UUDDLW: “And Twitter Says:”

For those of you who might have missed it, my new book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism has been out for almost two full weeks now! A lot of folks have picked up a copy and already dug into it, and I’ve been getting excellent feedback from readers! One of the most exciting things I’ve been hearing is that some people are putting the book to practical use immediately and are already finding success with the advice on pitching editors, taming obstacles, and other sections of the book. If you haven’t picked up the book yet but are considering it, here’s a sampling of customer feedback and comments from the Twitterverse.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #22 – A Balancing Act


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I struggle with the idea of pitching before I’ve written anything, especially when I don’t know how much time I’ll have to write the commission. Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea, will begin writing it, and realize there aren’t any legs under it or it’s pretty unoriginal. But I also understand that if I don’t send pitches and spend my time developing my ideas, I’ll be losing a ton of time writing content that may be rejected anyway.

How do you find that balance of pitching ideas and making sure ideas are pitchable?

Signed, Anthony S.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #21 – Idea Quest


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Dear Freelance Dude,

When brainstorming features, I often find it difficult to come up with themes that will be marketable to publications. It feels like focusing on current “hot topics” is simply chasing what’s already been said, but how do you go about finding fresh ideas?

Signed,
Steve G.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #20 – Shopping Around


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m gearing up to start pitching some things but have always wondered what the hard and fast rules on pitching a single idea or spec piece are. Is pitching one piece to multiple outlets a bad idea? Also, can you keep pitching a rejected piece to other outlets until it’s picked up? Are there any other tips to speed up the process or is it best left alone?

Signed,
James A.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #19 – Pack A Parachute


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’ve been writing for a volunteer website doing news, reviews, and features – mostly news. However, being recently laid-off has forced me to search for paying opportunities, and I feel I don’t have the experience yet to attain one, freelance or staff (I’ve only been in games journalism for six months). Should I focus on writing features to submit to other websites or should I continue developing my skills until I feel ready?

And are there websites that hire staff writers that work remotely or is that, basically, freelancing?

Signed,
Anthony S.

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Shop Talk: The Year in Freelance 2012

shoptalk copyOr perhaps more appropriately titled: “Holy crap I survived another year of freelance game journo word-fu craziness!” Every year seems like a wild ride, but 2012 in particular has been an interesting one across the board. So much so that I feel compelled to blab personal thoughts about some of the more interesting moments of my year. Feel free to indulge in my self-indulgence!

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Ask The Freelance Dude #18 – Unresponsive Editors


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m trying my hardest to break into the world of freelance games journalism. I’ve had a couple of paid assignments which I managed to land without needing to submit any pitches. Since then, I’ve followed your advice about what makes a good pitch, and have tried several ideas tailoring them to several publications. After waiting a reasonable time, I have not had any responses whatsoever. What can I do if I’m simply being ignored?

Signed,
David O.

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