December 23rd, 2010
I’ve rarely used the site updates category this year as 1) There’s really been no new updates to report on 2) I try to avoid unnecessarily writing about myself if I can help it. Since Christmas and the end of the year are fast approaching though, I would like to do a little personal reflection, so bear with me.
Four years ago, when I started this blog, I was admittedly a very poor writer. I felt that my ideas were worth sharing, but my weak level of articulation made the process of translating my thoughts into words for human consumption an uncomfortable one. During the initial 2 years of writing I was often unsure of the future of the blog and how long I could sustain doing something that made me feel impotent every time it came to putting my fingers to the keyboard. I kept powering on though and slowly gained strength as a writer.
If the first 2 years had been about finding my voice and becoming a competent writer, then the last 2 have been about developing a critical eye.
Two years ago I saw the direction that I wanted to take my blog in, and although a long way off, I started working my way there. Fortunately, 2009’s breezy uni life accommodated my plans quite nicely and so the ball started rolling pretty quickly. Before I knew it I was writing for a well respected publication and one of my articles was even used as the basis for a college course in the states (not that I’d get recognition or be credited for the latter [/bitterness]).
Although this year I’ve written fewer articles than the last, I think that the quality of writing and depth of analysis is supremely better. Granted that the game I discuss offers enough meat to say something substantial about (which is usually the case), I work hard to make each new article my best, if not, at least superior to the last. And so to do that I’ve had to break everything down into smaller pieces and provide even clearer explanation, before building back up to my core argument. This stringency has pushed me towards that critical writing mojo that I was looking for some 2 years ago and have now probably sought out. At my current stage I think that Daniel Primed is a competent outlet for proper critical analysis of video games. It’s taken a while for me to get to this stage, but I’m absolutely wrapped that I finally made it.
Now that I’m here, where to next?
I’ve been stewing over the future of my writing for some time this year, even testing the waters of the enthusiast press, and have come to the conclusion that I just want to keep writing here. I have considered the prospect of writing for other publications, either for cash or interest, but there’s really no point. Neither hobbyist or professional publications are interested in this type of critical games writing and the blogosphere would rather talk baseless, pseudo academic assumptions than back up their bizarre statements with evidence from games themselves. Frankly, I feel lost somewhere in the middle.
The writers in the industry that I idolise basically live tough lives under the poverty line and there’s no reason for me to push myself down those dark alleys. And to be entirely honest, if I were to write for anywhere else, it would suck away my creative liberties. No one is going to pay me for pouring hours of my time into further understanding the games that I want to play. So, I may as well continue to write as I do now: as an extension of my play experience. Maybe if I end up doing this long enough I could write a book, work in QA or become a consultant. Who knows? I’m pretty content right here for the meantime though.
I have just 3 goals for next year regarding Daniel Primed. They are:
- I know that the market is not going to work for me, so if I want to continue writing and possibly write more. When I move to Shanghai next year, I need to find an enjoyable, but not all that intensive job. What I have now is full-time, but very good to me. I need to find a similar job or something better.
- Maybe try and find some more contacts if possible, work with other writers more. Maybe even find a small way to promote my “brand” by writing a few articles for another publication without selling my soul. This column business ain’t all that bad.
- Keep doing what I’m currently doing, but strive to become more competent at it.
For now though, I need to get working on DP’s 2010 Games Crunch. Thank you for all your support this year. Have yourself a Merry Christmas.