Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Christmas has passed and the New Year is quickly approaching. Four years of the blog and five years of freelancing, lots to be thankful for. As I stated in my anniversary post, this has been a year of finding a new rhythm in life through patience and simplifying. As I reflect back on the blog, my freelancing, and my life this year, one word quickly comes to mind.
I have received so much Encouragement this year from friends, family, co-workers, and others in the game industry. After the many changes of 2017, I really struggled in the new year to find that new rhythm of life. Many people stepped up to support and encourage me and my family. It would take an epic novel of a blog post to list all the encouragement I have received this year, so I will focus on some very special ones that relate to things I have discussed on the blog this year. Up first, Bill Bricker of Stronghold Games has gone so far beyond being my contact and project manager at Stronghold Games. He and I have developed a friendship alongside our creative work. He keeps current on my wife’s multiple sclerosis and my caregiving, as he has family with MS and thus understands what it is that my family is experiencing. He also has challenged me as a freelance editor to step outside my comfort zone to grow professionally, which has led to my increased involvement with Stronghold Games this year, doing work in addition to proofreading and editing, and taking on a greater leadership role in my freelance projects. Bill has been such an encourager, probably much more than he realizes. Next up, my weekly gaming group (well, supposed to be weekly, but life creates detours on that planned route) are more than just a group of gamers who come over for food and fun. They have truly become my brothers, here for me when I need them most. Even when game nights have to be canceled because of life things, they stay excited and patient, knowing the next game night will come. They also drop emails to say hello and check in, or stop by at work to check in on me, or find me at church to chat for a bit. Little things like bringing a piece of white chocolate to sit on my desk at work to say hi and keep up the good work. These guys game with me, but they have also been some of the best encouragement as my life took its various twists and turns through my wife’s medication change and as we adjusted to life as college parents. Their patience offers so much encouragement as well, knowing I am not disappointing them. They are excited whenever we can get together again. I am so thankful for such a great group of men that gaming is an excuse to be with. To end on the strongest note, my wife has always been my encouragement, but this year she has been incredible. With all that she already fights through with her multiple sclerosis, she still has a huge heart for me and her daughters. As we have found this new rhythm in our life, she has found new ways to provide encouragement to me through a small word here, taking on responsibilities she can manage so I can work on other things, and really encouraging me to find myself again in this new rhythm through new hobbies and changes in my freelancing. I couldn’t do half of what I do without her encouragement. Knowing she supports me provides me the energy and endurance to do what is needed and what I want to do. She is my greatest encouragement and inspiration.
I have also striven to provide Encouragement to others whenever possible. Is it more difficult to encourage others when you are going through challenges or when things are going well? I think each time in life presents its own challenges that distract us from uplifting others. Some of us have not been blessed with the gift of encouragement. So, we have to make a concerted effort to encourage others. This past year I have purposely sought out opportunities to encourage. Sometimes that is as simple as a short note on social media, a comment on a video, or a quick text message. Other times those are longer emails, sending a card, skyping, or calling. These do not have to be for someone who is struggling, this can be someone who is doing well. Encouragement is good at all times in our lives. Taking that a step further, I have been mentoring some current and former students who want to work in the game industry. Mentoring includes encouragement. How can you encourage someone today? Send them a message or card. Call and have a chat with them. Go rate and comment on their video or podcast. Log onto Amazon and review their books or games. Take someone out for lunch or a snack and just spend time chatting with them. Showing someone you care about them and their creative work is a great form of encouragement.
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. You encourage me with your engagement. 2019 continues a new normal begun this year. What new things, changes, or challenges are to come I know not…but I do know my friends and family are here to encourage me along the way.
An overview of my freelance work in 2018 includes:
Publishers I worked with in 2018
- Fantasy Flight Games
- Funhill Games
- GreenBrier Games
- Modiphius Entertainment
- Onyx Path
- Stronghold Games
Projects Published in 2018
- The Boldest
- The Bottle Imp
- Champions of Hara
- Dungeon Rush
- Fast Forward: Fortune
- Fist of Dragonstones: The Tavern Edition
- Folklore: The Affliction – Dark Tales Expansion
- Forum Trajanum
- Gold Fever
- Paper Tales
- Paper Tales: Beyond the Gates
- Spring Meadow
- Terraforming Mars: Colonies
- Terraforming Mars: Prelude
- Wisdom of Solomon