Following a couple months of planning and recording, I launched a podcast a few weeks with my freelance comrade Nathan Meunier. It’s called The Freelance Game, and it’s all about the freelance writing life, particularly for those covering the video game industry and related beats. We launched with three distinctive episodes (and have released another one since), and have seen a really strong response and great feedback from listeners.
Our collective podcasting experience is admittedly minimal. Nathan’s appeared on several podcasts while promoting his books, but hasn’t run any of his own in the past. Me, I created and co-hosted a short-lived one called Does it Hold Up? a few years back, and have appeared on Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast once via Skype. That’s about it. I’m a writer in part because it’s the best way I know to express my thoughts. I’m shy, and I’m not the best on-the-fly thinker. Working from home my entire post-college life has dulled my conversational skills. It’s not a great thing.
But work is something I know well and can speak somewhat intelligently about, and Nathan’s in the same boat there, so we’ve both been really happy with our initial work here. When I agreed to work on it, I stipulated that if our early attempts were awful, then we’d have to pull the plug and retool (or just abandon the idea). We lost our initial episode due to recording mishaps, but it’s probably for the best. Our redo was better, and the two episodes since have been really solid. I’m not only not ashamed to share it, but actually pretty proud of the results here. Big cheers to Nathan for being an editing wizard here, by the way.
So we launched with three episodes in part to maximize the initial impact, but also to hone our approach and show listeners the range of what we have in mind here. Our first episode is an introduction to our own careers, which is kind of awkward in premise (me me me me me, but is ultimately important—in large part because everyone’s entry into a writing career in this industry seems totally different. I’ve been at this professionally for eight years, but I first sowed seeds for pursuing this career when I was 13. Really. And Nathan’s been a pro writer for a decade, first as a newspaper reporter before going freelance and focusing on geekier subjects. So we had a fair bit to dig into, and it doesn’t seem too self-indulgent.
Episode two is all about pitching articles, and we break down seven core tips to finding and honing a great idea, polishing the hell out of it, finding places and people to pitch it to, and hopefully not screwing that part up. With episode three, we swap to our alternating format: the full-length interview. Our first one is with good friend and IGN editor Mitch Dyer, who drops a wonderful amount of knowledge on going from freelance to full-time, moving from Canada to the States, and pitching a major site like his. It’s an awesome interview, and if our future ones are anywhere on this level, we’ll have a great run.
In episode four, just released a few days back, we dig into building career momentum from early article successes. Which means episode five, of course, is another interview. And it’s going to be another fantastic, incredibly insightful guest. Really pumped. We’re recording that one this coming weekend, with a release a few days thereafter. Every other Thursday is the planned launch date.
Early feedback has been awesome, really. We’ve gotten a lot of nice tweets and retweets, and even some emails from folks who have enjoyed the information, banter, and interviews. My favorite came from a great writer I know (who I was on a panel with at PAX East a couple years back) that moved away from the States a little ways back. He said the podcast gave him a sense of community and talking shop that he’s sorely missed, and that really heartened me. That might not have been a stated intent of the podcast, but I’m so happy to hear that it’s served that purpose.
It’s tough for me to make time for anything that doesn’t contribute to the bottom line right now, with watching my kid five days a week and having to work a lot less as a result, but this has been a really positive experience thus far, and I hope you’ll give it a listen. Thanks!