In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide
, Aaron McKenna presents part two of his feature on becoming a games journalist, this time focusing on the how to start and maintain a career as a freelancer.
In his introduction McKenna explains:
"In the working world there are two types of people: Those who work for others and those who work for themselves. A freelance journalist is somebody who works for themselves, following commissions wherever they may lead, from one publishing house to the next. A freelance journalist can be somebody attempting to break into the industry; or a staffer breaking out of the corporate food chain, hopefully to make more money along the way.
As a route of entry into the games journalism world freelancing can be attractive for two main reasons:
No qualifications required. Most, if not all, editors do not care whether you have a PhD or left school at 15 to work on building sites, so long as you have the necessary demonstrable skills to be a successful writer (see Part 1, if you haven't read it.) Similarly, if you're a school leaver who is not too keen on faffing about for three or four years in college then experience accrued whilst freelancing could get you a staff job in half the time as getting a degree and then eventually applying for a job.
The attraction of being your own boss. I'll speak in a little while about what it actually takes to "be your own boss" as a freelancer, but suffice to say that to a certain breed of people the attraction of largely being able to set ones own hours and maximise earning potential is a powerful draw."
You can now read the full Game Career Guide feature
to learn more about the ins and outs of freelance journalist work, including how to pitch articles, and how to manage money matters (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).