#WritersLife, where I talk writing in real life.
I find inspiration from a variety of places, but one of the greatest sources of my motivation comes from video games. Whether it's following the beautiful story lines (Dark Cloud II, Fallout series), taking lessons from their continuing fanbases (Pokemon, Mario), laughing at the dialogue (anything HuniePop and related to it), or taking in the world building (Skyrim, Outlast), games are great examples of strong writing.
I've watched YouTube gamers for years, but right now, my two favorite are JackSepticEye and Markiplier. Recently Jack started a new series with Tube Tycoon, which is a game simulation of running a YouTube channel.
A YouTuber playing a game about playing games for YouTube. Let that incredible idea sink in because it's genius.
I don't normally play games unless they're Nintendo because I'm easily scared and stressed. I do play Skyrim, but that one is easy to play safely because you just run from danger. I'm great at running.
But I will
Let me explain how I find writing inspiration from watching grown men rage at Mario Maker.
Doing what they love
YouTubers are essentially entrepreneurs who, unfortunately, still have to rely on a big boss to get a paycheck, but at the end of the day, they're doing what they love doing because they went out and grabbed it.
Mark has shared his experience before he became a YouTube Partner, and it's a very sad, very encouraging story of following your dreams. Don't choose your job based on financial security alone. You will end up hating or dreading the very thing you have to do every day for the rest of your life.
Don't follow money. I know it's hard, but you can't do it.
These guys and I'm pretty sure all the original gamers started their channels because they like games and wanted to play for others. My friend Eric has his channel and blog and he didn't go into for money but because he wanted to share his experiences with others.
That's something to remember about all the arts, and yes, gaming is an art. I spent a summer working with a peer on creating a game for iOS and Android devices, and it's an art to balance graphics, story, and game play. Balancing act aside, the arts are for those who love to share the beauty and truth they find in life. If you decide to be an author to be as rich as Rowling, I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Forget the NYT Bestselling authors, who make up a tiny percentage of all authors regardless of whether they're traditionally published, small house published, or self-published. A high percentage of authors make around $10,000 a year from their writing.
$10,000. Annually. If a high school student works 40 hours a week every week at minimum wage ($7.25/hr), they would have a gross income of $15,000.
So no, do what you do because you love it like these guys. Every time I doubt my writing career, I watch these guys and remember their stories, and I want to keep trying.
Games come from writers
I helped my peer write the storyboard for his game. I also helped him write press releases and descriptions for the game to advertise on his Facebook and Kickstarter pages.
I get to watch these hilarious men play games while also honing my writing craft.
Now, now, nothing beats writing for practice. I know that. But we read to hone our craft with examples and inspiration, so we can do the same with games. I know many writers use movies and TV shows to find inspiration. I'm not much of a TV person, but with my new computer glasses, I spend a lot of time playing and watching games.