Freelancing is not super easy. Like, growing up I was given the impression that writers and such got paid well and lived a life of ease, just creating. How cool did that sound, right? Well, turns out it's mostly bullshit.
I say mostly because you do get to create, and that part is awesome. The pay is, depending on where you go, anywhere from abysmal to decent, unless you have a Name and Reputation and GET LUCKY. From what I've seen so far, anyway.
I've been suuuuper lucky to find a place with a few different companies and people. The first one didn't really go as I'd hoped, so I moved on. Luckily, there were people who supported me, and I found a place to do my first paid, published work through The Fate Codex. This was super cool. It also led to my current work with MWP, and eventually to work with Onyx Path and Evil Hat.
One thing I didn't expect was the impact my health would have on freelancing. I thought that working from home and freelancing was something you could always do, no matter how sick you were. I was totally freaking wrong, like, get out of here, so wrong. Not only did I lose a lot of time when I had a mental break (for lack of a better term), but I've also lost a lot of time due to an injury.
I have learned that while deadlines are important, people can be SUPER understanding when it comes to injury and illness, and I'm incredibly grateful for it. I don't know how else I would still have the work I do. I owe a lot to the people who took a leap of faith on me, and I owe the same or more to those who haven't given up on me.
It's been exciting. The work I'm doing for MWP is small but something I've enjoyed, and I discovered through it that I really do enjoy designing mechanics - maybe even more than I enjoy writing. Totally blows my mind, to be honest. Soon, I'll be on a project with Evil Hat, which I'm not sure the secrecy level of so I'll leave it up to Fred &co. to announce it if they see fit. I finished up all but final edits on my Onyx Path work, so that'll be on its way soon.
I just feel like I'm doing a lot in a very short period of time, which is kind of good because I probably will have to cut back when I start back to school, which means picking and carefully choosing what work I can do - and I think that I have a chance at actually having choices to pick from.
I've also met some other great freelancers along the way, and there's something I want to talk about. Soapbox time.
There are so many guys. Like SO many. And they are, from what I have seen, mostly great. But, I want to be one of many women working on a project - not one of two, or one of three, on a team of 9 or more. I know that there weren't enough women applicants in the Evil Hat Writer's Search (Fred said so on the Twitter), and that bums me out (I should note, though, that the Evil Hat project I'm on has the greatest number and proportion of women of any of the teams I've been on thus far - not for lack of other people trying, though!). I know loads of women out there totally capable of doing what I do and probably even more! I know that there are things to consider like second-shift problems, impostor syndrome, and many other things, but I'm here to say I will fight with you! I will try my best to have time to read over your applications and I will try to advocate for you when I can take the opportunity to put in a good word.
There is an awesome list of indie gaming women going around on Twitter today, and I want to see THAT. I want to see women being awesome and creative and that's so possible, I can almost taste it. Next time there is a writer all-call, I hope to hear "We had an overwhelming number of women respond!" and I want to keep hearing it.