What Makes an Esports Journalist?
Note: All opinions stated in this article are my own and do not represent the site or the esports scene as a whole. The purpose of this journal is to give some insight into esports journalism for both those in the scene or those looking to get into it in the future.
As I venture into freelance full time after sacrificing my day job in order to make a name for myself, I wanted to be able to sit down and write about journalism as a whole in esports. What is it? Where do you make your name? For most of those answers, I would always link to Thorin's recent YouTube video, which you can watch below.
Thorin discusses the basics of how to be a journalist, how to make a name for yourself and other factors that are relatable. But when it comes to actually being a journalist for a site like GAMURS, not many people understand what they are getting themselves into.
I have seen many writers come and go because they didn't make it instantly. If you want to be a journalist, you should know that you won't always see instant success. I have looked at my first articles and seen vast improvements in my sentence structure and grammar, but I am still far from being at a point I am happy with.
As a journalist, you need to constantly improve your craft and your skill, while creating your personal brand. If you are one of those individuals who will sit down and not drive yourself forward, you will be eaten by those pushing forward; you need to have hunger to get to the front of the queue and to meet those who were once your heroes, but now are the people you need to interview. The more you push, the more you will get out of it.
You have to be willing to do things that you aren't comfortable with. No, I don't mean investing waves of your money from the get-go on podcasts and other ventures. I mean staying up ungodly hours to cover events in other countries, pushing yourself to reach a schedule of content and writing daily. No matter how much you suffer from writer's block or where you are, you need to be able to grab at any big news that comes up and get it out there. You should strive to be one of the first to write on the subject and pray it gets noticed; it's mostly down to luck at that point.
Now I am not saying this is the norm and what everyone has to do. I'm saying it's what I have done in order to reach the highest form of content creation I can. At the end of the day, I don't only consider this my job, but I consider this a future. When I started, I didn't expect instant success, I expected to have to slug it out and work for it, all while being brave and considerate towards my fellow writers, who are also trying to get out there and pay bills as well as do something they love. I can't express this enough.
I love being a Journalist
Writing isn't for everyone, but knowing I get to wake up and cover League of Legends for a living is pretty rad. So, this is the advice I would give to someone not just wanting to become an esports journalist, but a journalist in general.
- Start somewhere. Whether it's a blog posting reviews or writing for free, get your craft polished. Get something for a portfolio, so when a job opens, you have something to show. Ninety percent of people don't get into journalism jobs because of this. You need to get on your own case and get stuff done.
- Set yourself a plan and stick to it. If you have a series you want to do or if you want to write every day, make a plan and follow it. If you feel you can't do work one day, do the work in advance so it can be published. I can't stress how important this is.
- Practice re-reading your works. Don't be satisfied with your first draft or rely on computer programs. A computer can't pick up when you write "now" instead of "know." Take it from my personal experiences, it's haunting.
- Keep pushing. Make contacts, go to events, say who you are and get business cards. Keep pushing for reviews and make a name for yourself. Develop a brand so that instead of you wanting to join a company, the company wants you to join them.
- Be prepared to be critiqued. Accept this criticism, admit your mistakes and be honest. If you throw everything you are told to the side, you will never improve and you will continue to make the same mistakes.
- Be prepared to ask for help. People may not respond, but if you don't try, you won't get in this industry.
If any of you aspiring writers want help, you can contact me at any of the contacts below. I'm always willing to help new writers and will offer the best help and advice I can. All I ask is patience and if I don't get back to you, I apologize. I might have been busy or it was thrown into my junk emails. Regardless, I hope this provides a better insight into esports and journalism as a whole.