I took the above image of myself back in October of 2006. I was not on what anyone would call a winning streak, and I see the reality of so many unfortunate situations written all over my face. I think this is the most “real” image I have of myself. I don’t look like this anymore, so please excuse any unintended vanity; it was the image that most suited the state I find myself in today.
On the whole, I can’t complain, or shouldn’t, rather. I have gratitude for the many wonderful elements of my life (my relationship, Cloud, a place to live…to name a few), but this week I was on the receiving end of a stark reality check.
It forced me to question myself: what am I doing? Are the best years of my life behind me? Am I doing or accomplishing what I set out to do with writing? Where am I going?
Or am I going nowhere?
I was inspired to write about games by the publication (and online presence) of Game Informer and its editors (past and present). I respect how they address gaming, and the industry, with integrity. I would be a liar if I said it wasn’t my dream to work there one day.
But within that dream, I tried to proceed while overlooking some glaring shortcomings in my background (while being acutely aware of them):
I have no college degree.
I have no professional journalism experience.
My video game knowledge is lacking in the PS1, and most of the PS2 era.
I have no idea what I’m doing.
With all this in mind, I had been trying to apply for jobs I was woefully unqualified for. And this week brought further news that when it comes to professional writing, I’m unnecessary.
That hit me pretty hard. And it gave me a much-needed reality check.
I may have moderate to extreme feelings of foolishness and naivete, but I’m finally being honest with myself.
I’ve asked myself what am I writing for? Who am I writing for? The answer is that I love games dearly, and I genuinely want to connect people through gaming. As much as gaming gets a bad rap at times, I think it offers something unique and wonderful and all-inclusive. I love connecting people (and connecting with people) in discussion over all aspects of gaming. I think that was my goal all along. Sometimes it’s worked, and sometimes it hasn’t, but I keep on rolling.
Another reality check: I know I am not a great writer in the sense that Raymond Chandler, Jack Finney, and Bill Bryson are great writers.
I am an okay writer.
I had allowed myself the hope that drive and diligence could overcome a lack of education and a progressive age.
I was wrong. Hope is sometimes a dangerous thing.
So I currently find myself in a curious position; I don’t know why all these things matter, and I don’t know why they necessarily matter as intensely as they do. All I know is that my insides hurt and I continue to feel various shades of confused.
I love games. I love discussing games. And I love connecting with people through, and over, games and gaming.
I will keep writing for the foreseeable future, but I feel strange about it, like I’m pretending somehow. And I wanted to be straight with all of you about it. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you coming here and sharing your time with me. It’s an honor I take seriously.
Thank you, friends.
With any luck and/or effort, perhaps I can turn that frown upside down. I just don’t know when, or if, it will happen.
But I’m trying. For what that’s worth.
You are accomplishing, if nothing else, entertaining me and giving me an opportunity to consider our shared hobby in a sometimes different light if only for a few minutes each week. I truly have enjoyed your pieces over these last few months. So many old cliches are apt, here, as they always are but I’ll leave with this thought. Don’t let your frustration kill your passion. Writers write, nobody ever said writers get paid.
I am grateful for that, no question. Thank you.
And you’re not kidding. But one day, I’d really like to be able to make it happen.
:(,I hope everything in life turns around for you.
Thank you. And I, you.
So many invisibles around you my dear–never forget that.
I don’t know whether to be comforted or terrified by that…so I will choose the former.
After becoming your friend on psn, and discovering you had this site, I’ve went back and read a lot of your posts. You are, in my humble opinion, an amazingly thoughtful and real writer Rebekah. I’ve enjoyed everything you’ve written and it’s made me feel better when I’ve felt down. And though I can’t argue that a degree and professional experience in journalism wouldn’t matter what I can argue is that it should matter from where you stand currently? What could stop you from going to school, getting that degree or an internship even? I know it isn’t as easy as just doing it but something to look into perhaps. And while you do, continue writing, doors open and close without us knowing it and I just hope you don’t let a door you can see close. I don’t know how much it means, having known you a short time, but I consider you a good friend and I hope you don’t let the doubt consume you. Maybe I helped, hopefully it didn’t make it worse, I just wanted to let you know how I felt about it. Sorry I hadn’t read it sooner.
