly coming back home to live for a short while. We have also managed a major role change for me at work with all the ups and downs of such a transition. I love my new position as Director of Academic Technology / Associate CIO, and now after completing my first academic semester in the role, I am starting to find a rhythm at work. Home and work both having rhythm and routine changes have been quite the challenge. And our final large change has been my wife’s transition to a new medication for her Multiple Sclerosis. During that transition we have had some hiccups with other health issues that made this medication change more complex with increased stress. We are just now a few months into this, finally starting to see possible results for this new medication. Through all of these changes, my family has grown stronger and I have learned so much a about myself. My freelancing and gaming hobbies have had to be set aside often this year focus on these changes.
Through all these changes, I have had to really strengthen my ability to have Patience. Let me give you a little insight behind the curtains into my mind and personality. On Myers-Briggs I am an INTJ (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging) and for StrengthsFinder I am 1 Achiever – 2 Strategic – 3 Learner – 4 Input – 5 Responsibility. Thus, I am very driven, strategic, decision-making, logical, organized, research-loving, and a heavy planner. When minor change happens, I work around it via contingencies, when the amount of change happened like did in our life this summer I just had to do as Captain Sulu states “Turn her into the wave!” (a little Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country trivia for you. I always think of that quote during times of trial, for some reason). This year was almost overwhelming, so I really had to grow into greater patience. There were so many things vying for my attention simultaneously that I had to learn to work through them one at a time. Hobbies and freelancing had to be lowered in priority, which meant I had to communicate well with my friends and publishers, which mean they needed to have patience with me as well. Many weeks went by where my gaming group just didn’t meet at all, as I had to cancel our game nights. Quite a few freelance projects had to be delayed (a few others likely should have been but I was impatient to get them completed). As this year comes to a close, I feel I am much more patient and willing to pace myself better than I was at the start of this year. I am much more realistic regarding what I am capable of and willing to be more patient with timelines and results.
So what has all this Change and a better personal understanding of Patience done for me and those around me? I feel through it all I have truly learned Diligence. Diligence is defined as “steady, earnest, and energetic effort.” I have never struggled with the energetic, just ask my family and friends. What I have learned throughout this year is to focus more on the “steady and earnest” rather than the energetic aspects. Through all these changes, I have found my priorities in life shifting to stronger relationships and longer-term goals. I have always done this for my family and close friends, but now I am even looking at my freelancing and professional lives my longer- term relationships and goals. Completing a project now is not as important as strengthening communication, respect, and trust in a relationship with a publisher or co-worker. Setting deadlines that are further out can be difficult, but can lead to great opportunities and flexibility. Longer-term thinking also provides greater margin in the moment for new opportunities and new relationships. My freelancing has increased in a whirlwind these past two years and I am trying to step back and look at the quality over the quantity of work that I provide. I need to be diligent with my time and energy at home, work, and freelancing.
Thanks for being a part of my journey as a freelancer and seeing glimpses of my life beyond freelancing. I have enjoyed your comments and questions throughout the year. 2018 looks to be a time of less change but more growth and getting used to a new normal.
An overview of my freelance work in 2017 includes:
Publishers I worked with in 2017
- Fantasy Flight Games
- Free League Publishing
- GreenBrier Games
- Modiphius Entertainment
- Onyx Path
- Pandasaurus Games
- Son of Oak Game Studios
- Stronghold Games
Projects Published in 2017
- Bottle Imp
- City of Spies: Double Agent
- Cottage Garden
- Cottage Garden: The Easter Bunny
- Dark Moon: Shadow Corporation
- Dungeon Rush
- Fast Forward: Fear
- Fast Forward: Fortress
- Felicity: The Cat in the Sack
- Five Cucumbers
- Flamme Rouge
- Folklore: The Affliction (2nd Printing)
- Get the Cheese!
- Indian Summer
- NOT ALONE: Exploration
- Pit Crew
- Wasteland Express Delivery Service
- Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition (Index)
- City of Mist
- Down Darker Trails
- Gloranthan Classics: Borderlands & Beyond
- Gloranthan Classics: Griffin Mountain
- Gloranthan Classics: Pavis & Big Rubble
- Petersen’s Abominations
- Pugmire (Index)
- Robert E Howard’s Conan: Jeweled Thrones of the Earth Adventures
- Seven Worlds
- Star Wars: Dawn of Rebellion