Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Filler: GTFO

Thanks for all your hard work! By the way, get the hell out...

So, a year ago today, I got laid the fuck off from Palladium Books. With one little phone call on a Monday Morning, I lost everything I'd wanted. I'd lost a job, I'd lost Robotech, and I'd lost my rudder. After a bit of heavy drinking and some beating of breasts and gnashing of teeth, I said "Fuck this" and set about forging a new direction for myself as a freelancer in the contracting and increasingly niche Trad Games industry. It hasn't been easy. It hasn't always been fun. It's been slower than I'd like. I've made some progress, though. Shall we see what the passing of a year has brought us Gentle Readers?

Bulleted list time. Goddamn I love bulleted lists! Let's you and me have a look at the things I've accomplished in the past year, shall we?
  • Fantasy Flight: So far, I've worked on every Rogue Trader title so far. For those keeping score, that's six books and close to 150,000 words. Plus I did some work for a Deathwatch supplement, which was pretty cool. Cultivating a creative professional relationship with FFG was one of the smartest, and luckiest, things I've done over the past year.
  • Other Companies: Weeeeeeelll...not as such. This is the part I really wish I'd done better at. Having said that, after a kind of disastrous Origins and a great GenCon, I at least now have some leads and face time that I hope to parley into more work.
  • Other Projects: Uh, yeah. So, well, not so much this either. I had all these harebrained schemes, novels, PDFs, schooling, becoming a media darling, but haven't had the stones or gumption to bring any of it to fruition yet. This is something I want to work harder at in the coming year.
  • Became a Dad: I believe I mentioned this. Did I mention this? Yeah, I totally became a father in 2010, which is quite possibly the best thing that I've ever done. The Kid is one of the few things that's kept me sane over the past months.
  • Enlarged my Online Presence: So, this here internet weblog thingy, my Twitters, the MCGW Facebook page, an Amazon Partnership...I've done all these things in an attempt to grow my brand and make a name for myself via social media. The results are debatable, but I've met some great fellow writers and game designers via the intertubes over the past year, and that's nothing to sneeze at.
  • Paid my Shrink a Ton of Money: Worth every goddamned penny, too.
  • Worried a Lot: I don't think I can describe how stressful and worrying being a freelancer with a mountain of debt and a new baby is. Seriously, there are days it's hard getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Serious Home Projects: I don't really talk about this here, but in the past year I've refinished all the hardwood floors on our second floor, renovated the bedroom, built the nursery, and framed my basement for a finished room. In all, the house shaped up nicely.
  • Made a Bunch of New Friends and Contacts: Always a good thing, especially when they're nice enough to give me advice even though they don't know me from Adam.
  • Other Stuff: Surely there's some other stuff that I can't think of right now. Just use your imaginations.
So, yeah. Not a bad year but not a great one either. If I were being graded, I'd probably get a strong C+, which is better than I ever did in school, but not as good as I'd like. I've got a ton of work to do. Work to improve my craft, work to improve my career, and work to improve me. There you go, here's hoping for a better year going forward.


Thomas Chalker said...

Considering that you helped to bring a child into this world and seem to be working very damn hard to provide for him/her, I think you should move your grade up to at least an A. I don't know you personally but I'm very proud of the way your have overcome some serious setbacks and are doing the right things.

Father and gamer of many years

Jason Marker said...

Well thanks, Lee. I appreciate the kind words, but I still don't think I deserve anything more than a C+, there's a lot of room for improvement. Also, thanks a lot for reading along.

Eric said...

I don't know the first thing about the reality of working in the gaming industry, but I imagine it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to make a name for yourself. That much seems obvious. The fact that you're actively doing it is a testament in itself. I love your work. You translate the energy you GM with very well to paper. I doubt many can do both very well. Whether things are moving fast enough or not, you're still building a broader writing portfolio with the work you've done for FFG. That can only help. You're doing it man.

The next time you're tooling around the house give me a call if you need a hand. I'll bring the beer this time.

Sam said...

You might have more success marketing yourself in the coming year, since more people will get a chance to read your FFG work.