Issue #26 · Writing is a Game

Blindly following my creative spirit that's being pulled in a new direction.

March 25, 2024: Last month, I celebrated my sixth anniversary as a Freelance Graphic Designer by realizing that it’s a job title that doesn’t feel quite right any longer. Design is something I still very much enjoy, something that I will continue mixing into all of my personal projects, and something that will keep paying my bills for the time being. But right now, my creative spirit is being pulled in another direction.

The beauty of being self-employed is that I don’t need to wait for a promotion or ask permission to change things up. There is no two-week notice period nor corporate hoops to jump through. I don’t even have to limit myself to just one career path. I can simply decide that I want to do something and... do it.

What started as a fun creative outlet is no longer just a hobby. I’ve fallen in love with writing and am ready to take it more seriously. I have ideas to share, stories to tell, and topics I’m itching to explore. Worst case, it’s just another plot twist in my already zigzagging life story.

So there you have it: I’m a writer now.

Writing is a Game. It comes with instructions, but you’re allowed to put your own spin on the rules — warning: some assembly is most definitely required. You can play by yourself or with others, but either way, you’ll need a solid strategy and quick reflexes. It’s a game that requires patience, because the words will not appear if you force them. But stay alert, because when inspiration does strike, it does not wait, and you might miss your turn. There are no shortcuts to the winner’s circle — you must put in the reps and be willing to lose a few rounds at first. But once you do get the hang of it, you’ll never want to stop playing.

Yet the future of creative writing is bleak.

As artificial intelligence creeps into every corner of our lives, once thought-provoking, original ideas have become diluted into thinly regurgitated nothingness. Algorithms reign supreme, blurring the line between those who are good with words and those who are good at gaming the system. And we must now decipher if writing has come from a place of raw human emotion or if it has come from a ghostwritten assembly line.

Luckily, I’m stubborn as hell. I refuse let ChatGPT take the pen out of my hand, and am unwilling to appease the SEO gods by stuffing my sentences full of hollow keywords. I will continue to hit ‘publish’ at whatever time my next piece happens to be ready, even if I’ve put the finishing touches on at 1am. My subject lines and titles will remain an afterthought, which may lose some eyeballs, but keeps the clickbait at bay. To me, the game of writing is only worth playing when it comes from a place of authenticity.

Every time I broadcast another one of these personal (yet very public) diary entries out into the world, it becomes a little less scary and a lot more fun. Realizing that my words have the potential to resonate with others is empowering, and I value the candid, meaningful discussions that organically occur after I voice a strong opinion. It doesn’t matter if I ramble or miss the occasional typo, as long as I speak from the heart. Because as soon as I lose that authenticity — straight to jail, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

We are still so early in the independent internet writer era and I’m enthusiastically onboard. Today, anyone brave enough can reach a global audience with their thoughts — the only barriers to entry being consistency, originality and authenticity.

It’s a golden opportunity for the curious, the ambitious, the free-thinkers and the creative folks who are willing to put themselves out there. And the best part of it all? Words are free, words are unlimited, and everyone is invited to play.

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PS: I’d love to hear what you thought about this post. If this landed in your inbox, just hit reply! Or if you’re reading this online, send me an email at [email protected] and I pinky promise I’ll reply back.

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Here’s a list of every issue if you want to keep reading!

  • Issue #25: On Passport Privilege [March 2024]

  • Issue #24: Stacking the Happiness Odds in Your Favor [March 2024]

  • Issue #23: March Momentum [Feb 2024]

  • Issue #22: Everything in Limbo [Dec 2023]

  • Issue #21: No Hay Luz [Dec 2023]

  • Issue #20: Unclogging the Pipes [Dec 2023]

  • Issue #19: A Love Letter to Charm City [Oct 2023]

  • Issue #18: Plot Twist: I’m Going to Hong Kong [Sep 2023]

  • Issue #17: To All of the Places I Will Never Visit [Sep 2023]

  • Issue #16: Embracing the Blank Canvas [Sep 2023]

  • Issue #15: In Pursuit of an Endless Summer [Aug 2023]

  • Issue #14: Follow Me to Weird Places [Jul 2023]

  • Issue #13: Self-Inflicted Social Overload [Jul 2023]

  • Issue #12: Schlepping It [Jun 2023]

  • Issue #11: Finding My “Next Thing” [Jun 2023]

  • Issue #10: Book the Damn Flight and Just Go [May 2023]

  • Issue #9: Choosing Your Own Life Adventure [May 2023]

  • Issue #8: Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat [May 2023]

  • Issue #7: My First Month of Indie Making: An Honest Review [Feb 2023]

  • Issue #6: Ten Years of Making Money on the Internet [Jan 2023]

  • Issue #5: The Modern-Day Mission Trip [Dec 2022]

  • Issue #4: Ready, FIRE!, Aim [Nov 2022]

  • Issue #3: A New City Every Month: An Experiment in Change [Aug 2022]

  • Issue #2: Defining My North Star as a Nomad [Dec 2021]

  • Issue #1: One Year on the Road: Looking Back [Oct 2021]