I can’t hope for more than that. You humble me, truly. Thank you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about going back to school. It’s many. I know it will sound silly, but I’m so much older than most people in the field, the idea of spending another four years getting to a point where I’m qualified…I don’t know. But holding off is counter-intuitive.
You absolutely helped. And I have the tears to prove it. Thank you for being my friend and being so supportive.
I’m in the process of getting my degree in English and I have friends my age already teaching when I’m just getting started. It hurts knowing I could be there but life happens and I’m just glad to be where I am. I’ve taken classes with people in their 50’s and 60’s who realized they wanted more so I hope you don’t let the age thing get to you if you do go back. If I know one thing about you, it’s that you don’t like to loose or give up, you have amazing determination. And no need to thank me, you listened to me about my unfortunate work stories.
Oh man, that would be so disheartening at times. I’m sorry.
I know there are so many people who go back to school (one of my best friends is currently doing it), but I feel like…I don’t know. I just feel WEIRD. I’d also be worried how on earth I’d pay for a degree, but I know that could be figured out.
You are right! I don’t like to lose or give up! It’s funny, until you said that, I’d almost forgotten.
Good gravy, of course I would listen! You are my friend! That’s what friends DO.
I’ve applied to like 10000 jobs and gotten rejected from all of them lol. You thought about doing a Journalism degree part time? Seems like a low-hanging credential.
As have I. But there have been few that I have cared even remotely as much about. There is a big difference between any old job and your dream job.
I have thought about going back to school often. My age keeps edging its way in and making itself an uncomfortable factor.
And the rest of me says, well sh*t. If I go back to school, I should spend the time and money getting my degree in musical theatre.
It would just be twenty years too late.
Ehhhh I don’t think it’s ever too late for anything like that. I’ve considered going back to school a ton of times, and that would be turning my back on the investment I made in a graduate degree. I think I’ve seen enough movies to know that it’s never too late.
MOVIES ARE DANGEROUS
You are not alone. I wrote a blog from your perspective as well. I do not have a degree either. I have tried many times to break into the market, even doing my own company. It is not easy. But never give up hope. https://mentalsparkblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/coping-with-rejection/
Hope is in short supply, but it seems to trickle out just enough to string me along. Sometimes I wish I could just say, to hell with it, but that’s just not me.
I will definitely go give this a read.
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Glad you like the article. I will not throw clichés at your feet. If you need a good person to chat with, just let me know. I don’t have much except my volume of pain and experience. The last part rings true as people who dislike what you do in life will bring you down. Find souls that love what you do and celebrate who you are as a person. :)
Thank you so much. And for reaching out.
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You say that hope is a dangerous thing, but actually lack of hope is much more dangerous. Please don’t give up hope, whatever you decide to do!
You say you don’t know what your doing, but you have a natural talent for doing what you do. You are a remarkably accomplished blogger who brings a warmth to her writing style.
Who said you are unnecessary? Did someone say some bad stuff to you? Anyone who tries to tear another person down is the one with the real issues.
Is it? I mean, I could see a benefit to a lack of hope (not that I’d want to be in that position). Wouldn’t that mean you could never be let down? Would never have ruined expectations? I don’t know. I’m just speculating.
I’m trying not to give up hope, honestly I am trying. And no, no one said that to me, but sometimes a particular silence speaks volumes.
All I can say is thank you. I’m bad with compliments, but I’m trying. Thank you.
Hey my friend, I’m sorry to read you’ve got a case if the blues, and I know you’ve been having these doubts for a bit now. I can say I see where you’re coming from in feeling down hearted about the fact that this doesn’t seem to lead to doing what you love to earn your pay. But like one of the other commenter said, you’ll never know when you get your break. Don’t lose hope, if you’re passionate about it you will find a way. And if all else fails, work at a 9 to 5 job to earn your living, and use the other hours in the day to seriously enjoy your gaming and your writing.
