Working as a freelance journalist fills me with a strange blend of joy and terror.
As it works out it’s all very exhilarating. It’s really easy to pick out the reasons why I feel the way I but it always surprises me just how much I enjoy doing what I do.
The real terror is not knowing exactly how much money you have coming in every month and consequently not knowing if you can pay the rent or not. One of the most frustrating things is actually getting paid for the work you do. If you think that managing to convince someone to pay you to write for them it can sometimes be even more difficult to actually get the money through. Usually it just takes a bit longer than you would like but it does get there. Right now, it is more scary than usual because the company I work for as my day job to pay the rent, a well known high street chain, is cutting back on the wage bill and therefore my rent-paying job now no longer pays the rent. In fact, if the proposed hours-cut goes through, I will be earning more from my writing than I am from my so-called day job.
It’s the joy that really makes my job worthwhile though. Every so often I get a moment of utter gaming beauty that causes all the outside stresses to melt away. Tonight I fixed my PC in order to get my review under way so that I can have the game finished and the writing polished off in time for the embargo ending. I load up the game and, with my new RAM I can finally experience the game in HD (DirectX 9 stylee but still HD all the same). I started to play the game and I found that it has some of the most breath-taking visuals I have ever seen. I ended up sitting and soaking the scene in before taking up the controls and playing on. Even then every so often I had to stop and take in the view.
Picking up a new game and actually getting surprised by just how good some facet of it is, for me, one of the main reasons I love doing what I do so much. At risk of sounding wanky, video games are really burgeoning as an artform. There are some phenomenal moments that will make you just realise how many uniquely awe-inspiring experiences only games can provide.
Over the next couple of weeks I think that I will have quite a few of those moments with both the review and the preview code that I have to write up. That’s what makes it worthwhile for me to brave the terror to pursue a career as a games journalist.