Ask The Freelance Dude #1 – Freelance or Full-Time?


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Dear Freelance Dude,

Is the end goal of freelancing to work for a major gaming publication (Game Informer, IGN, Nintendo Power, etc.), or is it more of a choice, with some moving on to full-time work, and some happy staying freelancers?

Signed,
Andrew T.
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Dear Andrew,

People get into freelancing for different reasons, but I think the end goal of anyone who’s slinging words in the gaming industry is to make a decent living while writing about something they have a passion for. I see a lot of freelancers who eventually transition into full-time editorial staff positions on-site with bigger outlets. Salaries and health benefits are indeed alluring. Having co-workers to talk to and engage in Nerf warfare with is pretty awesome too.

Landing a staff gig may be the ultimate goal for some writers, but there are many more that happily stick with freelancing and prefer to be word Ronin without a single master. There are enough gig opportunities out there to make full-time freelancing feasible. With the exception of Game Informer, most of the major gaming publications – both print and online – use freelancers on a consistent basis. If you can break into these bigger outlets, you get a little of both worlds and the added benefit of spreading your work out across multiple top-tier publications.

It’s a love of video games and the thriving culture surrounding them that draws a lot of writers into this business in the first place. For anyone who doesn’t live near the gaming industry’s main hub on the West Coast or is unwilling to relocate, freelancing is the only way to get a piece of the action. There are ups and downs to both routes, and it’s ultimately a matter of personal choice and what makes sense for you financially whether you stick with freelancing or use it as a springboard for something else. As such, everyone’s “end goal” will be different. As long as you’re doing something you enjoy and making a solid living from it, that’s what really matters.

Best,
The Freelance Dude

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Follow @nmeunier on Twitter for more writing advice, game industry commentary, and freelance shenanigans.

Have a writing, freelancing, or game journalism related question you’d like answered? No problem! Hop on over here for details on how to submit it to The Freelance Dude!

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