Last time we talked about rejection and how keeping your confidence in your writing is key, this post will be about actually getting a writing position.
At first you’re most likely to get stuck with news detail, you will write up news nearly every day, this is a good thing. This is your chance to show the site or magazine publishers that you can perform under pressure and deliver when they need you to do so.
Depending on the publishers rules and standards you may have to write multiple stories in a single day for five days a week for about a month or maybe even two, this is the initiation and a pretty cheap method by publishers to get quantities on their site/magazine.
Sticking by your own method of writing is a great way to separate yourself from your colleagues, people are going to take notice if your articles are different from the rest of the site.
Remember to stay honest with yourself, if you don’t like a subject than don’t write about it, editors will try to pass jobs onto you and will expect you to take it without question.
Don’t do it, sure they might hate the fact that you refused an article but if you don’t know much about a certain subject, like myself when it comes to MMOs, then it’s best that you skip it instead of looking and sounding like an uninformed moron.
Moving beyond news articles
This on is a little tricky to talk about, while every writer would love to have their opinions heard about certain subjects in video games getting a chance to write an editorial is all on your publisher and editor.
Editors chose who can write editorials, they are the ones reading and approving your articles after all, if they don’t think your writing skills is up to snuff they will pull your article before it even gets the chance to be read by others.
Before you start trying to write opinion pieces talk to your editor, communication is the best way to avoid stepping on toes and burning bridges.
The best way to get your chance to get your editorial out is to have a good pitch, let your editor know what you want to write about and make sure you sell it to them, by the time you finish they should want to read about your article.
Look at the stuff your publisher is putting on their site/magazine, find something that the publisher isn’t doing and pitch them the idea. For example, when I pitched ‘Michael’s Gaming Corner’ to 4Logpc they didn’t have an opinion feature and they were looking to expand further than just news.
I pitched what the feature would be about, how I would write them and how the articles would give the site a better sense of diversity and quality. Making a plan helped, I wrote a quick article just to show the editor how the article would flow and how honest I was going to be, they enjoyed the idea and decided to give me a shot.
After the first article we not only got hits but comments as well, both good and bad, the editor found the article a success and approved giving me a section of my own while I freelanced at other sites.
Spread your wings
Writing your very own editorials is great but, you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket, doing more than editorials will keep you sharp and interested in writing.
Doing interviews is a great way to challenge yourself as a video game journalist, it’s much different than writing what’s in your mind or on a press release, it’s also a great way to make connections.
In the post about writing I mentioned you should be able to multitask, this is a strong recommendation if you plan to write for multiple sites and/or magazines. That’s one of the joys about being a freelance writer, the freedom to move onto other projects because you’re not under a contract.
If you’re going to try and write for multiple establishments and you have an editorial with someone do not try and reproduce it with the next publisher, not only will you run into a very nasty case of writers block before you know it, but also because it makes you look bad.
Write an editorial for one site, this shows that you appreciate what they have done for you and it serves as an exclusive of sorts. Sure another site may have you writing for them but readers will still want to come back and read your editorial, and to do that they must return to the original site that has it.
Doing this will ensure that you won’t give a bad vibe to your original publishers and shows a good professional tone about you.