Hey awesome people, readers, blog visitors, and other assorted humans! I need your help! As I continue plugging away at writing upcoming books and creating other future projects, I’d really love to get your input on what kinds of topics you’d like me to cover next in upcoming guides, what your thoughts are on specific formats, and what challenges you struggle with. The more info I can get, the better I can tailor my next few projects to better suit your needs.
If you haven’t checked out my Game Journo Guides Series of books, you can scope out the first three below. I have lots of other exciting things in the works and would very much appreciate your input on what you’d like to see next! So…
Staring at a blank screen, knowing you have to make word magic happen is frustrating when you’re on deadline and things aren’t clicking as fast as you need them to. It’s even worse when you have a sense of what you want to say, yet reaching for the specific words leaves you grasping at the empty nether. I’m in one such predicament myself. In this case, it’s with a game review that is in desperate need of writing STAT! In fact, I find that mental long jams pop-up most frequently for me when I’m writing critiques. So in hopes of loosening things up, I figured I’d blab about it for a moment in a blog post — a brief exercise in clearing the word palate, if you will.
This is the first post in a multi-part series exploring the behind-the-scenes elements of self-publishing and ebook creation. Something new for ye olde blog! Enjoy!
Writing a book. I know, it sounds daunting, especially if you’ve never written one before. Traditionally speaking, a book length non-fiction work can run anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000+ words. If you’re used to bashing out articles that cap out around 1,000 words MAX, the thought of stretching that out times 70 can be terrifying, even crippling. I can’t possible do that, you might think. That’s way too much work. Or is it? The golden standard for books in the digital age is shifting just as fast as the publishing industry itself. Tradition can go scratch. It’s a brave new world out there.
Today, I’m celebrating the launch of my third book in the Game Journo Guides Series — Freelance Writing Hacks: 55 Tips For Word Mercenary Success — out now for $2.99 on Kindle and PDF or $4.99 for a cool Audiobook+PDF bundle! Whee! But rather than ramble on about what the book is about and why you should check it out (you can read that at the link above), I wanted to spend a few moments talking about what it’s like launching a niche book like this as a self-published author.
Welcome to “WANT! ->” …my totally self-serving and excessively indulgent column highlighting super cool and WTF crazy stuff that…GAAAHHH!!! I MUST HAVE THIS VERY SECOND! I love to search the internet for oddities and weird things that suit my oddball consumer fancy. In this debut edition, I have uncovered the oh-so-mighty and majestic BACON WALLET! And that’s only the start of my salty meat-crazed trip down the bacon rabbit hole.
I cringe every time I hear about hopeful writers who’ve just quit their day job to start a freelance career — BEFORE they have any steady freelance income rolling in. BEFORE they have any backup savings set aside for an emergency. BEFORE they’ve meticulously thought things through and battle-planned out how they’re going to stay afloat. Listen, how you make the leap to freelancing full-time can have a huge impact on whether or not you ultimately succeed.
Next to slinging pitches, pulling off interviews is one of the most important skills any freelancer or game journalist should strive to master in order to boost his or her writing career in the industry. Crafting thoughtful questions that engage sources and get them talking is a critical step.
When putting your questions together, it helps to start by brainstorming a rough list while you conduct your initial research. Jot down anything that comes to mind as you poke around the Internet. You can always go back and word things more intentionally, so don’t worry about sloppiness: just get it on the page. Once you have a big ol’ list of possibilities ready to go, it’s time to whittle everything down into a more focused set of polished questions.
It’s important to put some serious thought into both the kinds of questions you plan to ask and how to phrase them. You’ll want to design your questions to get your sources thinking (and talking). Here are a few quick tips to get you on the right track.
I’m really psyched to announce that my new book, Interview Fu: The Game Journo Guide To Conducting Killer Interviews, is OUT NOW (Print + Kindle)! I’ve been hard at work since the launch of UUDDLW last year to crack open my brain and pour out a decade’s worth of interviewing advice from my years as both a newspaper reporter and a freelance game journalist onto the page. Interview Fu distills all of my knowhow and experience on this important subject into useful tips and intriguing tales of troubleshooting. Even better, I also interviewed other notable writing pros from the game industry and a handful of game developers to get their take on what makes a great interview, how to better engage interviewees, and much more. This small but useful tome is exploding with a one-two punch of intel designed to take your journalism skills to the next level – whether you’re a freelancer, newsie, feature writer, author, or aspiring game journo ninja!
This past fall I donned armor and got bludgeoned with fake swords by a bunch of knightly folks! It was a blast! You can read the full story of my adventures with a local group from the Society for Creative Anachronism here at The Magazine.
“An industrial area full of warehouses situated far off the beaten path might seem an odd area to setup a brewery and taproom, but it seems to be working for the folks at Gigantic Brewing Company, as their brewery has managed to turn their forgotten corner Portland into a happening hotspot for area craft beer enthusiasts.
In the short time since Gigantic first opened its doors, brewers and co-owners Ben Love and Van Havig have generated serious buzz for their small-scale brewery. Their ever-rotating array of limited edition one-off brews showcases the broad range of big ideas and bold flavors the duo have on tap. We recently caught up with Love to pick his brain about everything from the brewery’s beautiful comic-style label art to his take on craft beer’s booming heyday.”
Check out the full Q&A Interview here at Paste Magazine.