But know that us readers love your writings, you do entertain us and we are happy to read all you write!
You have wise words. And I will keep trying, I’m just in struggletown. I’ve been here for months and I’m looking forward to relocating to a far nicer clime.
Thank you, for everything. I love reading what you write, too!
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Hope! …….Ah Yes, Hope!
Forged in the fire of adversity!
Beaten, brushed, & battered, in the battle of doubts. Doubts of others, even worse our very own.
Hope! She is with you always. Listen carefully, and she will sing to you. She will sing a song, many may know, but only you will understand the importance of this song.
There is no distance one can fall, and not be out of her reach.
Unending strength, just waiting to be tapped.
If doors close in front of you. And defeat rears it’s ugly head. Hope will still be there with you. Hope has friends, Endurance, Courage, and Determination, just to name a few.
An old friend. Please don’t ever underestimate Hope!
Listen to hope for a while.
Wow. I read this with the intensity of that Shia LaBeouf “DO IT!” video.
And I’m listening. I’m listening really hard. I just think I may have to alter my course. But I will keep listening.
And thank you. For being so supportive.
Life can be seen as a journey, as a test, as a flickering of light, as a pain in the ass. We enter it alone and we leave it alone. But what makes it so wonderful is sharing it with others.
Please allow yourself time to feel the blues, so you can experience them, share them, and then when you’re ready, let go of them. Personally for me late winter is the ‘blues-iest’ time of year. So I’m feeling a bit down myself.
Not on the consoles much, wringing out the last drops of grad school, and still mourning the loss of my mom. But I have a few friends…including you… who’ve helped me through tough times. So if you need someone to share your blues with, let us (me and the others here) know.
I’m truly sorry to hear you are in the blues, yourself. I can only hope the distraction of finishing school will help ease it a bit.
Though I know it doesn’t quite work that way. And I’m so very sorry about the loss of your mother.
Thank you, Scott. Truly. Though it may not appear so due to my awful correspondence, I am here for you, too.
You ARE a great writer. You are far from unnecessary. But I know what it feels like to feel overlooked amongst many who may be considered “more qualified.” But you have a magic about you that cannot be ignored. Even in the picture that is featured, I do not see hard times or failure, but a deep and intellectual soul that can touch and change people. And you do. I wish I could send you confidence and encouragement to keep you going and achieving your dream. It’s really hard to do what you really want to do, and you are doing it. That inspires all of us. I’m sending you love and I wish the case of blues to quickly dissipate.
I don’t know what to say. I am bad at compliments. So I will simply say a genuine “thank you” and hope it imparts my gratitude.
And thank you for your friendship.
I couldn’t say one way or the other whether or not you are a “great” writer, but that says way more about my inadequacies than yours for sure. I can say that I greatly enjoy reading your writing, that is the meaning that it has for me, as anecdotal as that may be…
I do understand somewhat what you are going through. The last 10 years of my life I’ve been successfully climbing a professional ladder that I’m woefully under-educated and under-experienced for. And while many of those close enough to see may tell me I’m “crushing it”, it seems I will never be able to shake the feeling in my core that I’m never going to be properly “qualified” for any of it. Yet step after step keeps moving me generally onward and upward. You’d think that eventually I’d find that confidence to chase those feelings away and find comfort, but no. I still see myself standing in a house of cards that could come down on me at any moment.
You have positivity and genuine insight to offer, never forget that. Part of what makes any kind of artistic endeavor great is that it never suffers from the addition of another unique voice, it is only increased. Formal education and training only teach you to do a thing the same way you were taught to, when there are so many other ways to go about it.
I look forward to reading much more of your thoughts.
Hey, but at least you are progressing and moving up! I am going nowhere. And slowly. I highly doubt all the good work you have done will fall apart, but I know that feeling. I can only hope with time that it feels more and more like you are there for a reason (as I’m sure you are).
Interesting. I never thought about it that way.