I started as the newest writer of the RPG Girl Thursday column January 5th, 2012. Over 100 articles later, this is my final Thursday here at Geek’s Dream Girl. When I signed my contract December of 2011, I was anxious. Eager. More than a little terrified. I’d been working in publishing through other jobs before the column; news intern, submissions editor, manuscript proofer, editor, writer. My entry into working with games had been a weird sort of lateral move. I’d been working as an assistant to editor Jennifer Brozek. When I said I wanted to try out game editing, to make myself a more well-rounded editor, she helped push me at a proofing gig. That was the first step towards games, the one that eventually helped lead me to writing this column.
E, along with plenty of other folks, had been watching me and my work over 2011. Writing for magazines, working gigs, and assisting Jennifer; she wrote here on the blog for awhile with her column about freelancing in the games industry, Dice and Deadlines. That column was one of the things I got to proof for Jennifer, and later, I edited the book that grew — in part — out of that column: Industry Talk.
Being RPG Girl Thursday has been a big part of my life for the past few years. I’ve interviewed some of my heroes, given a spotlight to the work of women in gaming, and talked a lot about the ways our community is growing and changing. It’s been a privilege to be a part of those conversations on making tabletop and live-action games a world that is consciously working towards being free of the institutionalized prejudice culture at large is still entrenched in. It’s a hard, fitful path of progress to a world of more diverse games and tables, but I have hope that we’re going to get there.
Two years as a paid columnist has helped change my life, hone my skills, and driven home two essentials for me. Professionally or personally, there’s a few things that put me here. I had good mentors, and I’ve worked with people willing to hire someone who was brand new to working with games. I do my damndest to produce good work, and to accept that revisions are a part of putting good work out there.
And I got to know people. That’s probably the thing that’s done me the most good the past two years, in regards to my professional and personal life. I’ve had meals with people I’ve only just met, long talks with people I’ve known only from Twitter. Shared a bench in countless beer gardens, played with other people’s babies so they could catch a moment to breath while we talked. To make friends, to find people you want to work with, to meet the people who you end up admiring fiercely, you have to get to know people. Social media helps us do that. So does video conferencing, phone calls, texting, email, our local game stores, and the countless conventions, from local to international, that are out there and full of people we can meet.
Pay wise, monetarily, working with anything involving games is one of the smallest parts of my already diminutive income. I keep doing it because of the people who make it worth to me. That includes all of you, who have been reading this column, silently or not. I am blessed by the people in my life. And, even though I won’t be here again on Thursdays, I hope I meet more of you in the future, over other columns, drinks, meals, and shared taxis.
Looking forward to seeing you in the New Year,
“L,” Lillian Cohen-Moore
RPG Girl Thursday