Pete Davison: What Now?

Posted on March 9, 2011 by

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It’s coming up on a year since my departure from the obnoxiously-named “world of work”, when I left my employment at a primary school, went to PAX East and had what was to this day the happiest week of my life, then came home only for my life to completely fall to pieces two short months later.

Now, here I am, and some things have changed, and some things aren’t any further along than they were even back then. I have some awesome new people of various descriptions in my life, for one thing, and while most of them are some distance away, none of them are so far away as to make it completely impractical to go and see them. This is a Good Thing.

I also have a sweet writing gig that I’m absolutely loving. I enjoy doing the news posts every day and I’ve had great fun at the events I’ve had the opportunity to attend so far. This is also a Good Thing.

But I get the impression that some Decisions are going to have to be Made at some point. How much do I want to be a writer in the games industry? Quite a lot, as it happens. Despite having been technically “unemployed” for the last year, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and I haven’t reached that “jaded” stage that some writers have got to—the stage where they’ve forgotten to have fun with what was once their hobby. I don’t see myself getting to that point any time soon because I’m a fan of games, the games industry and everything it involves, and hopefully that comes across in my writing. I believe that I’m a good writer and a valuable addition to any of the teams I’ve been part of over the years, and friends and colleagues would (hopefully) back me up on that front. I certainly have a heap of LinkedIn recommendations that would attest to this.

So what’s the problem? Well, as much as I love it, it’s not a full-time gig… at the moment, anyway. Making it into a full-time gig would likely, at this time anyway, involve having to whore myself around to a number of outlets on a freelance basis, without any particular guarantee of a particular amount of money coming in each month. I wouldn’t have a problem with this were it not for the fact that the events of the last year have left me in a terrible state financially. The thing I find myself constantly coming back to is whether I should leave behind “the dream” and get a full-time job instead. Practically speaking, it’s the thing that would probably make most financial sense, and anyway, there’s nothing to say I can’t continue contributing to sites on a freelance basis while I hold down another job.

So I have been applying for jobs. And applying. And applying. And tweaking my CV and cover letter and trying new templates and writing in different styles. And nothing. This is immensely frustrating as I know that I am Good At Stuff. But on paper I am qualified for just two things: writing and teaching. Teaching I have no desire to go back to as it’s nearly killed me on two separate occasions, but I have a lingering fear that it’s the only career path I can all but guarantee I’ll be able to find myself a position in. I’ve held three teaching jobs in the past, all of which were in schools that could politely be described as “challenging” and as such my perception of the profession may have been coloured in a slightly negative light. But I’m not sure I want to risk my sanity and happiness (well, potential happiness, anyway) diving back in “just to see” if I was just imagining it was as awful as I thought it was.

In summary, I’m not sure what I “should” do. A job’s a job, after all, and anything that gets some money coming in is surely better than doing nothing and having no money coming in whatsoever. My quandary is this, then: after this long out of full-time work, should I continue looking for that elusive something that’s going to make me happy? Or after this long, should I just take whatever the hell I can get?

And are you hiring?

 

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Posted in: Pete Davison