There's no question that video games are a huge part of our culture. Gamers have been around since the early days of Pong and Space Invaders, and they continue to be a major force today. Some people might think that gaming and writing don't mix, but they'd be wrong. In fact, there are many ways to combine your love of video games with a successful writing career. Here are some tips to get you started.
Make sure you love to write
You love games, that much is a given. But just because you love gaming doesn't mean you're a shoo-in for a career as a video game journalist. More important than a fondness and deep knowledge of the gaming industry is the ability to write consistently, write well, and often, to write fast.
Before you decide to combine your love of video games with a writing career, ask yourself one question: do you genuinely love the writing process? As in, everything about it? Pitching ideas, creating rough drafts, agonizing over sentence structure and content, doing revisions for hours on end?
Start writing about video games
If you're a fan of video games, there's a good chance you've thought about starting a blog about them at some point. After all, who wouldn't want to share their thoughts and opinions with the world? There's no better, faster, or easier way to start doing that than by writing about your favorite games on your personal blog!
Starting with your own blog about video games prepares you for a career as a game writer in two ways:
- It lets you practice the art and science of writing without deadlines and editors breathing down your neck.
- It gives you a small taste of what a game writing career would look like.
A successful blog takes time and effort to maintain; there's no getting around that. But if you're willing to put in the hours and produce quality content on a regular basis, then a blog about video games can be a very rewarding experience. The worst that can happen is you'll end up with a portfolio full of game reviews and writing samples that can help you land a paying gig!
Put together a freelance writing portfolio and writing samples
A freelance writing portfolio is a collection of your best work as a writer. It can be anything from a simple website to a fancy book, but the most important thing is that it showcases your skills and abilities as a writer.
The first step in putting together any freelance writing portfolio is creating an online presence. This means setting up a professional-looking website or blog where potential clients can learn more about you and your work. Make sure this is separate from your personal gaming blog!
Your portfolio website should include:
- Your resume or CV - This should list all of your relevant experience, education, and skills as a writer.
- Your writing samples - This should be the best of your work, including both published pieces and unpublished samples. This could include articles, blog posts, reports, whitepapers, etc.
- Contact information - Make sure you include ways for people to contact you (email address, phone number, social media profiles).
- A bio - Write a brief bio that tells potential clients who you are and what makes you unique as a writer.
Search for and apply to video game journalism jobs
Video game journalism jobs can be found on many job boards and websites. Start by doing a Google search for "video game journalism jobs" or "video game writer jobs." This will bring up a variety of websites where you can search for job openings.
Spoiler alert: if you search Google for "video game journalism jobs," you'll end up right back here! VGJobs has delivered thousands of jobs to tens of thousands of writers for over 15 years. It's where all of the gaming publications go when they need to hire freelance game writers, so it's a great place to begin your job search.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat!
How do you take the last step to combine your love of video games with a writing career? You keep writing, you keep applying to jobs, and you don't stop until you've landed your dream gig! Half of being a game writer or freelancer is dogged persistence. Keep doing what you love, keep striving to get better, and one day you'll make it.