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Old 08-09-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
VGConnection
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Default Finding the right writing habits

Hey everyone,

I just stumbled on this site while reading the daily news this morning and I loved reading all the advice everyone had to give to us newbies. I ran across a few threads that pertained to some questions I had about kicking off a career in gaming journalism, but non of them really hit my questions spot on. My questions are aimed towards the actual writings and less towards landing the job (since no one will want a bad writer). For example, what is the average amount of time a freelance writer should put into their blog posts as far as research, interviews, and length of the piece? Since most, if not all publishers will not accept a pitch from an article you have already written, I feel like I waste a lot of time doing research and writing pieces for my portfolio(or just for fun) and not getting any closer to my dream. Which brings me to my next question. At what point is a person who is interested in the career, ready to make a pitch? How long were most of you writing before you made your first pitch? Maybe some of you can tell me a story of your first pitch? Regardless of good or bad outcomes. Lastly, I understand how important networking and being involved with the community is when it comes to being a successful journalist, but at what point does networking beat writing? or vice-versa? I really appreciate any feedback you can give. You guys seem like a great crowd and I look forward to being a part of some of your conversations.

-VG

Last edited by VGConnection : 08-09-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Finding the right writing habits

Quote:
Originally Posted by VGConnection View Post
1. My questions are aimed towards the actual writings and less towards landing the job [of game journalist] (since no one will want a bad writer).
2. Since most, if not all publishers will not accept a pitch from an article you have already written,
3. I feel like I waste a lot of time doing research and writing pieces for my portfolio(or just for fun) and not getting any closer to my dream.
4. At what point is a person who is interested in the career [of game journalism], ready to make a pitch?
5. I understand how important networking and being involved with the community is when it comes to being a successful journalist, but at what point does networking beat writing? or vice-versa?
Hi, Ryan.
1. Really? Because your questions sound more like they're geared toward making pitches. Since I work in the video game industry (not the journalism biz), I understand the term "pitch" to mean a thing specific to the game industry, but I do not know what a pitch is in the journalism biz. Wait, maybe I'm getting it - you mean you have to get somebody's okey-dokey to write something before you can actually write it? That sounds weird to me. But then I'm in the game biz, not journalism.

2. I assume you're talking about game magazine, website, or book publishers (not game publishers). Not sure I'm understanding what a journalism pitch is, I don't understand this part of your question. I don't see why you couldn't write an article and submit it to a publisher (I don't understand why they would not be willing to look at it, if it's hot off your keyboard and has not been published). But like I say, I don't know the journalism biz.

3. It is NOT a waste of time writing your articles! You've never heard of the term "practice, practice, practice"? Look around you on this forum - there are dozens of journalism sites begging for your articles. Write an article, submit it to one of these sites. They won't pay you, but if they publish it, you've got a portfolio. If they don't publish it, you learned something useful.

4. I obviously don't know, since I don't understand the biz. But I would say the answer is "probably, when you have an awesome portfolio and an awesome idea for an article that's timely."

5. Neither one beats the other. If you're the best networker ever, but a poor writer, that ain't gonna hack it. If you're the best writer ever but you can't network worth spit, how are you gonna get known? Probably not by posting things like "VG Connection is my way to brand my writing and get the word out to video game news sites(..IGN "Hint, Hint") that I am interested." all over the internet. It's a bit artless to baldly state "this is my way to brand myself and get the word out." Just brand yourself, just get the word out.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
VGConnection
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Default Re: Finding the right writing habits

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
Hi, Ryan.
1. Really? Because your questions sound more like they're geared toward making pitches. Since I work in the video game industry (not the journalism biz), I understand the term "pitch" to mean a thing specific to the game industry, but I do not know what a pitch is in the journalism biz. Wait, maybe I'm getting it - you mean you have to get somebody's okey-dokey to write something before you can actually write it? That sounds weird to me. But then I'm in the game biz, not journalism.

2. I assume you're talking about game magazine, website, or book publishers (not game publishers). Not sure I'm understanding what a journalism pitch is, I don't understand this part of your question. I don't see why you couldn't write an article and submit it to a publisher (I don't understand why they would not be willing to look at it, if it's hot off your keyboard and has not been published). But like I say, I don't know the journalism biz.

3. It is NOT a waste of time writing your articles! You've never heard of the term "practice, practice, practice"? Look around you on this forum - there are dozens of journalism sites begging for your articles. Write an article, submit it to one of these sites. They won't pay you, but if they publish it, you've got a portfolio. If they don't publish it, you learned something useful.

4. I obviously don't know, since I don't understand the biz. But I would say the answer is "probably, when you have an awesome portfolio and an awesome idea for an article that's timely."

5. Neither one beats the other. If you're the best networker ever, but a poor writer, that ain't gonna hack it. If you're the best writer ever but you can't network worth spit, how are you gonna get known? Probably not by posting things like "VG Connection is my way to brand my writing and get the word out to video game news sites(..IGN "Hint, Hint") that I am interested." all over the internet. It's a bit artless to baldly state "this is my way to brand myself and get the word out." Just brand yourself, just get the word out.
tsloper,

1. I am here because I do not know about the "biz" either. I have come here to learn about it. There are multitudes of opinions on the subject, and though what you said was brash, I appreciate the constructive criticism.

2. I did not say my articles were a waste of my time. I love to write! But at what length do I go publishing my own original ideas? Your point here I believe is to deliver my writings "hot off your keyboard" to the publishers. Which is something I have been afraid to do since I began writing again. I just learned today that publishers wouldn't except pieces from your blog, so that might have persuaded that question a bit. So I will take your advice to heart and raid my collection, tweak it, and send it in for annihilation.

3. VG Connection has always been branded. It began as a small social media marketing business, so obviously I needed to show people that I knew what I was doing. The work was a little ambitious, and since I go to school and a have job, I couldn't be there for my clients all the time.For their benefit, I referred them to another company. I decided to use my strengths to benefit my self, and designed an outlet for my writings. You make a good point though, maybe I am coming off a little strong. I will work on making it a little more personable, but I believe that working to my strengths will benefit me in the future.

4. Thank you for taking the time to find out who I was and give me some real feed back on what you thought. I will be taking some notes.


-Ryan VanGuilder
-VG

Last edited by VGConnection : 08-09-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Finding the right writing habits

Quote:
Originally Posted by VGConnection View Post
I just learned today that publishers wouldn't except pieces from your blog, so that might have persuaded that question a bit. So I will take your advice to heart and raid my collection, tweak it, and send it in for annihilation.
Don't raid and tweak! Write new stuff.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #5
VGConnection
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Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
Don't raid and tweak! Write new stuff.
I had the same thought. Thanks again.
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