Tag Archives: Guest Lecture

Assembling these scattered pieces

I must become a great writer. This means investing years of time in writing.

The trouble is that I must also become a really good singer. Guitarist. Strategist. Gamer.

Even “gamer” is misleading because the teamwork skills that aid you in MMO raiding don’t translate to RTSs like Starcraft 2, which requires split-second decision-making and execution. In one game, you manage one character with 40 abilities. In the other, you manage 40 units with different statistics.

I design Portal 2 maps, and I would not rest until I became good at designing them. I stayed up late, got up early, and was working on Portal puzzles probably 40 hours a week in addition to the 50 or so at my day job.

I must also become great at my day job. I’ve earned a couple of promotions within a half decade and don’t intend to stop. Sometimes this requires staying late, working weekends or flying to Orlando to give a guest lecture.

The writers I follow don’t have 37 hobbies and 2 careers. They write in their free time. They might play guitar or sing, design portal puzzles, play competitive strategy games, study chess, edit machinima videos, paint and webdesign.

They do some of these things. But not all of them.

So that begs the question. If I intend to be a great writer, what should I give up?