For Hiring Eyes
I’m going to be completely honest: I made this website with the sole purpose of helping myself land a job that is at least tangentially related to writing.
I didn’t make this website or any of these posts for myself, or my friends or family, even if I’ve found some gratification in doing so.
I must try to find solace in the fact that any “successful” writer will also have their own website to promote their own portfolio. We live in an age of personal branding. This is how the industry works.
Over the past two years (which, yes, have coincided with some pretty crazy times), I am still looking.
I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Time and time again, when I try to imagine what and who I am when stripped down to nothing else, I am a storyteller. This is always the takeaway. This has never changed.
And still, I am looking for a lucky break.
This has given me a lot of time to think, double-think, and semi-panic around questions that circle me like sharks.
What will be good enough? For hiring eyes, for myself?
Can I blame any amount of this on my own mental health? My ADHD and its wonderful (see: terrible) executive dysfunction? Am I simply not putting enough effort in? Is it because I haven’t gone to school for game design? If I put absolutely every ounce of my effort into a piece of writing, and it still isn’t enough, what on earth am I supposed to do then?
Most importantly, is it really in my best interest to turn my deepest love into a career?
Over the past three years, something I’ve worked on in therapy is the fact that I have – somehow, in some way – picked up some kind of trauma related to writing. It’s why I’ve taken a year-long break from considering myself as a writer; for a year, I stopped looking for writing jobs, and tried to give myself the space and time to heal. I stopped letting any guilt sink too deep when it came to “not writing”.
But in a way, I have been writing.
It just hasn’t been in a way that’s “marketable”.
For the past year, I have led a Dungeon World campaign for my friends. I have been telling stories for and with the most important people in my life. (For those of you unfamiliar with Dungeon World, it’s like Dungeons & Dragons. For those of you unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons, well… I can’t help you.)
The stories I weave with my friends are my proudest achievements. Far more than the few pieces of prose and poetry I have published. But these are stories that shine in those intimate moments, and can only be dully alluded to later. These are stories that must be lived. And seeking to expand upon these stories have developed my storytelling abilities in a way I’m positive I haven’t fully appreciated yet.
This brings me back to the question: is it in my best interest to turn my deepest love into a career?
I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with Narrative Designers who have worked in the game industry that I’m cautiously excited about entering. My main takeaway is this: they all sound so tired.
I cannot help but fear that they have chased their deepest love in the form of a career, and it is only burning them out.
This, of course, is an outsider’s first impression. I have no experience writing for games in a professional capacity. I have written a few games, and shared them on this website that I have pushed myself to cobble together for eyes that will consider my worth and see me either worthy or short of the mark. But ultimately these games are – as much as I wish it weren’t true – emotional miles away from where I’ve sat with my friends, telling a story simply because there was joy in doing so.
It is terribly bold of me to put this on my website, where I have been trying to market myself as someone you should want on your team of writers. Even so, I believe more than anything else that you should still want me on your team of writers. Despite and because of all it all.
So I am going to be completely honest with you: I don’t want to pretend to be a sanitized version of myself to earn enough money to live.
I simply wish to tell stories.
More than anything else in the world.
I wish to write.
Somewhere out there, I have to hope that there exists a space in the industry that doesn’t burn you to a crisp of your creative self, and that such a space can spark joy even remotely akin to what storytelling feels like with my friends.
Please, if you know this place, take me there.
I promise you will see miles beyond what this website and its excerpts can only hope to show.