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.